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Online | Contemporary Landscape Painting with Nicole Kelly

Explore your love of nature experiment in your response to the landscape through a new understanding of colour and paint materiality. Paint with your preferred medium of: watercolours, acrylics, inks or oil (and learn how to combine some).Your tutor will work with you to explore tone, form, colour and composition. We can also explore various supports, such as paper, canvas/linen and board. The idea is for you to paint at your own pace and explore your own interest/project. The idea is to unleash your playfulness with paint and discover new ways of working, whilst at the same time having a firm grasp of material knowledge so as to make good working decisions (plus imagine up new ways of expressing your vision!)

Class overview for this 4 week online course

Week 1: Introduce concept of painting en plein air with the hope some may be able to put this into practice through the week. We will cover plein air vs studio painting, and how to manage working outdoors with rapidly changing conditions. Following this we will cover pallet set up, composition, putting down coloured grounds and begin work on a transcription project focusing on colour and confident mark making.

Week 2: Skyscapes. We will look at historical and contemporary examples, both plein air and studio paintings of skyscapes.

Week 3: Working from photographs. We will discuss the problems and benefits, traps and how to mange working from photographs. We will look at contemporary examples and focus on a limited pallet.

Week 4: Framing a landscape through a window or door. Will look at a variety of contemporary examples and focus on composition. We will discuss the challenges associated with inside, outside and tonal vs colorist choices that need to be made

_image above: Nicole Kelly, Lone cloud, 2019, oil on polyester_123.5 × 169.5 cm courtesy Arthouse Gallery_

Is this course right for me?

Not for complete beginners, some prior painting experience is assumed

Materials list

Students should have the following materials:

  • A sketch book and soft graphite pencils (4B-6B) or willow charcoal
  • Eraser (hard)
  • 2-4 canvas board, stretched canvas, unstretched canvas wrapped around a piece of foam core or canvas paper,
  • If using watercolour you will need a good quality paper to get the best results. We can talk about what texture will work best with your sensibility. If you are wanting to do loose expressive paper works then a rough arches in either 300gsm or 640gsm would be ideal.
  • Acrylic paint to put down a coloured ground
  • Watercolour/acrylic or oil paint (see notes below)
  • Synthetic bristle brushes in three sizes (suitable for working on a small canvas)
  • Palette
  • Palette knife and a rag
  • Small containers


Students can use oils, acrylics, watercolours, gouache depending on preference. A usual recommendation is to have basic primary colours in both warm and cool, a white and a Payne’s grey or black as well as a brown.

The following list of warm/cool colour range names (the names will vary depending on the paint brand). These are just a guide and you may have your own preference to what you like working in…but having some of the below colours to make a start will be helpful:

Warm red (cadmium red [opaque] or napthol red medium [transparent]);
Cool Red (permanent alizarin crimson);
Cool Blue (Cerulean Blue [opaque] or Cerulean Blue Hue or Cobalt blue or manganese blue [transparent]);
Warm Blue (Ultramarine Blue or Phthalo blue (red shade);
Cool Yellow (lemon yellow or cadmium yellow or bismuth yellow);
Warm Yellow (Cadmium Yellow Deep or yellow azo deep);
White (cool toned whites: titanium white, transparent white; warm toned whites: zinc white or mixing white);
Brown (raw umber, yellow ochre);

Additional optional extras: burnt sienna, sap green, prussian green, yellow ochre, cadmium orange, viridian green or phthalo green (yellow or blue shade), phthalo blue, Indian red, magenta, quinachrodine red/red-orange.

If you are using acrylics

If you are working in acrylics (or using it for underpainting) and you are interested in working with brighter hues or incorporating metallics look at the quinacridones (Eg. Quinacridone red or red orange or magenta) & phthalocyanine greens/blues, the ‘vivids’, ‘irridescents’ & ‘brights’. These colours can be found exclusively in the Liquitex and Winsor & Newton brand range. These colours are also available in oils in the Winsor & Newton range.

You will also need an acrylic paint matt or gloss medium. This is important for glazing. Gloss medium is more effective for glazing as matt medium dulls darks.

If you are using oil paints

Oil painters only

  • Odourless solvent (I recommend Gamsol)
  • Medium
  • Lidded jar for solvent
  • Disposable gloves if you are sensitive to the paint.

You tutor will give you information on reusing and disposing of spent solvents and mediums.
Bring whatever acrylics you have as well for underpainting.

From 1 June, some classes will return to studio based learning. Other classes will continue to be delivered online in our Virtual Zoom Art Room. The venue is listed with the class details.

If you are joining a Zoom Art Room class, you will need the following:

• A desktop, laptop, tablet or ios or android smartphone
• An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
• Speakers, microphone and webcam (wireless or inbuilt)
• Download the free version of Zoom to your device
• Check and test everything before you enrol, and double check the day before your class

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

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$250 Limited inc GST
Online | Contemporary Landscape Painting with Nicole Kelly

<p>{image name:“contemporary-online-landscapes-nicole-kelly-hero”}</p><p>Explore your love of nature experiment in your response to the landscape through a new understanding of colour and paint

This is an online class. Price excludes materials. This is a 4 week course.