Introduction to oil painting

Course Dates: 18/09/22 - 09/10/22
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Location: Keeley Street
Oil paint is a uniquely luscious medium, capable of delicate transparency and rich impasto effects. It holds many challenges for the beginner, but this course will offer a clear, structured way into the essentials and beauty of oil painting. The course is for beginners and/or painters who want to learn to use the medium with confidence from scratch. Students will develop a feel for paint handling which will build skills and feed progress in oil painting.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £279.00 Senior fee £223.00 Concession £181.00

Course Code: VM841

Available start dates 

Sun, day, 18 Sep - 09 Oct '22

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Each week we will explore an essential aspect of oil painting and image-making, through a range of exercises and studies. Methods, techniques and artists will be matched to each theme. In the final week students will make a personal oil painting inspired by artists and research from the preceding weeks.

What will we cover?

- How to layout and safely manage materials including solvent within a studio setting
- Priming a simple painting surface
- How to lay out a palette

Exercises from artists’ work and observational studies will cover:
- Light and Shade – understanding tonal contrast and painting transitions
- Colour vibrancy and subtlety through mixing and blending
- Techniques such as scumbling, drybrush, wet in wet and glazing
- Completing an oil painting in stages, using a lean to rich painting process.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- You will learn to use good studio practice in relation to oil painting materials
- Organise a palette in terms of colour and tone

Produce a range of small studies which:
-Use paint with sensitivity to light and colour
- Employ a range of essential oil painting techniques appropriately
- Complete an oil painting following a stage-by-stage process, inspired by artists and methods explored on the course.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is for beginners, or painters wanting to understand the essentials of oil painting. Students may have done a short introductory painting course or equivalent. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, for hand-outs and for health and safety information. You will also be invited to take part in group discussion.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

- Tutor demonstrations
- Paint handling exercises
- One to one guidance
- Group discussion
- Slide shows of artists
- No homework required but students may wish to research related artists or source images to inspire their final painting.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring two clean glass jars with lids and kitchen towel. Basic oil painting materials and media will be provided including cartridge paper to prime. The tutor will prepare and prime paper for your first session to save drying time. For subsequent weeks students will prime paper in advance, or you may wish to buy yourself ready-primed paper during the course. You may also wish to purchase a ready primed canvas for your personal project in the last week. The tutor will advise on size.

Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencil to printing services, at 15% off.

To get an LGC discount card, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a student at City Lit. You can apply for our card in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation.

The student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Oil Painting projects 1 will lead onto Oil painting projects 2. In addition, a wide variety of painting classes are available at City Lit for further progression in oils and other media, including the Hands On Art History courses which offer specialised painting classes inspired by moments in Art History.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.