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Learn Classical Oil Painting Techniques | Matilda Michell

Course overview

This class is for students with prior experience who want to improve their oil painting skills and learn classical oil painting techniques. Accomplished painter Matilda Michell has gained a reputation for her research into the materials, methods and interests of Spanish, Dutch and French master painters including Diego Velázquez, Rembrandt, Chardin as well as 20th century painters like Euan Uglow. Through demonstration and practice students will gain a thorough understanding of the materials and techniques available to them and improve their understanding of oil painting. Students will work on paintings over several weeks, developing them to fully resolved images. The course covers a genres of still life, interior, figure painting and portraiture.

images: student work

What to expect

Over the term students learn traditional ‘classical’ methods and approaches to painting including:

  • different ways canvases and boards have been prepared through history (and their modern equivalents)
  • a wide variety of approaches to building build coloured ground layers and underpaintings
  • more advanced colour theory
  • about light and shadow and how to achieve dramatic light
  • advanced approaches to composition
  • a variety of methods for applying paint including underpainting, glazing and scumbling and more

Click here to see gallery of student works from this class

Is this course right for me?

It is assumed that students will have reasonable drawing skills and some previous experience with oil paints.

Materials list

It is assumed students will already have oil paints, mediums, brushes, palettes. Please bring what you have and your tutor will make suggestions for any additional paints, mediums or equipment you may need.

  • Bring an A3 size canvas to the first class. You will also need more throughout the term.
  • Solvents MUST be odourless. Oil painting solvents and mediums must not be tipped down the sinks. You will need to bring jars with lids to take away spent solvents/mediums. Spent solvents/mediums must be taken with you and not left in the studios. You tutor will give you information on reusing and disposing of spent solvents and mediums.

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.

Read FAQs Terms + Conditions

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

Course testimonials:

  • The tutor is very dilligent in her response to students work and works hard to accommodate all levels and interests. Her demonstrations are invaluable and deliver the value of a hands on approach. Matilda is very generous with her suggestions as to how to move forward and in short the class is a total delight and fabulous place to learn solid skills. I love it.
  • Matilda is an excellent art tutor (I have experience of many by now!). I have really enjoyed the class. For me, what works is: Matilda's deep knowledge of painting and her willingness and enthusiasm for sharing it; the class feels dynamic and active - you feel that your time is filled usefully and productively; and finally, she has the ability to assist each person, not only according to their level of skill, but also to help them realise their own vision/approach to painting. Well done! No wonder there are so many people who want to continue.
  • As always Matilda is a great tutor. Matilda assists and discuss with students how to tackle the problems. I feel I am making a progress due to her guidance .