Landscape oil painting – Ideas and techniques with Christopher Baker

Painting - Oils

Ref: S5D12529

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About this course

Learn how technique can be used to develop your ideas through painting. Evaluate how studio practices, systems and processes have influenced artists who work in oils. Make use of existing work or research and initiate a new project.

Course Description

“The idea and technique are inseparable” Francis Bacon

When you look at a good painting, what you see is an idea that has been made visible through, and fused with, the technique. The physical form in which a work is expressed, is to a large part, the content of the work. The artist's technique or system is able to give a previously invisible thought and feeling a material form and a unique vision. This is the freedom of technique. No artist's vision is greater than their power to materailise that vision.

We shall look at the technique of oil painting, studio practices, systems and processes and gain insight into how artists work in oils. You will understand and make use of the techniques to express what you feel and think about your subject. You will learn how to identify your idea or vision in and through your painting technique.

The subject is landscape and you can make use of your ongoing research or initiate a project from primary studies in the landscape.

By the end of the course you will have a variety of processes in oils connected with vision:

An understanding of tonal painting with colour


Colour selection

Vision and design

Relating studio work to plein air


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will make and supply the oil painting medium.
  • The College will supply six 10 x 8in ply panels and four 16 x14in ply panels per student. Some acrylic gesso primer, muslin and rabbit skin glue.

What students need to bring

  • Roll of 2 metres of primed canvas – cotton duck
  • Apron/overall, rags, scissors
  • White used cotton sheet
  • Notebook, sketchbook, charcoal, plastic rubber, 4 sheets of A1 cartridge paper
  • White firm surface for palette (or perspex palette from shop)
  • Odourless thinner– ‘Zest It’ or sansador
  • Roberson’s glaze medium matt to spread the paint.
  • Rabbit Skin Glue Granules (This will be used as a primer to glue and protect surfaces from oils.)
  • Acrylic gesso primer
  • Brushes: 3 hogs hair filbert – large, medium, small, 1 synthetic hair detail brush, a 2 inch household brush
  • Oil paint (no hues) and artist quality preferred in the following colours:
  • Earth colours: Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Vine Black and/or Indigo
  • Primary colours: Cadmium Yellow, Aureolin or Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Red, Rose Madder and/or Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue and/or Cobalt Blue (genuine)
  • Whites: Titanium, Unbleached Titanium

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials including: Zest It (or Sansador) low odour solvent, Roberson’s glaze medium matt, rabbit skin glue granules, acrylic gesso primer, scissors, sketchbooks, charcoal, plastic rubbers, cartridge paper, white Perspex palettes.
  • Hogs hair filbert brushes in large, medium and small, synthetic hair detail brush, 2 inch household brush
  • Oil paints (no hues) artist quality Winsor & Newton in Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Vine Black, Indigo, Cadmium Yellow, Aureolin, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Red, Rose Madder, Alizarin Crimson
  • French Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue (genuine), Titanium White, Unbleached Titanium White.
The tutor highly recommends a pochade (this is a small box that will hold brushes and paints, wet oils and can be an easel on your lap) or a box easel. He also recommends artist quality paints – Old Holland are reliable Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Christopher Baker

Christopher Baker is an artist and author and had a leading role playing himself in the feature film Archipelago. He exhibits in the UK and Europe as well as Canada, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions, Pallant House Gallery (Chichester) and Medici Gallery Cork Street, New English Art Club, LondonDescribe your approach to teaching?


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

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