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Fine Arts. Painting: Crafting Meaning with Colour


Entrance requirements

To apply for Painting: Crafting Meaning with Colour, please register in Osiris (see link below). Participance in the entrance exam of Painting: Crafting Meaning with Colour consists of writing a motivation letter, and preparing an artistic portfolio. These two documents must be uploaded before 1 June, 2022 in Osiris, the KABK's application system. If these are of sufficient quality, the student is invited for the second round. The second round consists of an online admission interview with the lecturer and coordinator.
The interview date for Painting: Crafting Meaning with Colour is on 15 June 2022.
You can apply for this course from 15 April until 1 June, 2022 at 23:59 through Osiris. You may find the link below.

Specific Entry Requirements Painting: Crafting Meaning with Colour:

Some painting experience is requested, and an open and experimental attitude is essential.

Please prepare a portfolio, consisting of 12 to 20 works, including at least 6 paintings on paper or canvas made with gouache, acrylic, tempera or oil paint:

  • 3 paintings by observation: 1 portrait, 1 landscape, 1 still life

  • 3 paintings in which imagination and / or abstraction play a role

  • the other pieces are free of choice

You can upload your portfolio (PDF, max. 20 mb) and motivation letter in Osiris.


Practicum Artium electives are a one-year programme organised by the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA), a collaboration between Leiden University, the Royal Academy of Art and the Royal Conservatoire.

Painting: Crafting Meaning with Colour is a 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.

If you are intersted in viewing the works of this year's students, please visit the online exhibition Reef of Art here.

Course objectives

Intensification of perception; application of fundamental principles of painting techniques; viewing and describing paintings; Making a start with personal image- and idea development.


Online entrance interview: 15 June, 2022 (date is not negotiable)
Lessons: Thursday from 18.30 – 21.00 hrs
Period: This course takes place during the full academic year; 14 lessons in Semeser 1, and 14 lessons in Semester 2. Start date: 1st week of September
Location: all classes will take place at KABK, Prinsessegracht 4, Den Haag unless COVID19 circumstances change radically
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 assesment

  • 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 need to provide for your own painting material. Before the start of the course the teacher will communicate what is needed.
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 2022-2023, please register before 1 June 2022.

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