Current teaching activities at Swains Yard Studios Observatory

Paul Birchall
Tuesdays and Wednesdays (Mornings 9.30am - 12.30) and afternoons (1pm - 4pm)
Thursday mornings (9.30 to 12.30)

2019: This year I will be teaching blocks of open sessions where people under guidance can work on their own themes and so develop their own personal artistic ideas.

All student will be able to purchase a block of classes
Option1 consecutive classes. Price R2400 for 10 classes
This option is for 12 classes, specifying a specific (slot /day) morning or afternoon, Tuesday or Wednesday. Missed classes can be made up on other days within the 12 weeks of dates Specified
no classes are carried over past the 12 weeks from the start of a package.
people joining after the start of a block can pay a pro rata rate. Fees payable before or on commencement of the block.

notices will be issued on week 10 of any purchased package
I will have some weeks during the year where I am not in the studio and I will inform people beforehand where possible. I’ll give time extensions on packages in this regard.

For a list of dates for the current year please contact me o +270823633046


Please note fees for each block must be paid for prior to the beginning of each block.

Participants must provide all their own materials.

Occasionally specific material will be provided and charged accordingly.

Places are limited to 8 per session and 12 on full day workshops.

People wishing to join classes There is an option to make up sessions missed, but not carried over to another block.

One day work shops must be registered for separately and are not included. The studio is equipped with easels boards and tables, tea & coffee making facilities.

For further information contact me on 0823633046 or e-mail me at

Other teaching activities

My ideas around teaching

For a number of years, I worked in a commercial art studio alongside a talented group of artists. The exchange of knowledge and practical techniques across all mediums has given me a wide base of skills to use in my own work and to pass on to others.
Combined with my more formal training at art school, I try to engage students in exploring both techniques and intellectual ideas about the images they create.

I try to help students to fully realize their ideas.
I believe that even with a limited skills base, students can create interesting work by engaging their intellect with the learning process.

Most people that I have worked with seem to think that they need to learn to draw before they can create something they might consider a finished art work.
Learning to draw is a discipline that takes many hours of dedication, trial and error, exploring different techniques. I was taught to draw in a very logical and practical manner, using the point and line technique. This has underpinned everything that I have done as an artist. From time to time, I run a structured drawing program based on this technique. Anyone interested in finding out more can contact me at the above address.

What I try to do as a teacher is to enable students to develop individually creating a diverse interaction of styles and ideas. I try to combine learning skills with developing ideas and to make finished pieces of work and individual artists.