History Of Art – What do you think?

My name is Stewart Roberts and I am the turo for both online art diploma courses History of Art and Understanding 20th and 21st Cenutry Art.

The recent decision by the exam board AQA means that students currently studying this subject in schools will be the last to take history of art for A-level.

An article by the Guardian, art critic Jonathan Jones entitled ‘Goodbye Art History A-level, you served the elite well’ suggests that “Art history has become an obscurantist, elitist subject.” and that there is a “(not entirely unjustified) perception of art history as a posh person’s leisure activity.”

Read the article in The Guardian



The London Art College offers courses in Art History (not A-level courses) and believes that it is a subject that can be enjoyed by everyone, increasing their knowledge, interest and enjoyment whilst informing student’s own practical work.

A student recently gave the following feedback on completing the course:

“….what I appreciate most about the course is that it is more concerned with developing the skill for the student to analyze history of art on his or her own, rather than spoon-feeding information to be repeated in a test; in other words, I was taught how to fish instead of having fish caught for me. Art history is an incredibly vast subject, but now I can look at an artwork or art movement and regardless of the time period it was created, I’d know how to approach and research it by myself.”

If you would like to learn more about the London Art College Art History courses visit their website.
Stewart Roberts
History of Art
Understanding 20th and 21st Cenutry Art

Competition Entries are now Online!

The entries to this years Official 2016 London Art College Competition are now online. Click the image below, a digital painting entered by student Maria Florencia Devoto, to see the superb entries and choose your favourite!  We will have the finalists online shortly and the winners will be announced this coming week. You might also like to visit our main competitions page to see previous competitions too –London Art College Competitions Page.


Marian Hester – Passion for Illustration!

My name is Marian Hester and in May 2015 I joined the Illustration Online Art Course course taught by Spencer Hill and just completed it in September 2016 with a distinction, which I am very proud of!

I joined this course because, although I have studied art and graphics in the distant past, I had lost my confidence in myself as a potential illustrator. I always wanted to study it but was getting nowhere on my own, and I just wasn’t getting started. So I guessed this was a good general course to try and hone some skills and see how I would fare.

I was delighted when I received the course material, it looked very exciting, which covered the main genres of illustration: Editorial, graphic design (logos), sequential imagery/cartoons, children’s illustration and illustrating words and poetry. Although I wanted to read at it all in advance, I made sure I only skimmed the material because I didn’t want to ruin the freshness of the brief as I embarked upon each one. So, I only studied them one at a time, which I think was the best option since you pay full attention to each brief and let the surprises unfold throughout the course.

I found the content very interesting and it gave a sound pathway throughout the course of building up skills and becoming more challenging as the course progressed. It really gives you a good idea of what area you would like to concentrate more of on. I am surprised to find that the areas I thought I would be more interested in, such as editorial, were not as of much interest to me such as sequential illustration, which I now love. I also loved how the briefs are totally open regarding media use and style changes. Each assignment really got the creative juices flowing and provided the initial excitement of thinking up ideas and to just get sketching.

Spencer is an amazing tutor who really takes the time to reply with detailed emails whenever you have any sort of question, even general questions about how you go about answering a brief, or on running out of ideas or inspiration. That’s really important when you are studying on a creative distance learning course and you are tired in the evenings and finding it a struggle to meet the deadlines. I really liked how he gave examples about his own ongoing work outside the college as an illustrator. He’s also great at giving your confidence a boost when you are full of self-criticism (which is any artist’s lot!) and provides such encouraging positive feedback as well as criticism without being negative about it at all.

I felt quite sad when the last assignment was looming as I was enjoying the course so much. I am now wondering how I will keep the momentum going now that I don’t have any more of those lovely assignments!!!

The examples I have submitted are for a logo design for Magic Beans coffee shop, an open sequential illustration brief on a subject I chose, an editorial illustration on an article for keeping chickens happy in winter, and my first assignment, illustrating the song ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin.

So finally, many thanks to London Art College for renewing my passion for illustration!

Marian Hester

Marian Hester

Marian Hester

Marian Hester Marian Hester

Keri Johnson – Zookie Cartoons!

My name is Keri and I have just completed the Cartooning Online Art Diploma Course with distinction, tutored by John Byrne.

Drawing has always been important to me. It has defined who I am and continues to bring me great joy. As soon as I could put pencil to paper and could explore my imagination, I was creating crazy cartoon creatures, dragons being a particular favourite. Life however took me down a different path and my doodles and characters slumbered in the depths of my mind, but not yet forgotten. Early this year I decided to resurrect my characters. I started creating cartoon strips, something I had never thought of doing before and this rekindled my love of drawing.

Going back to School

I decided, thanks to the response to my first cartoons, to look at doing an art course. I discovered the Cartooning Diploma with the London Art College and couldn’t believe how perfect it was. I could enjoy the course in my own time at my own pace and it had a very relaxed feel. My tutor John Byrne was fantastic and very encouraging. Although I could draw cartoons, I learnt not only how to refine my work to a professional standard, but also how to execute cartoon jokes and see the cartoon from the audience’s perspective. Below is one of my first cartoons I submitted, ‘Curry Night’. This is the version I updated for my final assignment and features my dragon character, ‘Zookie’. I particularly enjoyed the expressions in this one and I hope the personalities of the three dragons come through. I use bold line work and colours in my cartoons to really make them stand out and catch the viewer’s interest.

