I’ve recently run a still-life oil painting workshop at the wonderful Orleans House Gallery, in their Coach House studio. We had 5 fantastic sessions really getting to grips with drawing, composition across 3 canvases and painting. We also spent part of one week using encaustic wax technique; mixing warm beeswax with paint to create more textured and built-up areas on the canvas. For students who’d missed a date, I asked the gallery for an extension session, but they’re pretty busy running workshops, so a few students came to my home to finish off.
Now the London weather’s got much warmer, it’s really relaxing to sit with the doors open and listen to the birds, the bees and the odd vehicle in the distance, whilst painting at the kitchen table. Along with linseed oil, I’d invested in some odourless oil medium to dilute the paint and to keep the smells down. Using real distilled turpentine smells so gorgeous (I could alsmost eat the paint mixed with that – just kidding don’t ever do that), but working right in the middle of a family home, it helps keep things manageably fragrant; just a bit of a linseed oil smell wafting around.
Some students had never painted in oils or even drawn much before. Over a cup of tea, and adding the final touches to their work, I could see how proud the students were; and the results speak for themselves. A friend Chris saw the paintings and said she was impressed they were all so different from each other. I do try to always work with a student’s strengths, even if we’re painting the same things. Each person brings something to a painting, whether they’re beginners or experienced, and it’s important to go with that for best results.
I’m devising another session and will post about what’s up and coming soon.
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