Alternative Etching Techniques



For this etching workshop we will be focussing on the more painterly techniques etching has to offer. The two main techniques we will be teaching is gum lift aquatint (similar to a sugar lift aquatint but faster) and spray aquatint.Gum lift is a technique that uses a stopping out method of drawing. The gum is painted onto the copper/brass plate. After the gum solution has dried a thin layer of liquid hardground is painted over the whole surface of the plate, including the image area. After the liquid hardground has dried, the plate is submerged into a bath of steaming hot water, which causes the gum to swell, dissolve and eventually lift completely to reveal the blocked out painted area of your drawing. The remaining liquid hardground defines the marks you have made with the gum solution and protects your non-image areas. A spray-paint or rosin aquatint can then be used to give a grainy or dense colour feel to your image (York: 2008:113). The process is quite unique and magical and promises to be very exciting. For more info or to register contact Marika Bell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Nathan Oliviera, Angel Rocker, 2005

Color sugar lift aquatint on with aquatint and drypoint, 35x36 inches. 


York, E. (Ed.). 2008. Magical Secrets about Aquatint:Spit Bite, Sugar Lift & Other Etched Tones Step-by-Step. Berkeley: Crown Point Press.  


Last Updated on Thursday, 03 August 2017 00:11

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Darkroom Photography




Darkroom Photography


This course in darkroom photography is aimed at introducing participants to some of the intriguing processes involved in the making of analogue photographs. Participants will be taught how to construct a pinhole camera from scratch and/or how to adapt an existing object into a pinhole camera, how to expose black and white photographic paper using the handmade cameras and how to process their negatives and develop positive photographs in a traditional darkroom. They will also learn two ways of producing photographs without the use of a camera as well as some alternative ways of toning their final works using organic materials. Throughout the duration of the course participants will learn the foundational aspects of photography and should have a thorough understanding of the workings of a darkroom by the end of the week. No previous experience is required for this course.




What you need to bring


1 pack of 8x10 inch, 25 sheets Ilford Multigrade RC De Luxe Pearl or Glossy Photographic Paper (this can be sourced from ORMS Bellville/Cape Town. It helps to phone ahead of time to make sure they have stock.)

1 sheet of A2 black foam board (PNA)

1 roll of black duct tape

1 roll of black insulation tape

1 roll of masking tape

NT Cutter


60cm metal ruler

wood glue

Aprox. 20x20cm piece of Heavy Duty Tinfoil

1 sharp needle


1- 3 old metal tins ( the kind used for coffee, sweets, baking powder, biscuits etc.), preferably with a metal lid. Any size up to 30x30 cm for example.

1 can of Matt Black Spray paint.


For more information or to get a registration form contact Marika Bell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 June 2016 14:57

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Course Outline


The five-day drawing course aims to introduce the participants to some of the main facets of drawing. We’ll be looking at different types of line, gesture drawing versus contour drawing, perspective, some compositional basics, figure drawing, portraiture and end off with self-motivated free drawing session where you apply the week’s experience.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 June 2016 16:19

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Botanical Illustration


FACILITATOR :Willie Schlechter


The aim of this workshop is to concentrate on the principles of drawing and watercolour painting of plants. Simple practical exercises will take the student through various stages in order to build up to a final, fairly accurate botanical painting. These exercises will include pencil drawing of a fruit or flower using contour lines and shading to create form; colour mixing and matching and various ways of applying watercolour paints; composition; all in preparation for a final botanical painting. No previous experience in botanical painting is required and students will be given individual attention.


Willie Schlechter received a BA FA (fine art) degree in 2004, and an MPhil VA (illustration) degree in 2008 from the University of Stellenbosch. During his Masters studies he was introduced to botanical art by Vicky Thomas, and has since been working and teaching within this genre. Willie has exhibited his botanical work at various venues in South Africa since 2008, including the Kirstenbosch biennale (2 x bronze medalist), Botalia, Painted Flora (silver medalist) in Lucca, Italy and 21st World Orchid Conference (merit award). Willie has been teaching Art and Design at Stellenberg High School since 2008 and occasionally presents botanical workshops and art classes.




PAINTS Winsor & NewtonArtist Watercolours in a tube or Meimeri, or Sennelier (not Cotmans or cheaper less good paints)

Cadmium Yellow

Cadmium Lemon

French Ultramarine Blue

Winsor Blue green shade (or Cerulean)

Cadmium Red

Permanent Rose

PAPER A large sheet of Arches Hot Pressed 300g watercolour paper

A sketch book or several sheets of sketching paper

A pad of tracing paper (A3 or A4 size)

A flip file for notes and artwork

PENCILS One HB pencil and a 2B sketching pencil

BRUSHES One No. 2 and/or No.4 sizeRotmarder-Kolinsky 3338.04-0590 or

Raphael Series 8404 or W&N Series 3A kolinsky sable with a fine point.

OTHER A board to lean on

A palette preferably with six or more wells (new ones need to be scrubbed with Vim to make them less slippery) or a white plate

A soft eraser

A jar for water

A soft, fine cotton cloth – an old hanky or pillowslip (not polyester)

Scissors / NT Cutter


A plastic container (ice-cream tub) and floral oasis so you can arrange your plant.

A cardboard screen made from two pieces of card approx. A3 size taped together like a book cover

And a plastic tool box to carry everything. (Available from Plastics for Africa, PicknPay )

(Most of this equipment will be available from the art shop in the Neelsie centre at the University)

Last Updated on Friday, 23 June 2017 20:24

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This is a reminder that the Creative Workshops will once again take place at the Visual Arts Department, Stellenbosch University - from Monday 5 to Friday 9 September, during the university recess. It gives the general public an opportunity to make use of the infrastructure of the arts department as well as their teaching skills by means of enrolling for one of a variety of short courses.


Experienced arts practitioners will facilitate the workshops thereby ensuring quality instruction.

All the courses are introductory, but can also be attended by artists who wish to become acquainted with new disciplines. 10 participants per course ensure special attention to each individual. Courses are offered only if at least 4 participants registered for a particular course.


Duration of each workshop is 5 days and the cost includes about 30 hours of teaching, practical work and outings where necessary. On the Friday, at 17h30, there will be an exhibition of work completed during the week. Friends and family are welcome to join for a glass of wine. Each participant will then also receive a Certificate of Participation endorsed by the Visual Arts Department.


Courses offered (and costs per course) :

Book Arts R3500

Children’s Book Illustration R3500

Alternative Etching Techniques R3500

Dark Room Photography R3500

Oil Painting R3500

Botanical Illustration R3000

Screen Printing R3500

Drawing R3500

3D Mold Making R3500

Book Restoration R3500


Choose one of the above, or if you are interested in a discipline not mentioned, send us a request – we might be able to offer it too.

Current and former students of the department pay R3000 per course (Botanical Illustration – R2500).


Participants need to bring their own materials as these are not included. Facilitators may choose to provide materials at an extra cost.

All the courses are offered at the Visual Arts Building, Victoria Street, Stellenbosch.


If you need more information or a registration form, please contact Marika Bell at 083 680 2057; 021 886 9271. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">

You can also mail Marika Bell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 June 2016 13:28

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