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Fine Art

Examination Board: Eduqas
Fine Art A level first examination in June 2017

Fine Art is so much more than merely an aesthetic pursuit – it comprises the demonstration, exploration and scrutiny of contemporary ideas and values through studio practice. Fine Art A level is recognised as being on a par with the most academic A levels because of the emphasis it places on research, conceptual depth and critical rigour. Studying Art at A level gives you the opportunity to express ideas and feelings visually with confidence and facility. Students are able to experiment with a wide range of techniques and media including oil, acrylic, collage and assemblage as well as different drawing and printmaking methods. Concepts and observations are developed and refined in order to communicate clearly and powerfully.

A sound knowledge of drawing is acquired through regular life and still-life classes. The handling of paint and the mixing of colour are taught through painting from observation and imagination. Sketchbooks provide an essential opportunity to explore enthusiasms and interests, and to research and develop ideas through experiments with traditional and contemporary media and processes. Imaginative and self-motivated work is encouraged in order to build a portfolio of coursework. There are regular personal tutorials and assessments. Each student is encouraged to be independent and confidently creative. Context and inspiration are provided through the parallel study of the history of art, both classical and contemporary, and through visits to the superb galleries and museums of London, something students will also be expected to continue in their spare time. Each year there is a study trip to a European city; this year we spent three days in Berlin enjoying Durer, Kirchner and Beuys.




What will I learn?

The Lower Sixth begins with a foundation term investigating different approaches to the elements of picture-making such as line, tone, and colour through a wide range of media and techniques, conventional and unconventional, in sketchbooks, and on a larger scale. Students become accustomed to observational study through oil painting – both still-life and portrait, and to drawing and printmaking methods including drypoint, linocut, monoprint, and colograph . The course is based upon thematic study of topics such as ‘Here and Now’, exploring psychological, political, philosophical, or aesthetic issues. Nevertheless individuality and originality are crucial and greatly encouraged.

The Upper Sixth sees students continue to engage with a theme – this year the topic is ‘I’, allowing a broad examination of identity, environment, and personal enthusiasms. The skills of observational study continue to be developed through sustained oil paintings from classical casts and the introduction of work with a life model. Students accompany their visual work with written study on a subject relating to the art they have produced.

The course concludes with the Externally Set Assignment: research and development of personal ideas around a set theme. This includes sketchbook work, coursework and 15 hours of examination time.


Students are given continuous feedback throughout the course on four assessment objectives:

• Developing ideas and critical understanding through contextual sources.
• Exploring a range of materials, techniques, and processes.
• Recording ideas and observations and reflecting critically on progress.
• Presenting a meaningful response from your research.

The 15-hour practical examination will take place in the second year as part of the Externally Set Assignment.

Most students will have a GCSE pass (A*-C) in Art and/or Design. It is essential to have a passion for the subject and a willingness to work hard. A personal approach is encouraged throughout the course and it is expected that students will work in their own time to develop their projects independently.

Department successes

Recently the work of two students was among that of a small number of young artists selected for the Royal Academy on-line exhibition.

Fine Arts College has seen many students progress to leading art colleges both domestic and international. In recent years this has included Chelsea College of Art, Edinburgh University, Central Saint Martins, Camberwell, Kingston, City and Guilds, the Instituto Marangoni, and the Parsons School of Design in New York

About Fine Arts College

Hampstead Fine Arts College is one of the foremost Arts colleges in London. learn more about us, our staff and where our students fit in.


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