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Friday Still Life/Basic Drawing (Mornings only)

Friday Still Life/Basic Drawing (Mornings only)

Term 3, 2024:  July 19 - September 20 (10 Weeks)

10am to 12:45pm


Tutors: Sally Ryan & Ben Ryan


This class is for artists who are looking to improve their skills in painting and/or drawing from life. Each student is provided with a lightbox setup which is theirs for the term, meaning that they can work on projects for as many classes as they like with no disturbance to their composition or lighting.


Still life painters will focus on concepts including proportion, form, tone, colour, composition, brushstrokes and more. Painting still life involves a range of challenges that are important for artists to understand, so it’s a great exercise for all painters, and a great starting point for those who want to get into oil painting.


This class also focuses on basic drawing principles and is a good place to start for anyone who is a beginner to drawing and painting. Students focused on drawing will look at all the steps involved in creating a realistic artwork. These include finding accurate proportions, simplifying what you’re seeing, understanding form, and using tone/shading to create a sense of three dimensionality in your work. Students can start off with drawing basic forms, and progress to drawing more complex objects, including our range of classical busts – this is a particularly good introduction to portraiture. Those who want to can also progress onto simple still life painting exercises.


In all of our classes students can work at their own pace and instruction will be tailored to each individual’s needs and interest. All levels of experience are welcome.


    Below is our general list of materials. If you’d like to paint but you’re entirely new to it, don’t feel like you have to rush out and buy everything. It might be a good idea to just bring drawing equipment on your first day and we can discuss materials as we go.

    For drawing: 

    • A2 size cartridge paper
    • HB+2B pencil
    • Kneadable eraser

    For painting:

    • Brushes – we recommend bringing brushes in a range of shapes and sizes. We tend to use primarily hog-hair filbert brushes. We also recommend bringing a few softer brushes for softening edges. It is also useful to have a few flat brushes, as well as some small round brushes for details. A soft fan brush can also be useful for softening edges.

    * Brushes must be in good condition. In terms of brands, we like Isabey, Rosemary & Co., Robert Simmons Signet, Escoda or Da Vinci. (Some of these brands will only be available online).

    • Board/canvas
      • (16x14 inch approx. or a bit larger – square shape is ok too)
      • Eg: gesso board, fine weave linen (Artfix, Claessens are good) – oil or acrylic primed. Canvas sheet can be taped/pinned to board if not stretched.
    • Palette Knife – Metal, not plastic
    • Wooden Palette (the studio is also able to supply palettes for use during class)
    • Paper towel
    • Rags (old T-shirts etc. are good)
    • Solvent - must be odourless and kept in a container with a lid
    • Linseed oil + small container for medium



    • White (Titanium OR Cremnitz/Lead/Flake)
    • A bright yellow (e.g. Cadmium Yellow, Lemon Yellow)
    • Yellow Ochre
    • A bright red (e.g. Cadmium Red or Vermillion)
    • Alizarin Crimson or Alizarin Claret
    • Transparent Red Oxide (and/or Burnt Sienna, Venetian Red or similar earth red colour)
    • Raw Umber
    • Ultramarine Blue
    • Ivory Black

    NB: All paint colours may be useful when painting still life so other paint colours you own can be brought along.

    *Please buy artist-quality paints, as cheap student-quality paints will only make oil painting harder to learn. We use mainly Michael Harding and Old Holland paints, but brands such as Winsor & Newton, Gamblin & Rembrandt are also acceptable. Please do not buy oil paint sets, each of the colours above is chosen specifically.

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