Painting - Oils

Painting flowers with oils with Natalie Toplass

Ref: SWE10682


Book now

Places available

About this course

Observe, draw and paint the complex and captivating structures of flowers. Create translucent effects through layering oils. Learn simple methods of recording visual information.

Course Description

On this course you will refine your oil painting technique and creative vision to interpret flowers. From the fundamentals of sketching and colour, to composition, brushwork and experimenting with style, you will study and explore creative techniques to make a painting that is unique and personal.

Working from collected images, ie photographs, and fresh flowers from the Gardens, you will increase your understanding of composition, develop greater visual observational skills and become confident with your subject selection. Brush techniques are demonstrated from fine and delicate to blending and layering as you learn how to express yourself through your brushstrokes. Through structured exercises, demonstrations and individual attention the tutor will guide and support you. You will be encouraged to experiment. You will also be encouraged to take time to look at paintings in the group and discuss ideas and techniques. This group time is invaluable to help you reflect on, and further your understanding of, your own techniques as well as learn from other students.

At the end of the course you will have a better understanding of drawing and painting, and will have learnt how to layer with oil paints to create a translucent effect. You will also have developed your observational skills and learnt simple methods of recording visual information for you to continue with your practice at home.


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


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing the following materials shared amongst the group: Zest it, masking tape, tracing paper, A4 paper and flowers.

What students need to bring

  • Bring any flower photographs that you have.
  • Rags
  • Overalls
  • Any items you may have from the list below.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A variety of brushes
  • Oil paints
  • Low odour thinners and mediums
  • Acrylic paint for background colour


Natalie Toplass

Natalie Toplass is a practising artist based in Shropshire. Natalie trained at Lancashire University and then completed a post graduate diploma in Stage Set Design at the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Her work has been shown throughout Great Britain including the Royal Academy, Birmingham City Art Gallery, several Cork Street galleries in London, and the Judith Blacklock Gallery 83 in Knightsbridge. Natalie has been artist in residence, demonstrating and sharing her work for several years at Nature in Art in Twigworth, Gloucester, with schools around Shropshire and also various local art groups.


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

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.