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Oil Painting for Beginners with Dominique Millar - The Limited Palette

course overview

Learn how to gain control over oil paint using no more than three to four colours in two painted studies. Discover the potentials of tonality and colour within a limited colour palette, without becoming overwhelmed by a new medium. This class is suitable for complete beginners in oil painting, or those whith some previous experience.

Morning session: after a teacher led discussion introducing oil painting and the tonal value scale, students will undertake a monochrome painting.
Afternoon Session: students will undertake a second study with all four paints in colour. In this session you will be introduced to so-called relative ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ colour values.

Image: ‘Sheep’ by Dominique Millar

Is this course right for me?

This workshop is great for complete beginners and those with some previous experience.

what to expect

-Begin to see and record tone accurately (the variations / transitions from dark to light). This will involve breaking down the form into bands of tone that mirror the tonal scale perceived on the object painted.
-Be able to lay out a palette and mix nine pools of colour from dark to light or / and in relation to relative ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ colours.
-Gain some fundamental drawing skills in seeing and recording correct proportion prior to painting.
-Gain a broader technical, material and art historical perspective that the student may later employ to expand upon the lessons gained in class.


Linseed oil
(Optional – odourless solvent or lavender oil)

1.Light red or Venetian red or Cadmium red
2.Yellow ochre
3.Burnt umber
4.Titanium white
Wooden palette
Palette knife
Four round synthetic brushes – 2 size 6 and 2 size 8
Paper towel roll
Two eight inch gesso boards, preferably oil – primed but not essential – roughly 30cm x 25cm

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

Unless otherwise noted, prices 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.