Painting classes

Secrets of the Masters

The classes run for 12 weeks, with breaks over the school holiday periods. During the structured course we will study the methods of the Old Masters. Students will work on one painting throughout the 12 week programme, beginning with a detailed underdrawing, followed by the underpainting and then finally the colour glazes.


The course will be broken down into specific stages. You will learn a craft with multiple elements and many of the ‘secret’ methods used by the Old Masters.

The first session will be a presentation of materials and a discussion on methodology.

I will present some examples and explain the various processes involved in the painting technique. We will discuss and decide individual subject matter and composition so we can be ready to start working the following week with your canvases. I will assist you with your image choice, grid layout and canvas size. It’s worth considering what size and composition is achievable in the 12 weeks if you wish to finish the painting.

Step 1: Drawing

Choosing a subject and the importance of light. Deciding whether to work from photo or real life. Discussion on canvas, sizes and composition. Techniques for mapping out the drawing. Drawing techniques.

Fixing the drawing.

Step 2: Monochrome

The process of transforming the drawing into a painting, and doing the ‘Imprimatura’. Introduction to the monochrome stage.

Working up the underpainting and tones, using only raw umber and white.

Modeling the forms creating texture and light.

Step 3: Glazing

Introduction to the glazing system. The application of transparent oil glaze over the neutral ‘monochrome’ using a judicious juxtaposition of temperatures, colours and values to increase the illusion of space.


During the course we will continue to discuss the technique and its use by other artists.

The Technique is a long, slow process of painting and you will learn and understand through practice.

Classes are held on:

Thursdays 09.00 – 13.00

Thursdays 14.00 – 18.00

The classes are held in Ventabren near Aix en Provence.

Price for the course is 900€.

There is a max of 6 students per class, the sessions are 4 hours long.

Materials are included. The only thing you will need to purchase is your canvas once we have determined the size.

Below are a selection of photos showing the students at work and their paintings in the various different stages.