Non-profit art school offers studio grant to young painters

A non-profit art school in the Cotswolds offers young painters the opportunity to study with an internationally renowned tutor.

Raw Umber Studios hosts in-person and online classes with award-winning artists from around the world. This fall, two young people under 30 will be awarded half-price “scholarship” places in his still life studio with classically trained artist Lizet Dingemans.

“It’s very difficult for young people to be able to afford good tuition,” said Raw Umber founder Neil Davidson. “We are delighted to find classically trained artists with exceptional ability to teach our classes, and we want all kinds of people, of all ages, to be able to benefit.”

Lizet – who is artist-in-residence at Raw Umber – will be teaching the Still Life Oil Painting class on September 24-25 at Nelson Street Studios, Stroud. Over two days, 12 participants will learn a wealth of oil painting knowledge and walk away with two finished paintings. The cost of £200 per person will be reduced to £100 each for two people aged 18-30. Applicants will be required to submit a link to an online account, such as Instagram, demonstrating a range of their work.

However, Lizet added that Raw Umber will seek passion above all else. “Even if you’ve never painted before, all that matters is that you have an interest.”

Lizet, who trained at the prestigious Angel Academy in Florence and the London Atelier of Representational Art, particularly recommends a still life course not just as an end in itself but as a solid foundation for progressing to other types of art. art, including portraits, figures and landscapes.

“What’s great is that you can bring your own items, related to your interests. Personally, I love painting fish – I really like the way the water reflects on them. Students can use something shiny, something matte; something furry – anything. You are only limited by your imagination.

Other tutors this year include Oliver Sin, whose portraits of Virginia Woolf and Emmy Noether were used as the covers of TIME magazine in 2020; and Anastasia Pollard, regular exhibitor of the BP Portrait Prize.

Neil himself is an avid amateur painter. “Because we’re not aiming to make money, we can focus on helping and supporting people who want to study art. Young people have gone through a particularly difficult period during confinement. Among other things, we know that art can be an aid to good mental health. This current initiative is the first of a long series that we intend to promote.

The submission deadline for a half-price place is July 31. For more information visit

Kayleen C. Rice