The Art course at WQE is a traditional painting and drawing course. It’s important that you enjoy drawing and are prepared to develop your abilities by practice and experimentation, as good drawing is the single most important thing you can learn at this stage. You will learn how to build up a painting from the initial idea to a finished product. Relating our work to that of other artists is an important part of our study and time is spent analysing and writing about pictures that are relevant to what we are doing. By finding out what sorts of things artists paint, we can make our own work belong to a long tradition of painting, and yet be really up-to-date at the same time. Students are encouraged to work towards producing ambitious final pieces which are mounted for display.
It’s really important to learn the basic language of drawing and painting, and we spend a lot of time learning how to get things in the right places when we draw, how to use
shading effectively, how to use a variety of materials, and what we can do with colour. As we go along we encourage you to use each new thing that you learn in a piece of your own, so that you are developing your own artistic personality. The most important thing to realise is that success on the course is directly dependent on the amount of time you spend on your work. Drawing and painting are difficult and have to be practised if you are to develop the confidence to make your own valid artistic statements. Students build a portfolio as they record their ideas and explore new drawing approaches. Most lessons are practical, where you are drawing or painting, but there are critical studies lessons and ‘crits’, where you show your work to the rest of the group. We are keen to make connections between the painting of the past and contemporary work, especially in the second year. Unit 3, in the second year, contains a written study, where students explore a topic that has interested them in their own work by researching the work of artists with similar ideas.
Over two years the student will develop their course work portfolio. This will comprise of two major components, a personal investigation and an assignment set by the examining body, culminating in a 15 hour controlled test. Each component is marked as course work.
To enrol for an A level programme we normally expect applicants to have achieved good GCSE passes in at least six subjects, these must:
• demonstrate the suitability for Advanced Level study
• have been achieved at Grade 4/C as a minimum
• include two at Grade 5/B as a minimum
Mathematics - If not achieved within the scope of the above should normally be achieved at grade 3/D. If mathematics is not achieved at grade 4/C then it will be a requirement to continue to study at the correct level until a grade 4 is achieved. Subjects with a mathematical content will require a higher grade.
In addition to the standard College entry requirements, this course normally requires a student to have achieved Grade 4 or above in a GCSE Art and Design course or Grade 4 in GCSE Design and Technology (Graphic Products or Resistant Materials). To fully support students who have gained a Grade 4 in GCSE in an Art and Design or Design Technology subject, or those who have not had the opportunity to study these subjects at GCSE, we will ask you to do a short drawing task as part of the enrolment procedure. This is to ensure you can successfully meet the rigours of the course. It would also be helpful for students to bring with them examples of their creative work on enrolment day.
Students wishing to progress to Art and Design courses at university normally complete a one-year Foundation course immediately after A level, although some progress straight to a degree course. Careers, including architecture, the fashion industry and computer games design ask for the drawing skills we teach on this course.
What does the course combine well with?
This course combines well with any other level 3 course.