Oil Basics

July 04, 2023 - August 08, 2023



This six-week course provides a great introduction for beginner painters to work with oils and for those planning to switch from acrylics to oil. You will learn about brush handling, colour mixing, glazing and scumbling, as well as how to prepare supports. Projects include practice exercises, still life set-ups and portrait painting, as well as working from photographs and from life. You will learn how oil paint technology has progressed to the point where it is considered more environmentally safe than acrylics. You will leave the course with a solid knowledge of oil painting materials including usage, clean-up and storage. In addition you will be introduced to an array of subject matter choices that you could pursue long after the course finishes. Suitable for all levels.
Online delivery.

Special Instructions

This online course will be held via Zoom. Students will receive a link one week ahead of the start of the course.

Registration Details

Visit the Vancouver Island School of Art website to register online, or phone 250-380-3500.

Suppy List

Items required for the first class:

- acrylic gesso (16 oz or larger)

- one 2 ½ - 3"- wide large brush for gessoing (hardware store quality is fine)

- rags, paper towels

- vine or willow charcoal

- one #12 "bright" brush, or similar. Hog Bristle preferred or synthetic bristle

- one 1"-wide soft-bristle synthetic brush

- two hardboard (Masonite) panels, approximately 11" x 14" (you can also use scrap plywood, thick cardboard or matboard. We will prime them with gesso in class).

paint: recommended oil paint: Winsor and Newton Winton. Titanium White (large tube); Lamp Black or Ivory Black (small tube).

- odourless mineral spirits (Ecohouse Neutralthin preferred, Gamsol or Opus brand is acceptable) Note: NO orange or citrus scent;

Additional items to be discussed during first class:

- one round pointed brush for linear work and small details

- any brushes you have at home

- oil glazing medium (Gamblin solvent-free fluid or gel medium, or stand oil mixed 50/50 with odourless mineral spirits)

- paint: in this course we will use a limited 3-colour primary palette (red, blue, and yellow); one earth tone (burnt sienna); black, and white. You can use whatever you have if you already have paints. I can look at them in the first class and advise.


Recommended oil paint:

Winsor and Newton Winton (student grade but still good quality): Lemon Yellow (PY3) or Cadmium Yellow Light Hue; French Ultramarine; Permanent Rose; Burnt Sienna



We will generally need two small or medium-sized surfaces (11" x 14" to 16" x 20") to paint on each week for class and homework assignments. Along with gessoed surfaces, stretched primed canvas and canvas paper are acceptable.

July 04, 2023 - August 08, 2023
10:00 am - 1:00 pm