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The principles of oil painting

Learn how to use oil paints to paint a still life in a friendly group. Beginners or more advanced painters are welcome. All you need is a willingness to learn a new approach!

  • 1st November 2023 - 29th November 2023
  • 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

This 5-week course aims to give you the confidence to use oils and to understand the mechanisms which make paintings work.  Concentrating on traditional painterly concerns such as achieving the illusion of volume and distance we will use still life objects; from rocks and bones to fruit and veg, to serve as models, although we will also work from resource images.

Every class has an element of theory which we will explore by looking at art-historical examples and doing small sketches that illustrate the way it works in practice, before moving on to a longer study where we can put this information to the test in a less structured setting.  The way in which colour affects form will open up an exploration into the way we interpret visually the world around us and the part that interpretation has to play in our colour choices.  We will deal with specific palette and easel techniques as they become relevant so that by the end of this course you will be confident using oils for your own projects and understand the concepts and shared painting vocabulary of visual artists.

This course is aimed at both beginner and more experienced painters who want to widen their appreciation of how paint can create the illusion of form, depth and distance, that are key to both figurative and abstract painting.  You are not required to produce any “finished pieces” although you are welcome to bring in any work you would like the group to appraise.


  • Car Parking
  • Cloakroom facilities
  • On site parking

Did you know?

A big hit with visitors to the city, the Corpus Clock depicts a golden, grasshopper-like monster (the ‘Chronophage’) eating time.