Painting 2: Concepts in Practice

Course Level: 2 (HE5) | HE Credits: 60 | Approx. Duration: 15 months at 10hrs/week


There will be a withdrawal of ‘Painting 2: Concepts in Practice’. This unit will no longer be available from 30 November 2018 (6 months’ notice). Please note, students currently studying to this unit will be able to continue it to completion.

This painting course provides a conceptual framework for your practice, and during the course you will work through a set of projects, exploring a range of approaches via historic and contemporary exemplars. You will engage with traditional themes (such as still life, the figure and landscape) as well as more abstract and conceptual approaches to Painting and Fine Art practice.

Through your own art practice and further independent research you will explore seminal 20th and 21st century works in order to understand how your own work might relate to art and artists past and present. You will investigate changing attitudes, themes, materials and tools and test your own ideas, which will become more ambitious as you progress through the course.

You are encouraged to become increasingly self-reliant and produce individual and inventive work that acknowledges other art and artists but goes beyond the examples in the course book.

This course requires you to engage with a wide range of concepts in Painting and Fine Art, to try new and old attitudes with the aim of finding different and more ambitious ways of working. This involves a combination of practical, visual and written work; testing ideas through making and writing. The research component (including your learning log and ‘essay’) is an important component of this course.


The unit aims to

  • A1 build on your knowledge of historic and contemporary concepts in Fine Art/Painting
  • A2 develop your practical research skills in relation to the production of outcomes
  • A3 develop your critical, analytical, evaluative and research skills
  • A4 strengthen self-reliance and autonomy in your practice and writing, building towards a personal voice


On successful completion of the unit you will be able to:

  • LO1 identify historic and contemporary concepts in the field, referenced in the context of your practice (A1)
  • LO2 demonstrate increasing skill and independence in the execution of your work (A2)
  • LO3 demonstrate a developing investigative, critical and evaluative approach to your practice (A3)
  • LO4 generate visual research and outcomes that show an increasingly personal and knowledgeable visual language, demonstrating greater autonomy in expressing attitudes to the visual world (A4)

Course content

  • Detail – Still Life and other close observational approaches
  • Figure – animated and inanimate creatures
  • Landscape – rural, urban, coastal and other environments
  • Abstraction – experimental and contemporary approaches
  • Personal project – proposal to be agreed with tutor
  • Written Element: a critical review of an exhibition, a comparison between the works, methods, themes (etc.) of an historic and contemporary artist, or other topic exploring contemporary concepts in painting and/or fine art