Colour + Landscape in Oils

Oil / Landscape


Course details

Join artist Martha Holmes for this two part course on oils following her sell out show at The New Craftsman Gallery, St Ives, Between Land and Sea.

Inspired by the Cornish masters and contemporary painters with a strong resonance with St Ives – Patrick Heron, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, William Scott and Lucie Bray; Martha will take you through how this has led her own development as a painter sharing with you some key techniques you can use for yourself. Start with exploring how to understand the landscape through colour. The emphasis will be on the importance of ‘looking’ within the landscape, and how that allows us to form a deep connection with our subject matter as painters.

Working from a video recording of the local coastline, learn to break down the landscape to form a colour palette of that location, leading to a number of small oil colour studies on paper by the end of the first session. In the next session scale up and widen your palette. Learn how to harness large flat areas of colour to create a sense of abstraction and how to translate your own experience into colour and expressive mark making.

Session 1

Martha will show you how to create her colour palette and work on a series of small studies.

Session 2

Explore shape and form, moving from focused colour studies to working on a larger scale.

Who is this course for?

Anyone with an interest in art and design and the work of St Ives artists. Ideal for beginners and intermediate painters looking for ways to freshen up their painting and move more into abstraction. A great way to build your confidence in creating an evocative but simplified colour palette.

What will I learn?

A deeper understanding about the visual structure of landscape and how this can be translated on to surface through paint.

How to upscale from smaller studies.

How to create shape and form through colour.

What you need

We will be working with oils on oil paper so you will need a selection of oil paints and brushes as well as sheets of oil paper or cardboard or mdf board primed with thinned wood primer.

Once you have booked you will be able to watch on demand immediately. 

You can pause, rewind and watch again as often as you like until the session expires 90 days after purchase

You can watch this on a PC, laptop or tablet and if you have chromecast or miracast you could even cast to your SmartTV from your phone.

You will also be invited to join our Facebook Alumni group so you can share your discoveries with our community of fellow students from around the world.

Colour and Landscape in Oils

Oil / Landscape


Taught by


View Martha’s Work

Martha Holmes paints from her studio at Morgans in Falmouth alongside working outside on the coast, especially the Penwith coastline. Her approach to teaching is to simply share her love and growing energy for her painting practice. 

What our students say

  Martha covered so much, but in a straightforward and accessible way, with loads of helpful detail about techniques and materials.  This was my first experience of St Ives School of Painting, but I definitely will be back for more.


Martha Holmes is wonderful about demystifying painting and giving confidence to the student.

Eleanor H


Online Art Courses – All

How can I get help in choosing a course?

Our friendly expert staff are always happy to discuss your needs and our courses in more detail to help you with your decision. Please call us on 01736 797180

Do I need a webcam/any equipment.

For our webinar sessions which are broadcast on the internet and no webcam or microphone is needed as you just need to be able to see/hear hosts and you can communicate using the chat function. You can watch using a PC, Smart TV or tablet. A phone isn’t ideal as you will struggle to see enough unless you can miracast to a screen or smart TV.

For the longer online courses on Zoom you will need a laptop or tablet with audio and camera enabled so you can have a screen near where you are working. If you have a PC without camera or speakers, you can purchase a plug and play webcam for approx £25 which connects to a usb port. You will also need reasonable broadband connection and speed.

All the art materials and equipment needed to participate in the course will be listed in full on the online learning platform, for live webinars this will be a minimum of two weeks before the session starts.

I have registered for the webinar but I can't find my joining link

You can access all the resources and joining link for your webinar via our online learning platform. You will need to have set up an account on our online learning platform in advance. You can do this during the checkout process when purchasing your webinar. If you are having trouble accessing your online account, please contact [email protected]. You can use a PC or tablet or even cast from your phone to watch on your Smart TV.

I paid for the session but missed it, how can I watch?

Currently all our online sessions are recorded and you can access the recording on our online learning platform until it expires. Usually 60 days for a webinar, 90 – 180 days for multipart webinars or online courses.

Studio Courses

How can I get help in choosing a course?

Our friendly expert staff are always happy to discuss your needs and our courses in more detail to help you with your decision. Please call us on 01736 797180

How do I get my work home?

Tutors have special techniques for transporting oil paintings and the school has plastic folders available in our shop for £3.50 or do bring a portfolio.

For international students we are happy to arrange transportation of your work back home.

What do I need to bring?

Absolutely nothing! All materials and aprons are provided although some people do like to bring their own set of brushes.

What do I do for lunch?

Courses allow an hour’s break for lunch and there are numerous places nearby or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch into the studio.

What times do courses run?

Most of our courses start at 10am and end at 4.30pm on the first day. Subsequent days we start at 9.30am ending at 4pm.

Weekend Courses run 10am – 4pm on the first day but the final day starts at 9.30 and ends at 3.30 with a short lunch break to enable people to get home that evening.

Do you have to be experienced to come to the School?

The School is a very friendly and welcoming place for all ages and experience. Our drop-in life classes and August half-day workshops are ideal for those wanting to have a go for the first time. Most of our longer courses are also fine for novices.

If any of the courses do need a bit of experience we flag this up in the brochure and on the website.

Booking a Course

Can I pay by cheque?

Please get in touch by phone and we can hold your place for a few days whilst you post your cheque (made payable to: St Ives School of Painting) to us at St Ives School of Painting, Porthmeor Studios. St Ives TR26 1NG

How can I reserve a place?

We will hold a provisional reservation for 24 hours if you give us a call whilst you find accommodation. Otherwise please book online or by telephone 01736 797180.

You can reserve a place with a £100 deposit; balance is due 12 weeks before course start date.

About St Ives

Where do I park?

The nearest long stay public car parks are the Island and Barnoon both 5 minute walk away. In the peak summer months it may be easier to park at the big top car park by the leisure centre and walk down into town. If you don’t fancy the walk up the hill at the end of the day there is a shuttle bus which runs from outside the cinema.

How do I get there?

Public Transport: If you are coming from further afield the main train line runs into St Erth which is a 15 min taxi ride away or you can take the St Ives Bay Line which runs approx. every 30 minutes. The School is a 10 minute walk from St Ives station.

Driving: M5 will take you to Exeter where we recommend that you take the A30 across Bodmin Moor and into Cornwall. After passing Hayle, leave the A30 at St Erth roundabout for St Ives. Turn right at the second roundabout. This road will take you through Lelant and Carbis Bay into St Ives.

Where can I stay?

St Ives has a huge selection of hotels, guest houses and self catering accommodation to choose from. Please browse the art holidays St Ives section on our website and give us a call if you would like any help.

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