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Unearth Gather Create  is now available as a self-paced, self study course which can be purchased at any time and you can work on at your own pace.

Prior to purchase, please read all of the info below.

The cost of the self study is course is £95.00. To purchase the self study version you can go here.

UGC self study new button


Interested in purchasing more than one of my courses?

I now offer a variety of bundle options. Purchase multiple courses as a bundle package and save!

Available Unearth, Gather, Create bundle packages include:

Bundle 1

Drawn to Expression + Unearth, Gather, Create + Portraits – Your Art, Your Way

Register for all three of my long courses for only £280!

Register for Bundle Package 1

Bundle 2

Unearth, Gather, Create + Portraits – Your Art, Your Way

Register for both courses for only £210!

Register for Bundle Package 2

Bundle 4

Drawn to Expression + Unearth, Gather, Create

Register for both courses for only £170!

Register for Bundle Package 4

Please read all the information below prior to purchasing as no refunds can be given.

If you have any questions you can email me at mail(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)

I would love to work alongside you, helping you to discover how to create art that represents your own unique character, personal narrative and imaginations. In this course I teach a wealth of art techniques that will enable you to draw and paint in your own unique style and create a personal language through creating art.

In creating art that expresses our own particular nature, it is just as important to think about ‘what’ to paint as it is to learn ‘how’ to paint. If we unearth what is inside, gather what we know and use our own unique imaginations, we can bring a richness and a depth to our work that goes beyond a simple image. Our art becomes something more, it has resonance with our own spirit and connects us with others.

I believe that we each have our own unique story to tell.

Unearth Gather Create is about finding a story through you art and the entire course is developed to enable you to make choices – about materials, style, aesthetic, themes, subject matter and how we create art overall. It is about digging deep and creating art that is meaningful to us. I don’t want you to paint or draw like me – I want you to draw and paint like You!

Throughout the course you will receive …
– Drawing and painting video demonstrations that will expand your range of mark making skill and understanding of line, tone, colour, composition, anatomy and portraiture.

– Exercises that focus on ‘loosening up’ and being braver in the way you draw and paint.

– Drawing and painting exercises that will help you bring depth and atmosphere to your work.

– Exciting and unexpected exercises that will encourage your curiosity and desire to think outside the box in terms of your own artistic ability.

– Prompts, ideas and inspirations to enable you to discover your own unique story which will in turn give you a wealth of ideas for creating narrative art.

– A wealth of suggestions to encourage and help you to make art a daily practice.

– An insight into my own practice of unearthing the things I love, gathering the things that inspire me and creating art with emotion and atmosphere.

If you are still unsure of whether this course is for you then you can read more about how it is ‘created for you’ and also heartfelt testimonials from my previous and current students below.

Please note: This is a self paced, self study course. Once a year I will be running this course as a ‘live’ course with students where I will offer feedback, help and critiques. You will receive and email updated prior to the course beginning and you will have a chance to join this live group for a small fee in order to connect with the group and get critique on your progress.

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Have you ever thought that ….

… you don’t have any ideas to develop work from

… you are find it difficult to know where or how to begin to find and develop your own style.

… you want to expand your own personal language in mark making and expression.

… you want to go beyond being inspired by other artists but think everything has been done before.

… you want to develop your own unique style and create art that you are deeply connected with.

… you have the skills to create art, but it no longer excites you.


Then in my opinion Unearth Gather Create might just be for you.

Many people dream of going to art college or attending art classes but it is not always possible. We might lead busy lives, or not have a class near us, or find the idea of creating in a group of people intimidating, or we might must prefer to work around the time we have in our own space.

You might have the skills to create art but struggle with ideas and what to paint – you know you could be deeply inspired but there are just so many options out there! I know that feeling and I have worked hard in my own practice to give priority to the ideas and let the techniques suit the story I am trying to tell.

There is so much to learn, so much to experience and so much to say as a creative individual – and we can all do it! We just need to open our hearts, dig deep and embrace the challenge.

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How is class content delivered?

Unearth Gather Create is now a self-paced, self study course which may be purchased at any time. The course content is made available to you on a password protected website and there are lots of videos, reading and prompts to encourage you to practice your own creativity.

After the completion of registration, you will be sent the link to the classroom site and password via email.

What do I require to access and participate in the course?

You will need a pc or laptop and high speed internet connection. You may be able to use a mobile or tablet to view some of the class content but the class is rich in visuals and there is a fair amount of reading, so mobile devices may find it difficult to load all the content on the site. I am afraid I cannot advise on particular technical resources you may have so be sure that you are able to access the type of info needed. Generally if you can watch Youtube videos or Vimeo videos and your technology loads content quickly and efficiently then you should not have a problem.

