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You will receive fully illustrated course materials and support booklets that will guide and equip you with essential techniques and methods to help develop your artistic potential.

You will be supported and mentored by one of our tutors who are themselves practising artists. Contact is typically by Email.

The OCA website provides you with lively student forums for artistic discussion, portfolios to showcase your body of work and additional resources to assist you in your studies.

Your OCA student card will give you valuable discounts on software and equipment.

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The Open College of the Arts (OCA) is well known for providing high quality degree level courses. But what is equally important is that many of our courses provide a unique opportunity for people to find their own path into the world of the Creative Arts, whether or not they have ambitions to obtain a qualification. All our courses are highly practical and will help you develop both technically and artistically as you explore your chosen subject. Just as important, they will help you create a personal voice and give you the confidence to express your creative ideas. In this booklet you’ll find a brief introduction to a small sample of nearly 50 courses we offer. Whether your interest is in Painting, Photography, Creative Writing, Composing Music, Drawing, Textiles Design, Sculpture, Illustration, Printmaking or Art History, the OCA has a course for you. For more information go to our website: or ring one of our advisers on 0800 731 2116. We look forward to welcoming you onto one of our courses very soon.
Gareth Dent OCA Chief Executive Visit to choose the right course for you

Did you know that...?
• • • • • • • • With the OCA you can study at your own pace The OCA does not set any fixed entry qualifications You can study from your own home or place of work anywhere in the world You can start your course when it’s convenient for you - there are no fixed enrolment points OCA tutors are practicing artists (or writers, photographers or composers), as well as experienced educators OCA courses are quality assured and externally validated There is a small bursary fund which has been set up to help those with genuine hardship The OCA was established by Michael Young, who also founded the Open University and the Consumers’ Association The OCA is an arts education charity, with a Board of independent Trustees The OCA organises occasional practical workshops at selected venues across the country

• •

OCA tutor James Willis

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Start Drawing
Our philosophy is that (nearly!) anyone can learn to draw. This course will give you a structured introduction, using a wide range of media and methods. For example, you will learn about observation, mark making and tone – and produce a contrasting set of drawings, including outdoors and the human figure. Whilst this course is aimed primarily at beginners, many experienced artists and designers find it an excellent way of improving their drawing skills.
Christine Gregory

Starting to Paint
This course will develop your skills as a painter and your knowledge of painting. You will learn how to analyse and select from the visual world and translate what you see into paintings. The course also covers the main approaches to painting over the last hundred years so that you will be able to see your own work in a broader context. You will be using acrylics and/or oils and also developing your drawing skills. The course can be taken by a complete beginner or by someone with experience looking for a new approach to their work. Visit to choose the right course for you

Art of Photography
There are millions of photographers in the world, all clamouring to be seen and heard; but very few of them are able to stand out from the crowd. To be noticed in photography you need to be creative, experimental and daring; in short, you need to be an artist. With this course, you will not only begin to see the world through a photographer’s eyes, but also via the unquenchable vision of an artist. You’ll quickly find there’s more to photography than shutter speeds and F-stops!

People and Place (Photography)
As well as having creative flair, in photography you also need the confidence to approach people in public and take their photograph without feeling intrusive. It is a skill that can be learnt; this course will get you out into the crowds with your camera, capturing what is by far the photographer’s most intriguing subject - you and me - in the many vibrant, diverse and exciting habitats in which we live.
Judith Bach

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Starting to Write
Our creative writing courses are designed to inspire you and make you believe in yourself as a writer. Starting to Write provides a basis for imaginative writing and the expression of personal experience. It will help you to practise writing in various genres, develop critical models, acquire primary skills in drafting, editing and presentation, and respond to constructive suggestions and criticism. It is for beginners or those seeking a fresh approach for their writing.

Have you ever wanted to have a more informed appreciation of other people’s poetry or write better poems yourself? This course will help you to achieve both! Whilst it is firmly structured, it will leave you space to be creative as you write poems on a wide range of subjects, and practise different styles and techniques. You will also develop a vocabulary for analysing and evaluating poems through studying the work of other poets.

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Introduction to Printmaking
This course has been specially designed to enable you to explore printmaking techniques at home without the requirement to buy complicated and expensive equipment. For more details on what you’ll need, please visit our website. You will carry out a series of projects and experiments (eg monoprinting, relief printing, collage prints), turning your ideas into printed images. The course also covers the history of printmaking and explores the work of other printmakers.

Textiles: A Creative Approach
Our courses in textiles are particularly popular as they build on creative craft skills which many people already have – and because textile design can be a way into the world of art and design for people who don’t think of themselves as ‘artists’. This is a highly practical course in which you will learn how to translate drawings into stitching, practise basic design skills, paint and print on fabric, and create two and three dimensional shapes and forms.

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This course explores the many ways in which watercolour can be used. It introduces the qualities and potential of the medium, covers basic methods and concepts and helps you to use tone and colour effectively. You will be encouraged to experiment and to look at a wide range of source materials. You will also increase your knowledge of the history of watercolour painting through studying the work of other watercolour artists.
Heather Withers

Understanding Western Art
This is an excellent introduction to the development of western art, starting with Ancient Greece and coming right up to the present day. It is not just a theoretical course: you will be encouraged to respond to art not only by looking, reflecting and writing, but also be means of sketches, diagrams or photographs. You will develop confidence and ability in analysing works of art, understand the cultural and historical context and learn about accepted theories and practices in art.

Rembrandt, The Painter in his Studio

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Start Composing Music
Many of us who enjoy playing and listening to music have an ambition to start composing ourselves. This course provides you with the tools to do just that. Provided you have a basic grasp of music theory you will learn how to translate your ideas into scores that you and others can play, covering techniques such as harmony, melodic development, counterpoint and use of different scales. Whether you come from a ‘classical’, jazz or folk background, this course will be of equal interest.

Other courses include:
• • • Digital Photographic Practice Digital Arts: A Creative Approach Sculpture • • • Lifelines: Autobiographical Writing Looking and Seeing (Visual Studies) Ilustration (coming soon)

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“I knew from the start the OCA was just what I needed. The flexibility afforded by OCA courses has allowed me to set my own pace and I have been able to complete in my own time.”
Angela Denyer
Irina Butusina

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Open College of the Arts Michael Young Arts Centre Redbrook Business Park Wilthorpe Road Barnsley S75 1JN 0800 731 2116
OCA is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.2125674, a registered charity no.327446

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Front and back cover image © Emily Jane Scott, OCA Photography student

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