Current Teaching

︎Painting and Drawing Tutor at Totnes Art Foundation
︎Visiting Lecturer/Life Drawing at University of Plymouth
︎Life Drawing Evening Class at Ocean Studios Plymouth


︎Ocean Studios After School Art Club

Project 1 - Drawing from Painting

Drawing from paintings from throughout history; ancient cave paintings, egyptian, renaissance, all the way through to Picasso, Matisse and finally Rose Wylie. I encouraged the students to engage with the subject of each painting and the emotions expressed. At the end of the project the childrens work was exhibited at Ocean Studios.

Project 2 - Painting the Mural

A mural painted with students from st Georges Primary School at Ocean Studios, based on our perceptions of the local area. We developed the subject from the ground up, drawing from imagination and from life before going on to paint the mural itself.

I worked with the children on this particular project for 8 sessions. In the first session I spread out a large roll of paper and I asked them to occupy it as though it was the local area. To move around it and to draw a map of the area from their imagination as they went. I drew with them, and encouraged them to develop the narrative, to think about, what’s over there? Or, what happens in this place?

In the next two sessions we went out and walked the map in real life. Visiting all the local landmarks we had drawn previously from imagination and drawing them in situ. In the fourth session we returned to the studio with all the drawings we had made and we worked from them. This time in paint. It is all a process of developing the subject, or living through the subject. A sun drawn from life in the sky might begin to set on the horizon when drawn again, a church become a castle. I tried always to instil confidence. Any ‘technical’ instruction I gave was usually to remind them that they did not have to make it ‘look like’ the subject but to find their own way to represent the subject.
From my experience all children draw well so long as they believe in themselves. My challenge was not to show them how to paint a mural, but to really engage them in the subject. I knew that if I could do that they would take care of the rest. When the time came to paint the mural itself we started in the same way. Working quickly we put our brushes to the wall and followed the line, occupying the space and building our map in black and white. In the following sessions we introduced colour, I encouraged them to paint over things if they felt like it. We struck a balance between freedom of expression and integrity to the subject. I painted with them the whole time, learning from them as we went and vice versa. I referred them back to the drawings we had made previously when necessary, but it was never about copying, always about seeing it freshly.

It was an incredible experience. We finished the mural on the 8th session with hand prints as our primitive signature. There were moments of real joy from the students, sheer delight in the painting process and the sight of what they were making. It is a feeling that I know myself from my own experiences of painting. There comes a time when it all comes together, your thinking and doing become simultaneous and an emotion is expressed that you could not have expressed in any other way. It is for these reasons that I want to teach. To share my passion and to see people express themselves with dedication and integrity.

©2024 Kieran Walsh