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Crafting Meaning with Colour: Painting in Practice and Context


General entrance requirements

To apply for Painting: Crafting Meaning with Colour, please register in Osiris (see link below). Participation in the entrance exam of Painting: Crafting Meaning with Colour consists of writing a motivation letter, and preparing an artistic portfolio. If these are of sufficient quality, you will be invited for the second round, in which you will be interviewed online by the teacher about your motivation.
After your application is reviewed, you will be informed whether you are invited to the interview in the first week of June June 2023.
The admission interview date for Painting: Crafting Meaning with Colour is on 22 June 2023.
You can apply from 15 April 2023 for this course through Osiris. You may find the link below.

Specific entrance requirements Painting: Crafting Meaning with Colour:

Some painting experience is requested, and an open and experimental attitude is essential.
Please prepare a portfolio in PDF, consisting of min. 12 and max. 20 works.
Included should be at least 6 paintings. They can be on paper or canvas, and made with gouache, acrylic, tempera or oil paint:
-1 portrait
-1 landscape
-1 still life
-3 paintings in which imagination and / or abstraction play a role.
The other pieces are free.
You can upload your portfolio (PDF, max. 20 mb) and motivation letter in Osiris.


A painting course at academic level. How do you make a painting that expresses what you have in mind? What do you want to paint and in which form and style? In about 28 practical lessons you develop a number of skills that you can use for this. Attention is paid to light and dark, the different colours and their effect, sense of form, brushstroke, composition and different ways of expressing depth. You will paint from perception (including model and still life), but also abstract and from memory. Along the course, a growing attention is paid also to the development of your own subject matter and style. How do you come up with ideas and how do you shape them? You are encouraged to be inspired by, for example, your own environment, other media, the subject of your main study, memory, a feeling, social involvement, imagination, a philosophical question or the pure act of painting.
An important element of the course is learning to perceive and analyse each other's paintings and those of professional artists. Each lesson has a PowerPoint presentation with images of relevant paintings from art history, and a joint evaluation. At least once we visit a museum together. At the end of the course you’ll show a selection of your works in an exhibition, together with students from the other PA courses.

Course objectives

Intensification of perception; Intensification of knowledge of painting through art history until now; application of fundamental principles of painting techniques; viewing and describing paintings; Making a start with personal image- and idea development.


Online admission interview: 22 June 2023 (date is not negotiable, so please reserve this date already in your calendar)
Lessons: Thursday from 18.30 – 21.30 hrs
Period: This course takes place during the full academic year; 14 lessons in Semester 1, and 14 lessons in Semester 2. Start date: first week of September.
Location: KABK, Prinsessegracht 4, Den Haag
Room: tba

Mode of instruction

The course consists of three modules focussed on technique, perception and subject matter. Each module consists of a number of lessons in which a specific working method or subject is central.
Most of the classes contain: practical painting assignments aimed at learning how to deal with various skills, techniques and content. Individual guidance during painting and individual assessment of homework made in an inspiration book; a PowerPoint presentation with relevant images from art history; a group conversation and a joint evaluation of the work.
Other classes consist of a museum visit, lectures by students, evaluations and the organisation of an exhibition.

Mode of assessment

Attendance at classes of at least 80%.
Presentation of your work
Individual assessment of work at the end of the course
Completed individual project
A presentation for the group about a contemporary painter
At least 20 paintings and a full inspiration book
Satisfactory development
Participation in the final exhibition


You provide your own painting material, communicated before the start of the course.
Other means like audio visual presentations, printed lists and examples, still life props and models are provided by the KABK.


All applicable materials for painting and drawing, as well as tools, books, other printed information and audiovisual means.


Liza Swaving


For the academic year 2023-2024, please register before 1 June 2023 at 23:59.
NB: This course is NOT available in Usis.
Registration: you can register for the course via this link.


This course is part of Practicum Artium. These courses are exclusively intented for students of Leiden University.
For other courses in the domains of fine arts and music, please visit: Elective courses music and fine arts