Chiswick Art School spring 2021 classes


Since this was written we have gone into Tier 4. The latest uncontrolled spike in cases makes it unwise for students and teachers alike to work in the classroom until things are clearer. Many of the classes have already been proven to work well on Zoom and so these will start next term on Zoom. However, three classes scheduled to start in January will not start on time, as Zoom is not appropriate. These are: Print making, Introduction to Photography, Introduction to Oil Painting.

Original article

Chiswick Art School is expanding its range of classes for the new year. The school, run by painter Peter Burgess, is based at the artists’ studios at The Pavilion in Dukes Meadows (where the Sunday Food Market takes place).

Initially he taught painting by himself and over the past couple of years has put together a group of artists who teach different disciplines. In 2021 they are planning to move into a much bigger room within the same building, a converted farm house, to offer a range of classes which will include some art classes for children and a range of taster experiences for adults, so people can try out what they fancy without having to commit.

Teaching by Zoom and in person

This year they have tried out every sort of creative class online. Some, such as watercolour and drawing classes work really well:

“You can see less detail online when you’re looking over someone’s shoulder, but you can get around more easily. It’s certainly easier for people to set up their stuff at home. Some people prefer it.”

For Peter, being part of a group is the essence of a class: “it multiplies everyone’s efforts”. He prefers teaching in person, but says that group feeling is not lost in a Zoom class.

“We have a list of people who normally join classes who would have been staying away otherwise”.

They’ve tried everything by Zoom, even printmaking and photography, though you can’t see small numbers on camera settings, which is a bit of a hindrance. They’ve settled on doing whatever people want.

“We’re trying to cater for those who want to be in the room and those who don’t” says Peter, so you can go and set up your paints in person or you can take part from home, present in the studio on a monitor.

“I am quite passionate about getting to know people and what they’re interested in learning. You don’t just go online and tick a box for a class. I like to have a conversation with students before they join us”.

Images above: Sophie Griffin; Peter Burgess


After their highly successful photography course with Richard Blanshard in November, in January 2021 they are introducing new photography courses. Sophie Griffin will be teaching an Introduction to Photography course on Friday mornings and Photoshop / Lightroom on Friday afternoons. Sophie studied Art & Design at Kingston University and has worked as Photography Editor at several top publishing houses and media companies over the past 20 years.

Drawing and Painting

The Art School’s Drawing, Watercolours and Oil Painting classes have all been very popular in 2020, as people have had more time to spend on hobbies and projects at home.

Charles Knights, who teaches Watercolour and Drawing, has himself had exhibitions of his work in the U.K., France, and Bermuda. He will be taking more classes in 2021, showing students the basics of how to draw, from scratch, working initially in pencil and charcoal. He develops would-be water colourists from complete beginner to accomplished painters, creating sophisticated and atmospheric watercolour compositions. For the more experienced watercolour artist, he runs classes exploring advanced techniques in watercolour and more ambitious projects.

Peter Burgess teaches the Introduction to Oil Painting class himself. Step one is: ‘The equipment – what is and is not necessary. Art shops and sweet shops: knowing the difference’.

Peter trained at the Royal College Of Art and went on to study painting and portraiture for several years in France. An experienced teacher, his work has been chosen for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and he has received numerous awards.

Image above: Nick Archer; 

Portraiture and Printmaking

Also new for 2021 is a Masterclass in Portraiture, offering a detailed investigation of the human form, focusing on anatomical detail. This is taught by Nick Archer, who is well established internationally as an artist and teacher. He trained at the Royal Academy Schools and is a BP Portrait Prize finalist.

Nick will also run a class on Printmaking, ‘an incredibly versatile medium with an amazing range of techniques such as lithography, aquatint, screen printing, woodblock and chine collé.
‘Even in its simplest forms’, he says, ‘printmaking is capable of producing haunting and subtle images’.

In the spring term he will focus on collography and dry point.

Image above: Roz Wallis; 

Look out for more in January

Peter is currently in the process of putting together timetables for children’s art classes and adults’ taster classes. Roz Wallis, who has a studio at Dukes Meadows and carries out Raku firings on her allotment opposite, will also be taking pottery classes.


Peter is also offering vouchers, so if your own inner artist isn’t tempted by any of the school’s range of classes, he could still maybe solve a Christmas present problem for you.

Tel: 07798 522072


Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: London goes into Tier 3

See also: On the trail of Christmas presents in Chiswick

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