I also submitted a few of my multi-panel cartoons later in the course. This one in particular, named ‘A Romantic Getaway’ has a fun build up. I’m sure my female character ‘Cinder’, was not expecting that outcome!

Post Diploma

I submitted my final assignment and eagerly awaited my results. The feedback from John was incredible and I was overcome with emotion while reading it. I am delighted to have earned a diploma with distinction, having been originally self taught and keen to pursue my cartooning dreams. Since completing the course, I have been continuing my cartoon strip ‘Zookie the Dragon’ which I post weekly on Facebook. I also have plans to explore the greeting card market with Zookie and am currently creating some humorous designs. I have also received some interest in my work by way of commissions, particularly pet caricatures.

You can see more of my work on my website: Zookie Cartoons
Come and like my Facebook page to see a new cartoon every week – Zookie on Facebook
ollow me on Twitter – Zookie on Twitter

A big thank you to my tutor John Byrne. I imagine I will be keeping in touch (hopefully) as my career progresses. If you are interested in an art course, I would definitely recommend The London Art College.

Keri Johnson
Cartooning Online Art Course Student

zookie cartoons

zookie cartoons



Julia Feliz and her New Board Book

My name is Julia Feliz  and I completed the Digital Illustration course with the London Art college. I was always the type of artist that took pleasure in creating realistic drawings of wildlife and natural areas through pencil, charcoal, and pastels. As far as I was concerned, nothing beat the black stains of freshly used charcoal on my fingers and the hyper realism created by the play of shadows on paper.

In my path to further myself as an artist, I decided to take a digital illustration course. It was through the course that I was given the tools and support of my instructor, Spencer, to push myself as an artist. With every assignment, I felt inspired to take myself to my limits as an artist and explore new horizons and ideas unlike anything I had done before. It was then where I was able to come up with the idea of my first children’s board book in a completely different style to anything I had attempted before.

One of my other passions has always been to speak up and do as much as I can for those in need. I realized that I could combined my talents as an artist and my passion for speaking up for other living beings to create something that would be meaningful and at the same time, give back to my community. That’s how my book, Libby Finds Vegan Sanctuary, came to be.

My board book is now in the final stages, and in search of support, I have created a kickstarter campaign to help make the book a reality. At the same time, the book will also supports the care of the real life character on which the story is based on.

The book aims to teach children the meaning of sanctuary and what it means to choose compassion for other living beings in bright visuals and suitable language for very young children.

You can learn more about the board book and the campaign through this link: Kickstarter

You can also find me on Facebook here: libbyfindsvegansanctuary

And on my artist website here: www.juliafeliz.com

Julia Feliz

Launch Event: The Yellow Monkey Emperor’s Classic of Chinese Medicine

My name is Spencer Hill and I am the tutor for the Illustration course and Digital Illustration course. I have recently illustrated a book which you might have read about on our previous blog post here. The Yellow Monkey Emperor’s Classic of Chinese Medicine was released on 18th August and you can see a photo of it below.

Spencer Hill

Publishers Singing Dragon have organised a launch for the Yellow Monkey Emperor’s Classic of Chinese Medicine book. I will be at the launch event signing books and talking about how it came into existence. It would be wonderful to meet any students who live in the area if you fancy popping in.

You need to register on the Event Website – Launch Event: The Yellow Monkey Emperor’s Classic of Chinese Medicine >>

I look forward to meeting some of you and perhaps drawing a cartoon monkey in your copy of the book if you decide to buy one / bring your copy with you!

Spencer Hill

Illustration and Digital Illustration Tutor

Spencer Hill

Beginners Painting Online Art Course – Valeria Aguiar

My name is Valeria Michael and I am currently studying theBeginners Painting Online Art Course with the London Art College. I am originally from Brazil but have lived in Europe for over 20 years. I have only recently, now that my children are a little older, had time to start devoting some time to painting.
I have fallen in love with the ancient column and wanted to express this love on paper. At first I thought I had taken on an overly – ambitious project (it was painted the first time I had any painting tuition) but I am pleased with the results and had much fun working with acrylics.
Valeria Aguiar

Coloured Pencil Course – Ethne Papenfus

Ethne Papenfus is currently working on the final stages of the coloured pencil course. The drawing below is one from her last set of exercises and she has written about it below.

“I enjoyed doing this drawing. It was done from photo – impossible to draw such lively subjects from life. When I chose this subject, this much loved pair were no longer with us, with only a few photos providing good memories.

The size of the paper was A3 and I used a multi media paper. Fabriano paper, 50% cotton. Gives a nice finish, but with a heavy texture that requires much layering to give the full colour coverage which I prefer. ”

We hope you enjoy viewing Ethne’s coloured pencil drawing. If you would like to learn how to shade in coloured pencil, visit our website for more information on our courses.