Online Art Course Testimonials and Letters

This section is dedicated to students who have very kindly written testimonials about the college, their course, their tutor and we are proud to present them here, some along with a sample of the students work. If you are a happy student and would like to send us a similar testimonial, please don't hesitate to contact us at any time.

Hi Melanie and The College,

I had enjoyed painting and drawing in the past and felt I needed to learn some new skills and techniques, whilst building a sense of personal achievement. After seeing Melanie Philips’s website and her amazing work through the London Art College, I decided to enrol on the Pet Portraiture Diploma course, to prove to myself that I could achieve something and to give me some confidence and improve my artistic ability / skills. As the course progressed the work became more of a challenge as I became increasingly ill. My determination to complete the course helped keep me going, not allowing my illness to get the better of me and cause me to give up. I received lots of help and support from my tutor Melanie Phillips and members of her amazing website. Thank you all!! I couldn't have done it without you!

Towards the end of the course I went through a very rocky patch and my illness got a lot worse. I really struggled to put the final pieces together. The help and support I received from Melanie along with staff from Harrogate Mind/ the Acorn Centre, enabled me to complete the course. Before I knew it, my diploma with distinctions came through the post. I think I am still in shock; as it still hasn't really sunk in. I was even more shocked that Melanie wanted to put me up for student of the year. I am extremely honored that my work has been recognized in this way. Many thanks to all and by the way, I am still in shock!
Sharon Davies (Pet Portraits Diploma - D5) 

Sharon Davies

For the College,
I enjoyed art in school and just scraped an “O” level back in those days. After leaving school my career path was focused on science and has been there ever since so art, whilst still in the background, it was only dabbled in, sadly!

Twenty nine years later I have just found myself completing a Diploma in Drawing & Painting with the London Art College. I always wanted to do something with my art but family life and a career that took up most of my time did not allow me to adventure into art in any serious way. Unfortunately I become unwell about 3 years ago and as a result I decided I wanted to do something for myself that I would enjoy and here is where the journey really began. Two years ago I braved a course knowing that I had very little experience and teaching in art, but that didn’t bother me. Something was telling me that “What is on the inside of you will be the healing of you”. Deep words I thought as I had no energy but I could feel a stirring in my spirit to do something. For a few months I attended a small group of people who enjoyed art but I soon wanted to learn more, hence the course.

I looked on the internet and found a distance learning course with the London Art College, and this suited me very much. I saw so many wonderful drawings and paintings on the website and thought I would never be as good as them. I certainly lacked confidence when I first started the course but with the encouragement and guidance of Alan Dedman I was amazed!!! I was actually painting something that had meaning, emotion and spirit and I loved it! Sometimes I found things difficult but every critic was so encouraging and some made me laugh but Alan always helped me to go a step further and bolder and I was loving it more and more. For the first time I could see that I could actually know what was being said about my art in order to improve it and I believed it worked!

Some days I had my off moments but I was still learning and my mistakes were actual opportunities of discovering what I can do and what works well together. Some mistake I actually liked and thought “Yes, that actually looks good!” so I would leave it in my art. I really felt Alan understood me through my art even though we had not met, I felt it was a good relationship of artists enjoying the journey together. I loved the interaction and discovering other artist that Alan shared and inspired me. I sometimes giggled at Alan comments because he made me feel that he actually liked my work which often brought a smile to my face and I knew my work brought a cheeky smile to his face because I could hear him laugh and that was nice! I could also understand what Alan was saying was great advise and each unit I was learning more and more and I would often get excited about doing something that I could not do before.

Unfortunately, during the last year of my art course tragedy struck but it was my art that helped me through some really difficult times. I noticed it was showing in my art and I found my work was much more interesting. My art became stronger in colours and bolder and in a strange way brought me out of myself. I saw something very different in my work and on another level on how to put emotion onto a blank piece of paper. I felt I had a relationship with what I was painting; we were feeding off each other and loved it. Whilst we don’t see the person behind the canvas we can see the dept of emotion in the painting. I was starting to feel like an artist and not somebody who can draw. I was on a whole new level. The greatest thing I had someone to share this with, so I want to thank the London Art College for everything, absolutely brilliant and I highly recommend it to anyone. I hope to continue developing my art and taking on board everything that I have learnt.

A great big thank you to Alan & Melanie for helping me so much..."
Ann Marie Hartkins (Drawing and Painting Diploma – D1)

Ann Marie HartkinsAnn Marie Hartkins

Thank you London Art College,

The Guide Dogs for the Blind approached me to draw a design for their products but unfortunately my pen strokes were too fine for the printing process. On their suggestion I changed to a brush and learnt to paint, firstly in ink but also experimenting with oils and watercolours along the way. I kept returning to pen and wash mainly due to the length of time oils took to dry and the smell would hang around for ages.It was really only after my wife bought me a fantastic set of watercolours and her nagging at me to use them that I started to get back to a hobby that I had thoroughly enjoyed previously. Since then many of my paintings have appeared in local Galleries and have sold many at different Exhibitions such as the Maritime Festival in Great Yarmouth, Great Yarmouth Guild of Artists Exhibition and others in and around Norfolk.

