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Pixels for Pencils: An introduction to creative coding for artists

With Dave Webb

5 August 2022 - 7 August 2022

3 day course 10am - 4pm

Writing code for a computer, can feel a long way from other artistic traditions, yet there is huge scope for artists of all disciplines to embrace technology as a medium, or as a complement to an existing practice.

In this three-day introductory course Pixels for Pencils, creative technologist and digital media artist Dave Webb will teach you some basic coding techniques that will get you started in this fascinating medium.

Over the two days you will:

  • Gain an introduction to coding with p5.js (created by artists, for artists)
  • Learn what Pixels and Frames are and how they are the building blocks of screen images
  • Discover what an algorithm is and how can it be creative
  • Understand the use of repetition, variation, and chance in coding design
  • How to interact with digital creations
  • How to show digital work through print and projection
  • Question whether this is really art, and take a critical look at digitally created work

We can only scratch the surface of a vast range of skills and approaches in this two-day introduction, but you will be provided with all of the resources and recommendations to explore further and by the end of this course you will have:

  • The skills for writing code to make images and animated works; an appreciation of how even simple algorithms can generate varied and surprising forms; and an understanding of where your role as the artist sits in algorithmic work.
  • Developed some ideas for how you can use technology in your own practice and have examples of your own work created over the two days to work from.

Download the full Course Itinerary here

Dave Webb

Dave Webb is a creative technologist and artist in digital media.

After completing an MSc Creative Computing at Bath Spa University, he was awarded a residency at the Studio Palace Yard Mews in Bath alongside other established creative practitioners. As part of a collective he was awarded a Data Prototype grant by South West Creative Technology Network (SWCTN) to promote citizen awareness of the Circular Economy using art, data and technology. Dave is a member of the Bristol based art and technology collective Control Shift Network and delivers workshops on creative uses of code and technology, to those with limited or no experience. He also mentors recent creative graduates from Bath Spa under their Emerge residency program, and teaches Digital Citizenship at the University.

You can find Dave over on Twitter and Instagram @crispysmokedweb

He also has a Vimeo Channel with recent examples of his work

All our course days run from 10am till 4pm

Introduction to the course and warm-up activity In this session, Dave will be introducing you to computing in art and sharing examples of his current and previous work. After lunch, we will be exploring coding basics, pixels and frames. You will then create your own digital paintbrush, explore repetition, variation and chance and we will close with a review of the day and share what we've learnt.

We start the second day with an optional group walk of the grounds. This can help to inform the first workshop of the day: looking for algorithms in nature. We will be playing with images and discussing how to work with those algorithms mapping motion, flow and forces. After lunch, we will be practicing techniques and defining an optional personal project. We will close with a review of the day and discussions.

On this final day, we will practice the techniques learnt over the following two days and begin work on your personal project. There will be designated 1-1 sessions with Dave during this time. After lunch, we will take a look at making interactive art and be encouraged to share your work via print, screen and projection. We finish the day with all of the resources you need to take this work further and the next steps you might like to take in your practice to use technology as a tool for your future making.

We have a fantastic accommodation offer onsite, and would recommend staying here for the fully immersive Clayhill experience. All our accommodation is reserved for the students for the duration of the course and you will have a bedroom of your own. Our rooms have been converted from a series of old cattle sheds and from an old milking parlour and retain characterful features such as exposed wooden roof timbers and stone walls. Each bedroom has its own tea and coffee making facilities and outdoor seating area.

We also have an onsite laundry should you need to use these facilities during your stay with us. WIFI is available throughout the complex, heating and hot water is supplied by biomass technology, electricity by solar technology and all of the water around the site is fed by a natural spring.

Accommodation is offered at £80/night. If you would like to make your stay here more comfortable, you can also buy single additional nights before or after the course. (Please note any additional nights will not be catered, we are happy to recommend some local places to eat).