Do I need to access the class at particular times?

The beauty of the internet and the e-course format is that no matter where you are in the world you can follow along at your own pace.

How do I connect with you the tutor and the other students?

There is private Facebook Group page which is open to all past and current students of UGC and is only accessible by registered participants.

This allows you to post images of your progress and anything else connected to the course. The community is a brilliant part of participating in an online course and there are wonderful benefits to being part of a supportive, encouraging group of students. I check into this group every week when I can.

If you would like feedback from me then once a year I will be running a ‘live’ version of this course where I open a specific Facebook group where I can give feedback and assistance over a six week period. You will have the opportunity to upgrade to these live classes for a small fee and will be notified of future dates.

You can also use #unearthgathercreate on instagram and my name is GillianLeeSmith there.

How long will the course content be available for?

The course content will be available indefinitely to enable you to work along at your own pace. The Facebook group will remain open indefinitely.

Can I share/sell the artwork I make on this course?

Of course you can! The only work that I ask that you do not replicate or sell is the work that I show you on the We all Cast Shadows days. This is work very personal to me and was developed for my first solo exhibition in October 2014. I still sell prints of this work so therefore I do not wish it to be copied for sale. But I wanted to share my way of developing a body of work and encouraging you to delve deeper into your own passion for creating art.

How do I purchase a place on the course?

The course is purchased by clicking the button below which will take you to the registration page.

Purchase the course here.

Purchase the course here.

I am so fortunate to be in this position where I can pass on the things I have learned myself, in my own way. Each time I teach I learn something new and the interaction with the students is a key part of that. Below are some testimonials from former and current students of Unearth Gather Create.

As a beginner, I’ve wondered how do you mix paints?…use pastels?…what papers? surfaces? pencils or charcoal? And how DOES one use the colour wheel? So many materials, methods, and all so confusing. Can’t someone please explain it all? Well, Gillian has. It’s all here, beautifully demonstrated in excellent video. Gillian is the most talented, generous, inspiring teacher. I’ve gone back over the lessons again and again, each time deriving more benefit and seeing improvement in my work. I’m so grateful for this extraordinary course.

Arlene Lombardo


I want to share my extremely wonderful experience of taking Gillian’s class Unearth Gather Create. As a returning painter with years of no active drawing or painting, this thorough, intense complete class of wonderful tutorials, content, tips and writing exercises revived my passion for art. I have done many drawings, paintings and sketches. I have redone a porch to use as a studio and I am working in my journals to ready myself for two new series of paintings. Please take this class and trust you will have a wonderful journey.

Joan Tucker


Thank you so much for such an amazing course! When I try to describe it to friends I say that it is like an entire bachelor of fine arts curriculum in 6 weeks! That is what it seems like because it is so packed with information and exercises. I will be working on these lessons for many months to come. Thank you for your insights, generosity and gorgeous work.

Anne O’connor


I have LOVED the class and will enjoy continuing my study as I slowly work my way through. You are not only a gifted artist, but a generous and kind person. I thank you for your giving spirit which shone through each and every video. I hope to someday take a class from you in person!

Beth Cole


I have been taking classes for the last year or so pretty regularly. Gillian’s class is totally different. I feel like I am in art school! The first week was more info then a lot of month long classes. Gillian comments on every piece shown on the page and is there daily encouraging and prompting us. I would recommend it to everyone

Sandy Belt


I have adored Gillian Cox’s work for several years now. When I found out she was teaching an online workshop, there was no hesitation. I signed up. Now I have taken many classes and not always, but sometimes my expectations are much higher than what the class actually is. Not so with Gillian. I just wanted to watch her work because her work is so deep and thought provoking and unbelievably beautiful. She is an excellent teacher. She is talking as she is creating and able to really explain what she is doing in such exquisite detail and if you still need clarification, she quickly replies in much detail any questions that comes up. One of the other things I love about the class is that she critiques your work if you ask for it. I think this is a really important aspect in the course and really helps the student pursue and dig deeper.

She teaches the foundation of drawing the portrait which is so important to all levels, for beginners to learn and for more experienced artist to revisit. She then demonstrates expressively her creations which gives the students the ability to take from foundational work into a more expressive and personal direction. Absolutely the best class I have ever taken. So lucky that I will be going to Scotland in October to study under her in person.

