Demistifying Oils

with Shirley Kirkcaldy


Sunday 3 & Saturday 16 November 2019
10 am - 3 pm
Art Studio, on the second floor

Cost: £140 (to include materials stated)

Minimum 5 people, maximum 10

Is this workshop right for me?
This workshop is aimed at anyone who has been tempted to use traditional oils but is unsure about where to start, in other words a beginner in this medium. It is also for anyone who is painting in another medium who would like to learn about painting with oils.

It will introduce the basics of oil painting and will cover tools and equipment; using mediums; types of surfaces and canvas; safe use of solvents,* varnishes and cleaners and the inherent qualities that make oils unique. We will also explore colour mixing; preparing a surface; tonal value and composition.

*Harbour House has a non-toxic policy and only low odour solvents will be used in this workshop. It is still advisable to ensure adequate ventilation when using any type of solvent and for that reason, a window will be open at all times during the workshop.

Day 1 will be an introduction to oil painting with guidance on colour mixing, different types of oils and additives, application and techniques as well as establishing tonal values and composition.
Day 2 will offer the opportunity to put into practice what was covered on day 1 by creating a painting if you wish. An optional still-life will be set up or, if you prefer to paint a landscape please bring your own sketches or photographs. If you would rather not attempt a painting you will have the option for further exploration through guided short exercise and studies.

What is supplied by the tutor?
• Linseed oil and other mediums
• Odourless solvent
• Paper for exercises and small studies
• Additional paint pigments to supplement the recommended list
• Paper towel and rags
• Disposable gloves will be available if required
• Painting knives will be available for use

What to bring?
• Acrylic Gesso for priming surfaces
• Paint - student grade is fine for the purposes of the workshop. Recommended pigments:
o Ultramarine blue
o Cerulean blue or Cerulean blue hue
o Burnt umber
o Alizarin crimson
o Cadmium red or Cadmium red light
o Yellow ochre
o Cadmium yellow or lemon yellow
o Titanium white
o Greens can be mixed, but permanent green light or sap green are optional
• Brushes in a variety of sizes [to include some bristle and a large size brush]
• Painting knife [if you don’t have one I will have some available for use]
• Palette - ceramic [e.g. plate], glass, wood, metal or disposable palettes are all fine
• Surfaces – canvas [either stretched or on board], MDF board, paper*
*Paper – paper suitable for oil paint needs to be heavy duty – at least 300gsm is recommended. This can be specialist oil paper, watercolour of acrylic paper. Paper for exercises will be supplied by the tutor

• Painting clothes or apron
• One or two glass jars with a securable lid for solvent (e.g. Dolmio pasta sauce size)
• Sketches or photographs if you wish to paint a subject of your choice. Alternatively, there will be photographs available to use if preferred.

Available to buy:

The following items can be purchased from the tutor at cost price. Please advise your requirements prior to the first session to ensure they will be available.
• Oil paper
• MDF boards
• Canvas
• Canvas boards

About Shirley:
Shirley is a contemporary landscape artist living on Dartmoor who paints predominantly in oil [traditional and water-mixable] and mixed media to create explorative works in response to her environment. Her work is represented in private collections in the UK, Europe and USA and by Wildwood Gallery [Dartmoor] and Tidal Gallery [Kingsbridge]. Shirley has been a featured artist in ‘Dartmoor’ and ‘Devon Life’ magazines and has recently been interviewed by ‘The Artist’ magazine, for publication later this year. She exhibits regularly throughout the southwest and London.

How to book a place:
Please email
Please note: A deposit of £40 will be required at time of booking and places are not confirmed until full payment has been received.