Harbours in Acrylics and self-painted Collage with Claire Henley

Course Details


Monday 03rd June 2024


10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Course Description

This course is for artists who like to play! The techniques will only work using acrylic paint, so please don’t come along with your best oils or watercolours, as disaster will ensue! Please DO come with an apron or old clothes as we’ll be getting messy.

We’ll spend the day working on a painting using layers of acrylic, as well as creating depth by applying self-painted collage. After starting with a short ‘show and tell’ session looking at the technique as used in previous work I’ll demonstrate how to block in a loose background, sketch the layout of the painting and prepare collage material. You don’t need to bring your own collage material or glue – those will be supplied as they are rather specific.

Students can then follow this process with plenty of guidance until they are all poised and ready for phase two.

During the second demo I’ll show students how to apply layers of collage and paint to their canvas or board in order to create interesting textures, patterns, or depth as required. Advanced drawing skills are not needed, indeed even the most cautious of students should be able to relax and enjoy their day. If you’d like to bring photographic reference of a favourite harbour, please do. Otherwise I will supply something Cornish for us all to work from. We’ll aim to portray the essence of the place rather than slavishly recreating every detail.


I will support you throughout the day, though if you’re all happy painting, cutting and sticking I will continue with my own painting. Questions are welcome at any time. I’m happy to talk about life as a professional artist, including all the pitfalls and pleasures.



Course Information

Ability level

All abilities welcome


Acrylic, collage

Useful Links

Course FAQs
Couse Terms & Conditions

    • One canvas, canvas board or rigid art board (not paper) approximately 40cm – 50cm,
    • square or rectangular
    • A decorator’s brush – appx 2″
    • And old toothbrush
    • Flat synthetic paint brushes size  1″, 0.5″ and 0.25″ plus any extras you have
    • Round synthetic paint brushes – whatever you have, but sizes 1 and 4 are useful
    • Paint palette or takeaway cartons with lids


    • ACRYLIC PAINT – bring what you have, but these are the basics
    • Titanium white,Ultramarine blue,Cerulean blue (or similar, plus any other blues you have), Sap green (or similar, plus any other greens you have),Cadmium yellow, Cadmium red, Cadmium orange, Purple, Raw umber, Raw sienna, Paynes Grey ,Turquoise (a bonus)
    • A white pencil crayon (not water soluble)
    • Apron/old shirt
    • Sharp scissors
    • An old paint brush for applying glue
    • A palette knife if you have one
    • Kitchen roll or similar




Provided by Cornwall School of Art if required

  • Easels
  • Drawing boards
  • Water jars
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Clips

All art materials are available to purchase in the Truro Arts shop, 26 River Street Truro TR1 2SJ, and you will receive a 10% discount on all supplies for the course.



I’ve been a professional artist for over thirty years. Trained in graphic design, I spent four years in a textile studio before embarking on life as a freelance designer and illustrator. Over the years I’ve designed toys, homewares, ceramics, textiles and giftware, as well as illustrating and sometimes writing over 100 children’s books. Clients have included The National Trust, Harrods, Boots, Marks and Spencer, Emma Ball, Macmillan Books and many more. About 13 years ago I sneaked into the world of fine art through the back door and now work with several galleries from the Scilly Isles to the Scottish Highlands. My paintings are widely published by various companies as cards, prints, calendars, wall art and other products but I also produce my own small range of items for selling at Open Studio events and exhibitions. I travel widely for inspiration, but despite the occasional plein air foray, I love working in my studio in Warwickshire, where I’m surrounded by all my materials and a view down the garden.

Find Out More

Our courses usually begin at 10am and end at 4:30pm, with a half an hour lunch break at around 1pm. There will also be brief morning and afternoon breaks, with free tea and coffee available in the kitchen area. At Lunch time you can make things nice and easy by pre-ordering a freshly prepared Coach House Lunch. Alternatively, you’re very welcome to bring along a packed lunch and any other refreshments you like.

On sunny days students and tutors are invited to enjoy breaktimes outside in the leafy courtyard or gardens surrounded by birdsong.




Monday 03rd June 2024


10:00 am – 4:30 pm



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Cancellations must be made in writing/email more than 4 weeks prior to the course start date to guarantee a refund. Read our full policy on the Course Terms & Conditions page.