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THE FINE ARTS APPROACH PROVIDES A STRONG TRADITIONAL GROUNDING, WHICH LEAVES MANY STUDENTS WITH STRONG ENOUGH TECHNICAL SKILLS TO BYPASS FOUNDATION COURSES
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 and monoprint. We engage with different concepts and issues such as the expression of emotion through mark-making and the role of chance in composition.
In the second term we take on a theme, this year the title was ‘The Human Animal’ – here students are able to employ methods and materials of their own choosing. Individuality and originality are crucial and greatly encouraged.
There is a life-painting course in the summer term alongside research to establish a theme for the ‘Personal Investigation’. This is the subject that each student will independently explore for the main A level coursework in the Upper Sixth.
The coursework consists of a sketchbook, a short contextual essay and ‘final pieces’. These pieces may take the form of paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings on an ambitious scale but also increasingly exist in contemporary media like video and performance. Students are encouraged to include psychological, political, philosophical as well as aesthetic research. Individuality and originality are crucial and greatly encouraged.
The course concludes with the Externally Set Assignment: research and development of personal ideas around a theme from a choice of twelve. This includes sketchbook research, 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.
Last year a Fine Arts student was among a small number of young artists selected for the Royal Academy Student Summer Exhibition.
Fine Arts College has seen many students progress to leading art colleges both domestic and international. In recent years this has included the Slade, 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
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.