FRIDAY – SKILLS PART TWO

A foundation in the elements of visual art – Introduction to oil painting

For beginners or advanced artists with gaps in their skills set.

Friday mornings 9.30am-12.30pm

Spring Term 10th January – 3rd April
Half term 21st February

  • Learn to paint in oils from the beginning
  • Understand the mechanics of oil paint
  • Discover ways of looking that lead to successful images
  • Embrace your own visual language in this powerful medium

Having completed the Essentials of Drawing students move on to this course where we learn the mechanics of working with oil paint and explore our visual perception.

We will be following a path well trodden, even if, in this age of Instagram and high concepts, it is over-covered in leafmould and moss.

Ruskin, who by coincidence lived very near our studio, outlined the elements of drawing in “Three Letters to Beginners“. He saw the development of perception as the most important skill and all of the practical tasks he suggests go towards this greater objective.

Our course draws on his approach beginning with the most basic mark making, the vowels and consonants of the visual language. It proceeds through all of the elements towards complete fluency in image making.

We will be working mostly from observation so this will include still life and 2d reference in a studio setting. You will be challenged but you may progress at your own pace: there will be agreed way marks, when you arrive at them is up to you.

Simon Dunstan is a founder of the Dulwich Art Group and School who after a career innovating in digital image making fell back in love with analogue media. He now spends much of his time painting and running DAGAS. (Dulwich Art Group And School)

Alice by Simon Dunstan, Oil on Canvas

He is a respected oil painter and has extensive knowledge about the methodology of image making. He will direct the course with support from other professional artists where appropriate.

What students are saying about Simon’s course:

I really enjoyed attending both Skills 1 and 2 with Simon. I took the courses as it had been more that 20 years since I had studied art in any form and, having come back in more recent times to drawing and painting, I recognised gaps in my skills and the need to refresh and extend my knowledge base. 
Going back to basics was really worth doing. I am finding it easier to simplify and break down what is in front of me through attention to mark making, light and shade, tonal comparisons and so on, though this is definitely “work in progress ” for me! Though we were working essentially representationally I can see how, by unravelling what I see in front of me, this may lead me onwards to my current gaol of working towards the abstract and that maybe the gap between the two is not as big as I had previously thought.
I particularly enjoyed the move in to more painting as I have not much experience in oils, and have picked up numerous helpful tips and hints. This Summer I plucked up the courage to paint “plein air”and brave the comments of the general public!
I enjoyed the companionship of group work rather than just being stuck in my own studio space, and therefore my own mind, all the time, and really appreciated Simon’s support and advice.” 

“I was slightly apprehensive before attending the skills course, skills 1 in spring 2019 and skills 2 in summer 2019. I shouldn’t have been worried. Although I have attended courses in the past I really felt that I had never learnt as much as on these two short courses. Simon , our tutor, was patient, kind, keen to impart his knowledge and made all of us felt valued from the most experienced to the most inept. Best thing however, it was a huge amount of fun. I would definitely recommend this course to anybody wishing to brush up their skills.”

Course fees

12 weeks £350

Registration & Payment

You can secure your place on the course by completing the booking process below and paying the course fee. On completion of the registration process you will receive an email confirmation with details of your course booking.