I’ve so often heard art students say how much they’d like to try oils, but don’t really know where to start, or feel too intimidated to try them. The Intro to Oil Painting Techniques course, located in the beautiful surroundings of the Birmingham and Midlands Institute (NOW VIA ZOOM LIVE VIDEO LINK), aims to gently introduce you to the materials used in oil painting and to show you how accessible and beautiful a medium it can be. Once you try oils, you’ll never go back! On the course itself I’ll get you familiar with using oil paints and mediums. I’ll show you how to make your own mounted canvas frames (canvas is notoriously expensive, so why not prepare your own?). We’ll learn to prime your canvas for painting, how to do an underpainting in monochrome, and the technique of ‘fat over lean’. I’ll show you how to layout an organised palette, work with limited colours, lay down a tonal ground, value studies, and of course the basics of colour mixing itself. We’ll be setting up still life’s that are stimulating and contain drama. We’ll be looking at how to tackle a landscape, portraits, the benefits of studying a Master copy painting and painting the figure using this most versatile of mediums
About the Zoom Art Classes
Zoom Art Classes are fairly new for us. Back in early April this year, when I knew the May semester would not be going ahead as planned at the venue but instead would be conducted live via Zoom, I was concerned. There was so much uncertainty with taking all the courses online, I’d never used Zoom before (I hadn’t even heard of it before then), and honestly I didn’t know if this format would work.
Well, I’m pleased to report that all the online art courses for the May semester were a success. The students found the Zoom format easy to access and user friendly, and it’s free to download.
The live art tuition follows the same structure as the classroom setting, which always begins with an introduction to the theme and the materials, followed by a demonstration by me to get everyone up and running. I still provide plenty of individual feedback during the online art class, with the added bonus that the Zoom sessions are recorded.
After the live video class, the students receive a recording of the session, which only they have access to, and can be watched as many times as they wish. During the Zoom classes, the students are also free to share their work with each other, offering ideas and encouragement.
After each lesson, as an added bonus, I’ve been making group feedback videos on all work produced in class, which has proved very popular with the students. This is in addition to feedback during the lesson itself, as well as individually via email.
The Zoom art classes were initially forced upon me, but have proved an excellent short-term solution to an unprecedented situation. The priority is for everyone involved to feel calm and safe whilst creating beautiful art, and Zoom is proving the ideal vessel for that.
With regards to materials for the course, ordinarily, I would provide most of them. However, we are of course in extraordinary times, so for the Zoom format, you have to source your own. To make this a lot less daunting a task, I’ve collaborated with Cass Art and created a recommended ‘basket’ of materials that you can purchase via the link below. As an added bonus there is a 10% discount on any purchases. Also, you can add or remove any items to the current list. Happy shopping!