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Oil Painting after the Masters with Michelle Hiscock

Discover the fundamental techniques of oil painting and be introduced to the methods and materials of the great masters such as Raphael, Velasquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Bellini. Michelle Hiscock guides you in this practical investigation of classical painting techniques with expert demonstrations of methods and materials including preparation of supports, coloured grounds, tonal underpainting, the palette, colour mixing and structuring oil paint in layers. You will have the opportunity to choose your painting from over 100 works in Michelle’s resource library.

Michelle Hiscock takes a special interest in the history of painting materials and techniques and their application to contemporary practice. She is widely known for her lectures and masterclasses on drawing and painting at the National Art School and the Art Gallery of NSW. She is represented by Australian Galleries, Sydney, and has exhibited nationally for the past 30 years.

What to expect

All students will gain a thorough understanding of approaches to classical oil painting through transcriptions of masterpieces.

  • learn about tonal underpainting
  • coloured grounds
  • having the opportunity to explore a range of genres including still life, nature, figure, portraiture
  • learn about colour and colour mixing
  • structuring oil paint in layers

Students will work on paintings over several weeks, and depending on the complexity of your choice, will paint 2-3 full-scale fragments from the paintings across the term.

Is this course right for me?*

Michelle welcomes serious beginners to this class as well as experienced students who wish to develop or consolidate their oil painting skills. What matters is a desire to learn about classical techniques of artists such as Raphael, Velasquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Bellini and more. Beginners learn step by step and building skills week by week. Students with prior experience will extend their skills. Art teachers will also benefit from joining this course.

Materials list

Materials are not included in the course fee. All students will need to bring the following:

Palette knife (diamond shaped like a trowel)
Palette (flat, without ridges or indents, e.g. plywood, plastic, Perspex or glass)
Tube of white acrylic paint (Matisse ‘Structure’ is recommended)
Paper and pencil for note-taking
Cotton cloth rags (old sheets are best)
1 rectangular take-away container
Refined linseed oil at least 250ml
Small glass jar with lid
Masking tape
Note: Do not bring solvents or mediums. A low-odor painting medium will be provided.

Painting Supports
One support will be required for the first class, approx. 10 × 12 inches, 20 × 30 cm or A4 size – this can be plywood, sanded masonite or stretched canvas. Abandoned/unfinished paintings may also be ‘recycled’.
(I do NOT recommend MDF, canvas boards and canvas paper.)

Please bring all the brushes you currently own. Ultimately, it is preferable to have 5 or more of each brush you like to use rather than a whole lot of completely different brushes. If you are buying brushes for the first time we recommend the following as a minimum:
3 filbert, synthetic or natural hog hair brushes approx. 8mm wide
1 round, pointed, synthetic sable brush approx. 5mm wide
1 flat, synthetic sable brush approx. 15mm wide

Oil paints
We are using a low-toxicity approach. Do not bring cobalt, chrome, cadium or lead-based pigments.

The following is a suggested list of colours. The exercises you choose to do might only require a limited selection of colours so please bring the paints you already have and discuss with Michelle before purchasing additional paints.

Titanium white (professional grade only; e.g. Old Holland, Winsor and Newton or Art Spectrum)
Bright yellow (e.g., Winsor yellow, Spectrum yellow – not cadium)
Bright red (e.g., Winsor red, Spectrum red – not cadium)
Yellow ochre or mars Yellow
Venetian red or red earth
Raw Sienna
Raw umber
Burnt Sienna
Burnt Umber
Alizarin crimson
Ultramarine blue
Pthalo Blue
Ivory black

Our term classes are held in our spacious studios.

Our main studios are air-conditioned for year round comfort, and extra measures are in place for your health and well being.

Please read about our Covid-19 safe measures here.

Fees for adult classes exclude art materials.Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

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$620 Limited inc GST
Oil Painting after the Masters with Michelle Hiscock

<p>{image name:“lassical-oil-painting-masters-MichelleHiscock-hero”}</p><p>Discover the fundamental techniques of oil painting and be introduced to the methods and materials of the great masters such

NEW! Earlybird discount (shown in green) when you enrol by 27 March. Find out more Price excludes materials |

If there isn't a class to suit you, please the waiting list.