Painting - Oils

Oil painting for beginners with John T Freeman

Ref: SWE09018


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About this course

Discover the fundamental techniques, methods and theories when painting with oils. Gain confidence using and applying oils with brushes and knives, colour and tone theory, and the use of paint mediums.

Course Description

A structured course especially developed for the complete beginner that introduces the fundamental techniques, methods and the theory of the Western Oil Painting Tradition. The course will help you to gain confidence in the practical use of the medium and its application. It will also introduce the means to appreciate, and most importantly, to continuously learn from the Masters of the past. This will help you to approach the art of painting with the informed and discerning eye of a painter.

Topics covered:

How to begin and proceed with the physical structure of a painting.

Become familiar with the unique properties and potential of oil paint.

Understanding the use of brushes and knives.

Basic tone and colour theory.

The use of painting mediums.

Traditional techniques including Glazing, Impasto, Scumbling and Varnishing.

The necessary means to paint a Landscape and Still-Life.


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, 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


  • Some masking tape and white spirit shared amongst the group.

What students need to bring

  • 2 small glass pots
  • 1 Jar
  • Painting clothes
  • * The tutor recommends students use 'student' or 'college' quality oil paints, such as the Daler Rowney 'Georgian' range. If you can get the larger size tubes (75cl) in the earth colours and white before you arrive that will be helpful. Otherwise paints can be purchased at the Shop.

Available to buy

  • PAINTING SURFACES: Cut sheets of ordinary unprimed hardboard. Students to pay for boards they use to the shop.
  • OIL PAINT (No alternatives can be used.)*
  • COLOURS: Titanium White, Ivory Black, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, French Ultramarine Blue, Viridian Green, Cadmium Yellow (Hue), Cadmium Orange (Hue), Cadmium Red (Hue), Alizarin Crimson
  • MEDIUMS: refined lindseed oil, re-touching varnish, white spirit
  • BRUSHES & CANVASES (NOT Daler boards)
  • Sizes: Six 12x16 inches, One 20x15 inches


John T Freeman

John T. Freeman was born in London 1958 and trained at Bath Academy of Art ( Corsham ) and Chelsea School of Art . He has taught since 1985 as a freelance tutor and lecturer to all levels of ability across a wide spectrum including the computer games industry , Lion Head and Media Molecule , Hurtwood House School, Watts Gallery, Tate Britain, and the Prince of Wales Drawing School.


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

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