All courses at Clayhill Arts are fully catered, and our locally-sourced food is included in the price of your course ticket. If you do choose to stay with us a bespoke evening meal as well as breakfast and lunch will also be provided. To read more about our food offering, follow this link. About our catering

Artists of all disciplines with an interest in embracing technology as a medium, or as a complement to their existing practice. No previous experience with the techology is needed, this is an introductory course so we will go through all of the basics that you need to know.

Please bring your own laptop and examples of your previous work for discussion about how you might be able to integrate the technology we will introduce you to. All of the programs and any additional equipment you need will be provided, but any notebooks, pens and other recording equipment you like to use in your current working practice, bring along.

Yes! We provide refreshments throughout the day and a home-cooked lunch which is freshly prepared in our Granary kitchen. Lunch is served around our communal dining table, offering you a great chance to get to know everyone on the course and share in the making processes you have been developing throughout the day. Please advise us of any dietary requirements before arrival.

Yes! All of our bedrooms here at Clayhill are en-suite so you will have your own private space to retreat to and relax in after spending your day in the meditative space of the Studio. We provide you with your own towels and bathroom products for use throughout your stay and you can enjoy the extensive grounds well into the evening. If you do choose to stay with us a bespoke evening meal as well as breakfast and lunch will also be provided.

Buy Tickets


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Course ticket - Pixels for Pencils: An introduction to creative coding for artists
Course Ticket - Pixels for Pencils: An introduction to creative coding for artists with Dave Webb. Day-time access, 10am - 4pm for each of the 3 days (5th, 6th and 7th August). Lunch included.
£ 280.00
14 available
Course Accommodation - Pencils for pixels
£80/night x 2 Nights of the 5th and 6th August. Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners provided.
£ 160.00
8 available
Extra night - Before
An extra night before the start of the course. (4th August) Includes breakfast on the day the course begins.
£ 80.00
8 available
Extra night - After
Check out is at 10:30am on the 8th August An extra night after the course has ended. (7th August)
£ 80.00
8 available

We have also set up a payment plan so that you can spread the cost of the sessions over the next 4 months. You will find the option for doing this as you enter the checkout page.

Find out more about our Partial.ly Payment Plan here

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Working with Deborah and Michael was such a pleasure. They understood the project from the beginning, what the needs of the makers and our audiences would be, and acted as thoughtful ambassadors for the project when we were not able to be there. Every aspect of the exhibition and events was facilitated in such a calm and confident manner, which made my job of coordinating a group of artists so much easier! The whole event became a pivotal moment for the project, bringing people together in a way I could never have anticipated, and which has altered my thinking about the future of the project. Thank you for making us feel so welcome.


The weekend I spent at Clayhill Arts was a very welcome change of scenery to my otherwise urban setting. I felt calmed yet invigorated by the surroundings, and the accommodation was beautifully tasteful and very homely. The main space is wonderfully considered and very versatile - an ideal space for creativity and dynamic discussion. I left on the Sunday feeling energised and inspired by the experience of staying at Clayhill.


As a singer it has been one of the best spaces to sing in with generous reverberation and acoustics.  It is a space which complemented the type of instruments I was working with and the songs.


I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed being at your venue. It is a lovely and inspiring artistic space. The food was fantastic, homely yet unusual. I really enjoyed the day.


As an artist retreat, the venue at Clayhill Arts provided a warm and welcoming environment, allowing a safe and constructive space where individuals creative needs can be met. 


We were lucky enough to be able to take over the whole venue for a weekend, using the Granary as our base for experimentation, discussion and shared learning. The informality of the accommodation, and the relaxed surroundings, put everyone at ease and offered a space where cooperation and encouragement evolved naturally.


Everything was wonderful! This is a beautiful place. Thank you, we really enjoyed our stay.


Clayhill feels remote which is great but it also is close to Cannington which has everything, so supplies can be bought without travelling a great distance...I also really enjoyed that it is still a working farm, because it feels productive and there is such a lot of life around us which is very inspiring


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