Foundations of Painting

Traditional Classes > Painting > Foundations of Painting

    Teacher Information

    Heidi Taillefer is a prolific surrealist painter, exhibiting in many countries. She has worked for Cirque du Soleil, Robert Lepage and Fantasia Festival. Master of painting, she produces commercial work for a wide variety of clients, including Bombardier, the NFL and Applied Arts Magazine and her personal work is prized and collected internationally. Her artwork has been featured in numerous prestigious magazines including Juxtapoz and High Fructose.

    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.

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

    Week 2 – Understand how to use tonality to give form to your subjects and learn the basics of mixing colors and blending.

    Week 3 – 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 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.


    This class is not offered this term.

    Please visit the Classes page to view all the classes offered in Summer 2019.


    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.


    This class is a level 2, or intermediate class. Drawing from Life 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).


    This class is not offered this term.

    Please visit the Classes page to view all the classes offered in Summer 2019.


    • Learn a basic, step-by-step method for direct painting that's so fast and efficient that teachers from other schools come to take this class!
    • Get comfortable mixing colours, blending tones, and working in oil
    • Understand how to use tonality, intensity, and colour temperature to create form, depth, strong compositions, contrasts, and harmonies

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