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Foundations of Painting

A 10-week course where you will learn the essential traditional oil painting techniques so you can construct a successful painting

Teacher Artwork by Heidi Taillefer

This course is currently unavailable.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Feel free to contact us to ask about the course, or check out the other courses.

Teacher Artwork by Charles Vinh

Foundations of Painting

Studio course covering traditional oil painting techniques

Have you ever wanted to become good at painting but didn't know where to start? This course is for beginners to oil painting as well as those with some experience but who have not yet mastered the fundamentals.

You will learn essential painting techniques from a master painter, such as:

  • selecting and mixing the right colour palette
  • choosing the right brush and brush-stroke for the job
  • painting from dark to light and fat-over-lean
  • blending and applying the finishing touches

In this class, you will train your eye to see tone and colour accurately. You will learn a powerful step-by-step method for constructing a successful painting. Starting with simple still life compositions, you will move on to more complex subjects, including portraits from live models. By the end of this class, you will be comfortable and competent painting in oil.

  • Course Type Traditional Painting Courses
  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Skill Level
    Level 1
    Level 1

    Strong fundamentals in traditional drawing, painting and sculpting are the foundations to create amazing artwork.

    This level is about solidifying the fundamentals, getting a refresher on the most important art principles, and learning tricks to create realistic drawing and paintings.

  • Language English



Foundations of Drawing or equivalent experience (having a foundation in the basics of realistic drawing, such as basic perspective, proportion and shading) is required.

Language requirements: You need at least intermediate level English to take this class (the teacher is bilingual and can explain concepts and give feedback in both languages).


Required Materials

Variety of brush sizes from 1/8'' to 1'' (for example, a #2 brush (round), #6 (round), #8 (flat/filbert), and a 1/2" flat brush). Omer de Serres also sells a very economical variety pack for about $11, the brushes are supposed to be for acrylic but they will work for oils too. It's called the Gold Taklon 10 brush package, and includes a variety of flat and round brushes in different sizes.

Oil Paint (small tubes):


Auxiliaries and accessories:

  • 1 small metal or plastic spatula used for MIXING paint, not applying paint, ask a clerk at the store which is which
  • Paper towels, 1 piece of tissue or rag
  • New Wave grey disposable palette with a hole, 11" x 16" (NO WHITE PALETTE) (https://www.deserres.ca/en/new-wave-disp-grey-palette-hand-11x16)
  • 4 16x20” inch canvases (please bring all of these to your first class!)
  • 1 small bottle of linseed oil
  • 1 small empty glass jar (such as one for baby food)
  • An apron to protect your clothing


Optional (if you want to paint from home) :
1 small bottle of odourless taltine


Course Outline

Initiate yourself to a quick and efficient step-by-step method for alla prima painting in oil. Through step-by-step explanations, demonstrations, and one-on-one coaching from a master painter, your painting skill will improve rapidly.

*Please note that this outline is from the last time we held this class and we may make some updates and improvements for the coming term.

Week 1 – Learn the best ways to use your materials and the steps to begin, develop and complete a painting.

Weeks 2 and 3 – Understand how to use tonality to give form to your subjects and learn the basics of mixing colors and blending. Become proficient in choosing the right colour intensity and understand the different types of contrast you should use in your paintings.

Week 4 and 5 – Gain skill in rendering fabric, transparent, and reflective surfaces. Learn essential principles of composition so you can create a harmonious painting.

Week 6 - Understand and apply the right techniques when painting a portrait and become proficient mixing flesh tones.

Week 7 – Learn to use variations in colour temperature on the face and head to create a richer and more convincing portrait. Understand how to render of facial features realistically in colour.

Week 8, 9, 10 – Work with a live model and gain proficiency in one of the most important skills in visual arts: painting with the correct relationships between tonality, intensity, and colour temperature

Check out the entire outline

Speak to an advisor

Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 514-998-7625
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