Painting the Domestic Interior with Val Nelson

October 09, 2021


When: Oct 9, 2021 @ 11am (1.5hr demo)


Space and Light: Painting the Domestic Interior

“I don’t paint things, I paint the differences between things” – Henri Matisse


The subject for Val’s painting demo is her favorite room in an old Victorian guesthouse in Hampstead, London. She will discuss and demonstrate ways to create focal points as she works toward bringing her painting toward resolution. A number of things will be considered, particularly the idea of “difference” in terms of pushing contrasts in value, edge quality, and colour saturation.



Val’s Materials List

Pre-primed Opus Exhibition Deep Canvas 1.5 inch profile, size 16 x 12”. Val always adds one layer of Golden White Gesso for extra archival protection, and lightly sands the surface with fine 600 grit sandpaper. Lately Val has been also applying an underpainting of Golden White Gesso mixed with a little Golden brand burnt umber acrylic for a brownish pink tone that adds a warm glow to her painting.

Gamblin Oil Paints: Val arranges the colours on her palette in this order listed below. (Light to dark, warm to cool). She mixes her own blacks using ultramarine blue and burnt umber.

Radiant White

Cadmium Yellow Light

Hansa Yellow Deep

Yellow Ochre

Cadmium Red Light

Quinacrodone Red

Burnt Umber

Ultramarine Blue

Pthalo Green



Gamblin Galkyd Lite

Gamblin Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits



#12 Synthetic filbert

#6 Long-haired filbert bristle brush for oil-painting

#4 Synthetic bright


New Wave 11 x 15” Neutral Gray Disposable Paper Palette pad


Italian Palette and Painting Knife #17


Val uses shop towels or rags, lots of them, for controlling the amount of paint and medium on her brushes (not too wet, not too dry), and makes sure she cleans her brushes off well before switching to a new colour, in order to keep her colours clean and bright.






Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Artist Bio

Val’s previous career as a ballet dancer informs her gestural, lush paintings and energetic drawings.  A 2003 finalist in the Royal Bank Painting Competition, she has received numerous grants and awards, and has been an artist-in-residence at Vermont Studio Centre, St Georges’ Senior School, and Powell River Music Academy. You can find her work in public collections such as Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Canada Council Art Bank, Surrey Art Gallery, and Vancouver General Hospital, as well as private collections in Canada and abroad. Val has enjoyed giving a number of demos for Opus over the years and really loves teaching. She offers a number of painting classes, from absolute beginner to mentoring professionals.


October 09, 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm