Oil studies in the landscape with Christopher Baker

Painting - Oils

Ref: SWE11498

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About this course

Working outside is exhilarating but needs clarity of approach that combines technique with what you are seeing. Being able to respond, simplify with paint, use colour and tone in the open is an invigorating experience.

Course Description

It is exhilarating to work outside. On this course, you will learn how to develop a clear approach and ways of seeing in the landscape, responding to the subject, simplifying with paint using colour and tone, and then how to use your studies in the studio for further work.

You will begin by looking at oils and materials – surfaces, brushes, paints, working methods, colour palettes and how to organise materials to work outside. You will then focus on ideas and how to deconstruct what you are seeing in relation to your idea, to define what your painting is about. Locations will include expansive landscapes with large skies, and more intimate woodlands and rivers.

The tutor will present slides on artists and oil studies to inspire you, and illustrate various methods and approaches. He will demonstrate techniques, provide opportunity for discussion and one-to-one support.

By the end of the course, you will understand how to use oil paints and materials, and how they relate to ways of seeing. You will know how to work outside, and be able to simplify and organise feelings and visual thoughts in front of the motif.


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 College will supply four 10” x 8” ply panels and four 14” x 16” ply panels per student, plus one metre of muslin.

What students need to bring

  • Apron/overall
  • Rags
  • White used cotton sheet
  • 2 clean jam jars with lids
  • Notebook
  • For the first evening session, please bring with you: gesso primer, decorator brush, half meter muslin, cotton sheet, rabbit skin glue granules. You can buy some granules from the tutor if you don’t have them.
  • Optional: The tutor highly recommends a Pochade (a small box that will hold board, brushes and paints, wet oils and can be an easel on your lap or attached to an easel.)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • These are the suggested colours:
  • Earth colours: Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna
  • Ivory Black, Titanium White
  • Primary colours: Cadmium Red, Crimson, Cadmium Yellow, Gamboge/Aureolin, French Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Magenta
  • Michael Harding Unbleached Titanium Dioxide
  • Medium: Robersons Glaze Medium (or 1 part stand oil, 1 part dammar varnish, 5 parts genuine turpentine, few drops of cobalt drier)
  • Rabbit skin glue granules
  • Acrylic Gesso primer
  • Filbert hogs hair brushes large, medium, small
  • Soft nylon round small
  • 2 inch decorator brush
  • Zest-it (not turpentine)
  • Large palette white or plastic approx 16x18 ins – no smaller! (50cm x 50cm Perspex available in shop)
  • Dippers (or jam jar lids)
PLEASE NOTE: the tutor has asked students to bring some materials to the first evening session when the shop will be closed (see what students need to bring). The tutor recommends top quality artists paint, Winsor and Newton, Old Holland, Blockx, Michael Harding, Vasari. If you prefer to wait he can advise you on the course. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


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.

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