One Year Diploma

Welcome to The Diploma

Norfolk painting school student work Diploma 9 WS6 by E P-Y
A Structured Creative Learning Program

Now in its fifth year our Diploma in Oils is fast becoming the benchmark course for technical instruction and creative development for serious painters from the UK and beyond.

Taught in oils, but relevant for artists in almost any media, the Diploma is divided into three trimesters, which start by giving you technical skills, then helping you to develop your understanding of practical  visual aesthetics before moving on  to helping you to develop your own personal creative vision and unique style.

The Diploma is our longest and most ‘intensive’ course, offering not just a series of linked and themed workshops, but a program of home study to complete between and before workshops which is designed to stretch your creative, aesthetic and technical skills.

Students who take the diploma find it both incredibly challenging and greatly rewarding, a feature of the program is that, unlike our short courses, each and every student diverges from the taught exercises to develop their own unique style, which is quite different from that of the other students or tutors.

The Diploma is selective, however we place great emphasis on a willingness to learn, ability to engage with ideas and potential for change.  Our students range from passionate beginners to professional artists, to post Masters study.

Selected Student Works

Most courses teach you to paint like the tutors who run them. Because we teach the building blocks or principles of painting rather than just how we choose to use paint, Norfolk Painting School Diploma students all learn to develop their own style.  The proof? Here is a selection of student works created for Assignment 6 of Diploma 9, 2018.  Every work is as individual as its creator, which as a school is all one can wish for.

Norfolk painting school Diploma 9 WS6
Norfolk painting school Diploma 9 WS6
Norfolk painting school Diploma 9 WS6
Norfolk painting school Diploma 9 WS6
Norfolk painting school Diploma 9 WS6

Taught by Working Artists.

The Diploma is our most comprehensive course, written and led by professional artist and Course Director Martin Kinnear. As well as being a self representing artist and tutor ,  Martin is asked to regularly contribute articles to The Artist and Artists & Illustrators magazines.  In 2009 he was designated a Master Painter of the World by International Artist Magazine.

Martin’s work can be seen at where you will find links to his recent projects such As The Painted Garden (2016) and Beyond Here (2018).  Martin has been represented by prestigious galleries including The Brian Sinfield  Gallery, the Iona Gallery and is regularly shown at The AAF events in London.

He has exhibited with the ROI, the RBA and at both the Eastern Open and The Discerning Eye. In 2018 pieces from his latest show Beyond Here were accepted and will be hung at the prestigious Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts Salon in Paris. The piece Martin chose to hang from the selector’s list of accepted works is Burnsall Winter (below).

Bunsall Winter by Martin Kinnear selected for the Societie Des Beaux Arts 2018 Paris Salon.

How it Works

  • The Diploma in Oil Painting is taught over 12 months, comprising of a month’s preparation, followed by nine one month workshops (divided into three trimesters, each of 3 months), with a one month break after workshops three and six.
  • Each month you will need to attend the School for three days of intensive, structured hands on tuition. The balance of the month is spent on individual study, based on the topics set on your workshop.
  • In between courses, help and moderation is provided on a dedicated online Diploma Forum, where you will interact with both the School and your fellow students.
  • There is no limit on the amount of work you can do, however you will create a minimum of one study (a set painting after a master), and one original painting of your own, based on the previous workshop, each month.
  • In addition to this most Diploma groups undertake gallery visits and meet socially between sessions at the School.
  • Anybody can apply to join the Diploma, regardless of ability, however we select students who show potential, are open minded, wish to interact creatively with a group and can demonstrate a commitment to improving their painting.
  • The Diploma is taught in English. Around 15% of our students are international, and most are professional artists.
  • Course fees include all the materials you need for the workshop activities at the School, accommodation in the School properties for residential workshop dates, light meals and refreshments whilst at the School, a place in our selective Diploma Show, use of our Diploma Forum, a complimentary PDF copy of our popular Home Study Course (including around 30 preparatory exercises) and a set of full colour notes for each session.
  • To undertake the Diploma you will need to have access to an equipped painting studio (required materials list available on request), and a viewing device (PC, Mac ,tablet etc) with an internet connection to complete your set work on our online forum.
Diploma tutor Martin Kinnear at his The Painted Garden show 2016.

In a Nutshell

• A serous Art course designed to fit around family and work commitments

• Allow 12 months for your core study

• 9 residential workshops in Norfolk – materials provided, just bring yourself

• 2 one month set breaks (for family holidays etc)

• Residential and non residential places available. (Residential means three nights per month in a School accommodation property)


• Taught in English, with English notes.