Following my success I decided to improve my art and took two courses at the London Art College, one in watercolours, a medium I use for the many seascapes I have done and the other in pet portraits, which is my absolute forte. I think that one of the main benefits of the course, apart from the excellent guidance and direction of the tutor, Melanie Phillips, was that the course encouraged use of all mediums whether oil, pastel, acrylic, coloured pencil or graphite each with their own unique properties. The course opened up a whole new world artistically speaking for me and as a result my work goes from strength to strength..
Both during the course and since finishing it, I have been successful in attracting commissions not only from friends and neighbours, but now more importantly from others through personal recommendations. As a result of this I have developed a website to promote this aspect still further with a Gallery of work undertaken. Attending the Maritime Festival in Great Yarmouth with a small photographic display of my pet artwork, attracted a great deal of interest, similarly at various Dog Shows subsequently, consequently my diary for the next few months is now rather full with commissions. I have also started doing workshops in coloured pencil for local art groups. Future developments will also include the provision of Prints and Greeting cards etc of many of the works completed and hopefully will give me a whole new career for the future as well as being a very enjoyable hobby.
Roger Burnay (Pet Portraits Diploma - D5)

Hi Maggy,
This course has helped me with my other areas of artwork. Now i am retired I have joined the U3A, a self help group and hope to join the York Art Society. I do shy away from using the computer and I am sorry not to have taken more time to be an active member of the student forum. hat a wonderful set of talented students you have on your course. i wish them well in seeing employments. If I did not thank you before I will thank you now for me Diploma! I didn't do the course for any reward, but for the encouragements and support you have given me. If you ever design a course on the study of Wildlife I will be there like a shot.
Thank you again
Sandra. (Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma – D6)

Jenna Whyte completed the Sci Fi Fantasy course a few years ago and has emailed us to let us know she has just released a new book called ‘The Illustrated Guide to the Elements’.

Jenna Said – “The Illustrated Guide to the Elements: Volume I’ is a Sherlock Holmes “case book” style investigation that contains detailed description of the chemical elements personified as Victorian Women. Each has her own personal attributes drawn from the characteristics of the element she represents. Each element has an description based on the element’s history, characteristics, and uses, they also have a ink portrait. Thus far it has been doing well. Selling on my own website, Etsy and Amazon”.

We are thrilled that Jenna is doing well in her career since completing our course and we wish her all the best with her next book – Volume II

Jenna Whyte

Jenna Whyte

Hi Alan,

I learned so much through taking this course and feel it was a very worthwhile investment and learning experience for me.
Evelyn (Drawing and Painting Diploma D1)

Dear Vanessa,

I’ve enjoyed your course immensely. Your feedback has been a real motivation for me to try and produce the best work that I can. The course has taken me into areas I would never have attempted by myself. For example I would never have thought that I would learn about different styles to attract alternative markets through designing soup labels. The whole area of typography was new to me yet proved to be one of the most enjoyable to do. I particularly liked the unit dealing with company and product icons. Including a task to create a radio script for an advert relating to graphics and copy lines produced in previous exercises was a real insight. My only regret is that the course is now finished. Thanks very much for a really valuable and very enjoyable course in graphic design.
Ian (Graphic Design Art Diploma Course D3)

Hi Vanessa,

Thank you for your very kind comments about my previous submission. I followed up the reference to Herb Lubalin - what an amazingly imaginative approach to typography. I realised that I had seen one of his pieces before specifically the Avant Garde Gothic icon. Thanks also for the LAC Forum information. I’ve had a quick look and was really impressed with the ideas that other students have come up with.Best regards,
Ian (Graphic Design Art Diploma Course D3)

Dear Mr. Alan Deman,

I received my Diploma Certificate last week and was extremely delighted to see that I had passed the course with distinction. I would like to thank you for your guidance and very valuable comments all through the duration of the course. The experience was simply superb and there are not enough words to describe my satisfaction with the course. Of all my teachers through school and college I would easily rate you as one of the best. In addition to the well thought out and structured course it is your comments that make the course so absorbing and worth every minute spent. The interest with which you critiqued the additional art works that I took the liberty of submitting outside the exercises required by the course helped me immensely to improve my painting style. I would recommend that every aspiring artist take up this course under your guidance. Thank you again for this wonderfully enriching experience. I look forward to doing the Oil Painting Certificate course under your guidance for which I will be enrolling soon.
Yours truly,
Mahua Pal (Drawing and Painting Diploma D1)

Hi Maggy, 

I have grown and developed so much over the time spent on the Children's illustration course. The diploma confirmed that I wanted to pursue illustration, the extension course allowed me to experiment and gave me a direction to encourage my further development. You have been a fantastic tutor, given criticism but also advice with various ventures that have developed as a result of the course. Thank you for all of your support during the course.
Claire (Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma – D6)

Sharron Blackmore, a current student on our Pet Portrait Diploma Course has won the SAA June Atherton Beginner Artist of the Year 2011. The image below is at the awards ceremony in London where Sharron is being awarded her prize. Sharron entered her beautiful painting entitled 'Gentle Giant' which was held on display in London for all to see.
Sharron said... ".....Collected my June Atherton award for Best Beginner in Show 2011 at the SAA exhibition yesterday. Over 6000 entries this year and some stunning paintings on display...." We wish Sharron the best of luck for her future paintings and for the rest of her Pet Portraits Diploma Course too.
Sharron Blackmore (Pet Portraits Diploma - D5)

Sharron Blackmore