Oil painting landscapes – scale and light with Tom Benjamin

Painting - Oils

Ref: SLW12541

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About this course

Learn how to get a sense of the scale of a landscape view, expansive sky, or massive tree into a small painting. Working small enables you to turn over ideas quickly, try things out and experiment.

Course Description

Learn how to make paintings which capture the quality of light and atmosphere in the landscape. You will be working outside whenever possible, making quick studies on small boards (from 8 x 6 inches to 12 x 16 inches), as you learn how to create a feeling of scale and mass in a small painting.

The course will focus on approaches to structuring an oil painting. You will explore the use of different coloured grounds and palettes, brushwork and approaches to simplify and imply textures rather than describing them in detail. You will work on a series of paintings of the same view to study the changing light. By developing a greater technical fluency you will be better able to make paintings that capture what moves you about your subject.

During the course, you will receive one-to-one and group tutoring. The tutor will also be painting with the group sometimes to demonstrate approaches to painting.

By the end of the course, you will have gained confidence in painting outdoors, gained knowledge of how to approach painting your subject and technical skills to achieve a painting full of light and atmosphere. You can expect to have completed a series of small oil paintings.


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


  • Acrylic gesso primer
  • Acrylic paints to add to primer for colouring ground
  • Low odour thinner (Zest-it) for studio use
  • Two 8 x 6 inch MDF boards, two 10 x 8 inch MDF boards, two 12 x 9 inch MDF boards and two 16 x 12 inch MDF boards.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring painting equipment and a surface to paint on to the first evening session (shop opens from 8.30am – 2pm daily.).
  • Oil paints: Titanium White, Winsor Yellow or equivalent, Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Winsor Blue (green shade) or equivalent, Raw Umber, Ivory Black
  • Hog brushes (artists’ quality) – the tutor recommends long flat in a range of sizes 1–10
  • A double dipper, a flat palette, white spirit or turps (for outdoor work only), a two inch decorators’ brush, paint rags and a camera or smart phone if you want photographic references
  • The College has its own sketching easels and portable chairs but if you have your own and it folds fairly compact you are welcome to bring it.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good selection of art materials including oil paints in a good range of colours including Titanium White, Winsor Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Winsor Blue (green shade), Raw Umber, Ivory Black etc.
  • A good variety of hog brushes (artists’ quality) long flat in a range of sizes 1–10
  • Double dippers, flat palettes, turpentine, two inch decorators’ brushes
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Tom Benjamin

Tom Benjamin paints landscapes, town and coastal views in oils, outside in front of the subject, in all weathers. He is represented by Sarah O'Kane Fine Art.


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

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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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