Express Yourself aims to promote confidence, self-esteem and initiative amongst young people aged 8-15 in Derby who may be from newly arrived communities and are looking to widen their skills in art. The goal is to offer opportunities where the participants can work and collaborate with both professional artists as well as one another using different art mediums. Each Block consists of 6 weekly afterschool workshops.

It is inclusive and accessible for families, and the use of art reduces potential for exclusion due to language barriers.

There are limited places for this one so please make sure you sign up in plenty of time to secure your spot and get your free materials pack.

Tuesdays 8th, 15th, 22nd 29th in June

All sessions are held at our Artcore site located on Charnwood Street, Derby.

 Sign up at:





Block 2 – Week 5 (12/6/2021)

Last week we worked on the Ocean theme, and made work with lots of sea life and creatures. There was plenty of wonderful gestural work and super painting.

Our hanging canvas is well under way and we are determined to finish it this week, with the whole group getting involved! Still lots of painting to be done 😊



Block 2 – Week 4 (25/5/2021)

We had a busy session last night, some of us started the design for our Artcore huge canvas and others were creating individual canvas pieces, full of our favourite animals, people and flowers.  Our participants designed and planned out the large scale canvas together taking time to discuss each stage, loving working as a team.

Next week we shall continue with our themes, exploring colour and texture and enjoying the freedom of paint 😊


Block 2 – Week 3 (18/5/2021)

This week we had so much fun designing and creating our own t shirts, each of the t shirts were incredibly unique and wonderfully inspiring.  It did get a little messy! 😊

Next Tuesday we will be starting on our large scale canvas. All of the group will be working as a team bringing their ideas into making a huge colourful piece of art!

– Jane!


Block 2 – Week 2 (11/5/2021)

In yesterday’s session of Express Yourself  we continued on the theme of portraits…. we added to our portraits by layering with paint and collage to build up the surfaces and add interest and depth. Others created a make believe creature and drew them on canvas, adding in details with acrylics, watercolour pencils and marker pens. They are fabulously colourful pieces!

Next week we are really excited to be designing and creating a t shirt all about us! A self portrait on a T-shirt with our own personal positive motto!

–  Jane 🙂

Block 2 – Week 1 (4/5/2021)

Tuesdays session was so much fun.

We looked at how to make a portrait, focusing on colour, texture, and composition. Some worked from pictures and others worked from memory, using pencil, marker pens and paint on canvas. It was lovely and relaxed, and we had a good chat about school and listened to the radio, singing along to some of the songs. Next week we shall finish off the portraits with collage and start a new piece where we can use our imaginations to create a make believe character! I’m really looking forward to seeing what we come up with 😊

– Jane

Block 2 – Portraits – Who Will You Be Today?

This month of May we are starting a new block of Express Yourself with Artist Jane Dearden, who will deliver new set of sessions on the theme of Self Expression and portraiture. The sessions will involve exploring who we are on the inside, learning proportions and features of faces and portraits. As well as learning these skills, participants will also look at abstract work of portraiture and use a variety of art materials. The final piece will involve a large scale canvas, team work and putting all the skills learned in sessions into one big artwork.


Block 1 – Expression Through the Self and Surroundings 

In March and April, artist Magdalena Aron worked with our participants encouraging them to think about personal expression and ideas behind making artworks. We had lots of fun in the sessions creating cartoons, fantasy windows, landscapes and mottos using painting and pastels. These have been added into scrapbooks that everyone can keep and continue to use to express themselves.

Week 1: First week Magdalena has introduced the use of black and white charcoal to produce different mark making and play with light & shadow to create a sense of motion and shape.

Week 2: Throughout the sessions participants are building confidence in the use of new art materials, so this week’s introduction was with acrylic paints. Students have explored the idea of space and surroundings and how to create an image of the self in a tri-dimensional space e.g. a room, stage or city.

Week 3: After being presented with charcoal and acrylic, this week we combined all that students have learned and applied it to a theme of ‘identity and the self’.

Week 4: This week we moved on to empowering each other to make decisions and collaborate on a group piece. All the skills learned in previous weeks are applied into producing a piece of artwork from start to finish; how to plan it, sketch it out, looking at composition and colour.

Week 5: Starting the session off with a warm up sketching, students have explored the deeper meaning of their artwork. Looking at not just producing a piece about the self and a place but also portraying the feeling in it. This will help to communicate with the world around you better.

Week 6: The final session is all about putting everything we learned into a reality. Still exploring self-identity and surroundings by making self-portraits and looking through a mirror. Incorporating the self, the space around you and paper collage into final piece of work.

Below you can see how much fun the participants have had over the sessions.