Kate Thompson


Gillian is an amazing artist and an equally amazing teacher. What a comprehensive, professional, creative, responsive, beautiful presentation with superb videos and art instruction, gorgeous images and written materials to enhance learning, and creative inspiration to enable students to unearth their own inner vision for their art. Every day I come to the online classroom with so much renewed passion for art. With all the time and heart she is putting into this course, Gillian is also constantly present in the private Facebook group. She is there every day as an active participant to provide further tips, instruction, encouragement, answer questions, and give constructive feedback to anyone who wishes to share their work. And proof that the best teachers are also always learning themselves, Gillian frequently asks if we have any feedback for her as an instructor. The environment she has created is supportive and welcoming of everyone at every stage in their own creative exploration. This is so much more than an online art course. It is art school with a group of friends that includes the brilliant, generous instructor.

Joanne Rose

Unearth Gather Create has been a revelation, delivering so much more than I’d hoped for (and my hopes were high to begin with)! Rich in content, it will provide food for thought and creativity for months (and probably years) to come. Gillian is a natural tutor – patient, generous, and always encouraging, her passion for art is infectious. I quickly forgot this was an e-course, as it feels like she’s explaining everything to me in the same room! Can’t recommend it highly enough.

Magdalena Moon


So delighted I signed up for your course, Unearth Gather Create. I really did not know what to expect and have been so impressed with your approach as a tutor, the course content and your ability to connect with your ‘students’.

Watching you model a technique, listening to the clarity of your explanations and receiving your constructive feedback is allowing me to develop important understanding and knowledge while inviting me to find my own voice.

I am excited by the way in which you are allowing me to think, to see and to connect with Art. I would recommend your course without reservation and wish you every success in the future.

Dalene Robertson


art materials quote

Please note that I have listed specific brands as suggestions – you do not have to get the exact items on this list. Also if you have any questions or any problems finding anything let me know and I will try to help.

Just a word of reassurance regarding purchasing art materials. Whilst it is lovely to have ‘everything’, beautiful art can in fact be created with just a pencil and paper. The list here is just a suggestion of items to get and I have tried to give as many alternatives as I can or highlighted the things that are indulgence items. Whilst the list may seem long and a bit intimidating many of the alternative suggestions are very affordable. Also you may have paint media that you prefer over acrylics – say gouache, watercolour or oils. The primary purpose of this class is in generating IDEAS and a story through your work. So if you already have materials (even ones not on the list) then go with those – watch the videos when the course begins and see what really appeals to you before purchasing materials that you may never need. Remember you have access to the class tutorials for a long time so things can be bought as you go along.

Materials with suggestions for alternatives.

Drawing Materials

100% cotton rag watercolour paper I would recommend 5 to 10 sheets (or whatever you can afford). This watercolour paper is a much cheaper alternative.

Cartridge paper (Drawing Paper)

Pencils – in 2b, 4b and 6b (just an example, any good pencil will be fine)

Marks all pencils by stabilo

A sketchbook

(A5 or A4 size – moleskine is nice but any cartridge paper book is fine – you just want something that you are comfortable carrying around with you)

Rubber eraser and putty eraser

Blending sticks

gummed tape – I like to stretch my watercolour paper before painting which means it does not require flattening afterwards (I will show you how to do this). However you can always use masking tape and flatten the painting under a rug after it has dried (I have done this many times in the past!)

masking tape

charcoal – please make sure it is willow charcoal and not vine charcoal which is a lot harder and denser.

scissors or knife, pencil sharpeners, erasers etc

A set of soft pastels (15 or 30)

I like Unison, Jaxell or Rembrandt

for example rembrandt do a set of 30 half pastels so twice the colours for the same size box as the set of 15 full pastels!

If you are on a budget then 5 or so pastels in colours of your choice will be grand as you can buy them singly (plus white)

oil bars/sticks – Sennelier are a good brand – in Medium (transparent) and Antique White

Painting Materials

Gesso or Golden Gesso – but there are also many less expensive brands available.

Matte medium (for transfers etc this is an expense and is not something that we will be using a lot of so if you are on a budget ordinary PVA glue makes a good alternative)

Paper palettes (OR the indulgent stay wet palette OR cardboard and clingfilm or a glass panel will work just fine)

Acrylic paints – (Golden heavy body or fluid, Liquitex or Windsor and newton are brands I suggest)

Suggested palette – this is a basic palette which when colours are mixed together will give you a good foundation in colour mixing. However as we will discover colours are a very personal choice to these are good to start with and they can be added to over time.

titanium white, hansa yellow, cadmium yellow hue

cadmium red, quinacridone crimson, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, burnt umber

extra colours should you so wish

naples yellow, quinacridone nickel azo gold, paynes grey

Glaze medium

–golden or windsor and newton are good ones to use.

Paint brushes for acrylics in a variety of sizes eg 1-6