Course objective

This course focuses on how paintings are made. The course provides a framework for discussion, where participating artists will come away with a richer understanding of themselves and their own work.

Using colour and composition as core values that can be found in all painting, we will explore how different systems of painting can be distinguished and how to leverage these systems to one's own own work.

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Course outline

This course will take place over 4 weeks commencing on 11th September. Each week a new topic will be introduced which you will have the opportunity to research in your own time based on the materials provided. 

Weekly online live sessions will take place each Monday from 1pm - 2.30pm. These provide an opportunity for the group to come together to share their findings and to explore the topic in more detail.

Week 1

We look at how colour and composition are the glue that binds all painting, no matter how different the work might at first seem.

Week 2

We look at examples of representation and gesture in paintings and discuss how they were made and some work that combines them both.

Week 3

We look at examples of historical composition, formalism and ‘Bad Painting’. We discuss how they were made and works that combine elements of the others.

Week 4

Synthesis and reflection - we see how all our systems of painting are combined at one level or another to create work with the course participants encouraged to show and discuss their own examples.

About Gabhann Dunne

Currently represented by the Molesworth Gallery in Dublin, Gabhann studied Fine Art Painting at the Dublin Institute of Technology and The National College of Art and Design, Dublin. A former winner of the RDS Taylor Art Award, he has exibited widely, including at Farmleigh House and Limerick city gallery. His work is in public and private collections including: Office of Public Works; Savilles ; Facebook; De Loitte, Mason Hayes Curran; and the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland,.

Frequently asked questions

  • What will I get by signing up to this course?

    By signing up to this course you will join a group of students and follow a structured course hosted on Big Look.

    Each week, a new topic, area of research or painting challenge will be added to the online platform which you can follow at your own pace and submit work through assignments.

    Each week there will also be a live group session where you can get feedback from mentors and ask any questions you may have.

  • Who is this course suitable for?

    This course is suited to all artists with an existing contemporary painting or drawing practice, who are looking to develop both their practice and art career. This course is ideally suited to artists who have both ambition and curiosity and are open to exploring new directions for their work.

  • Do I need to join the live sessions each week to follow this course?

    While there will be some content that you can access weekly through the platform, to get the most out of this course, participation in as many of the live sessions as possible is strongly advised, as this will be where the themes of the course are discussed and explored in depth.

  • Will there be a chat group?

    Yes! you will have the option to join a private social channel exclusive to this group where members can share work, inspiration and tips and ask each other questions at any time.

    You can install an app on your smartphone for this group to ensure that you never miss an update.

  • Will I lose access to content when the course is finished?

    We will extend access to the online materials after the course is completed for some time. However, it will no longer be possible to interact with the Gabhann after the course is finished.

  • What technology or apps do I need to follow this course?

    You don’t need to install any app to follow this course. All content and tools are on the Big Look website which you can access using your favourite web browser (e.g. Chrome or Safari). Live sessions run inside the website also, so there is no need to install or use Zoom.

    To get most value out of this class you should use a PC or Mac laptop or desktop computer or an iPad rather than a phone – as larger screens are better for this type of content. Please ensure that your device speakers and mic work so that you can both hear the content and also ask questions on the live Wednesday sessions. You should also ensure you have a fast and stable internet connection.

  • What happens if I have a technical issue?

    Students who sign up to the course, will have the opportunity to join a test session to ensure that everything works in advance.

    There are also help resources available to students to answer the most common issues and questions. In addition, there is the facility log a support request and get assistance from Big Look at any point.