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Painting a masterpiece | an Italian master copy workshop with James Tucker

Course overview

Painting copies of the masters, such as Bouguereau, Sargent, Zorn, Caravaggio, is a great way to learn how to paint or draw. There is an emerging renaissance of classic, realist painting and your tutor James Tucker returns from teaching painting and drawing at the Angel Academy in Florence to introduce this course at Art Est. Students will learn how to complete a finished painting or drawing copied from a masterpiece. Beginning with the drawing stage through to the final glazes, all stages of the painting process will be discussed and practiced. Learn a step by step process to remove the confusion of what to do at every stage to complete your painting as accurately as possible. Students have the option to choose a variety of styles once agreed with the tutor, copying a painting or drawing from the master.

Images: Paintings by James Tucker

What to expect

Students will be learning a step by step approach to creating a finished painting or drawing. You will be instructed and learn which steps and in which order they must be completed before moving on to the next. This knowledge can then be used to create your own original works from life or imagination.

Is this course right for me?

Suitable for intermediate to advanced students. This course does not suit beginners.


Charcoal or graphite (optional – if you wish to start with a drawing copy before tackling colour).
GRAPHITE : 50x70 drawing board. Staedtler mars lumograph pencils, H, HB, 2B, grey soft kneadable eraser. Exacto knife. A3 drawing sketch pad (for cartoon to be transferred to better paper once finished) 50x70 or similar size high quality paper (canson or fabriano) blending stomp, or small synthetic brushes and some fine sand paper.
CHARCOAL: 50x70 drawing board. Nitram Charcoal. H, HB,2B. Medium grain sand paper or a Nitram Charcoal sharpening pad. A3 drawing sketch pad (for cartoon to be transferred to better paper once finished) 50x70 or similar size high quality paper (canson or fabriano medium GSM not smooth surface. Possible pastel paper) blending stomp, 3 hog bristle brushes various sizes.

50x70 fine weave stretched canvas or linen.
FIGURE PALLET: Windsor and Newton oil paints. Titanium white, ivory back, raw umber, burnt umber, yellow ochre pale, cadmium red, cadmium yellow. Old holland paints. Red umber (or W&N English red/light red)
Optional (depends on the image being copied) a warm and cool of the primary colours plus greens. Cad red, permanent Alizarin Crimson, Cad yellow, Lemmon yellow (cad lemon), cobalt blue, French ultramarine blue, terra verde, Viridian green, sap green.
BRUSHES: recommended Rosemary and Co. Ivory series filberts, long handle, various sizes 0-16. mostly around 3-5 (size of a pinky to the size of a thumb) ivory brushes are white synthetic with a lot of spring and medium course hairs.
Soft brushes. Syntactic mongoose or other soft hair brushes (filberts)
Soft fan brush.
Large house painting brush.
MEDIUMS: W&N odourless mineral spirits, Liquin Original, cold pressed or refined linseed oil and Natural Pigments

A painting palette (melamine)
A palette knife
1 × 500ml bottle of ODOURLESS solvent
Rags or a roll of paper towel
one or two jam jars with lids for mixing solvents and clean up

Maximum of 12 students in all our classes Our class sizes are small, ensuring you receive the individual tuition you need.

Unless otherwise noted, fees for adult classes exclude art materials.Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

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This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.