Beginners Oil Painting - Online

Oil / Beginners / Landscape

Book Selected Date

Course details

A thorough introduction to this versatile and accessible medium spread over 2 weeks: learn simple and dynamic approaches to painting with oils, responding to landscape and working from still life.

We record these live sessions so you can watch again on demand for 6 months after the course. Students will have the opportunity to ask the tutor questions during these live sessions as well as have access to a group forum on a secured course platform. This private online space is a chance for you and your group to connect with each other and share progress during the course.

Ideal if you are a newcomer to oils, we have designed this course to give you the tips and tools you need to get started. Learn simple and dynamic approaches to painting with oils, responding to landscape and working from still life. This will provide you with a thorough introduction to this versatile and accessible medium.

The course’s step-by-step approach will feature demonstrations and exercises at each stage to build your confidence using oils and use your studies to develop a more complex painting.

Explore different methods of applying oil paint to enhance your understanding of how it behaves as a medium. You will gain insight into how swapping a brush for a palette knife can have as much impact on the mood and tone of a piece as colour can.

When it comes to colour, you will initially concentrate on building palettes using primary and secondary colours with white. Then you will move on to tertiary colours, taking inspiration from landscape to produce colour grids. You will develop a keener eye for what to record when out sketching and be confident in mixing the colours you need back home.

As well as benefiting from live demos you will have the added bonus of time in between sessions to practice what you have learnt and gain feedback from your group and Greg. The group is kept small at just 15 students and you will be able to interact will your fellow students at the live zoom sessions as well as on our sharing platform.

Day to day plan

This is a 2 week course and will work best for those that can commit time in between the live sessions. With a twice weekly live and interactive session with Greg lasting two and a half hours you will then go off to work on your own with guidance and directions to follow.
Upload images of your artwork, which your class and tutor will be able to view, like and provide feedback on.

Tech introduction session

Live Zoom session for anyone who would like a technical introduction to the platform available on request

Session 1

Tuesday 17th October Live Zoom session 10.00am – 1.00pm

After an introduction to the course Greg will talk you through your materials and equipment. He will then lead you through the first steps into colour mixing using exercises to put together your palette.

We then move on to mark making together. Explore how rags, brushes, scrapers and anything you can find around the house can be used to make confident expressive marks. Greg will show you how to prepare grounds for a canvas with a brief introduction to selecting and setting up a simple still life for the next day.

After the live session spend some time working through these exercises.

Session 2

Friday 20th October Live Zoom session 10.00am – 12.30pm

If you have an easel either desk or standing have this set up ready, otherwise work on the table. Greg will show you how to make a view finder to help decide on a composition from your still life.

Then working on canvas we will use the colour mixing and mark making skills explored so far to apply the oil paint and explore a range of mark making to create a confident still life painting.

After the live session watch a short video in your own time to help you use the afternoon and next morning to produce a few landscape charcoal sketches to use as source material later and develop some tonal drawings.

Session 3

Tuesday 24th October Live Zoom session 10.00am – 12.30pm

In this session we get even more expressive and free. Select one of your charcoal studies to develop into a landscape painting on canvas . Starting with demonstrations from Greg you will then work on your own piece alongside the tutor live. The following morning select a second sketch to translate on to oil paper so you can keep experimenting.

Session 4

Friday 27th October Live Zoom session 10.00am – 12.30pm

Plenary session to cement your learning and provide you with a solid foundation to move on from. Use our online course platform after the live session to post updates on your progress and receive feedback from peers and your tutor up to the following Wednesday.

What you will get out of this course

  1. An understanding of the properties of oil paint so you can have more control of the paint and get the effect you want.
  2. Confidence in colour mixing so you can develop your own personal palette that you can recreate rather than rely on guesswork.
  3. The skills to develop paintings from drawing studies.
  4. The ability to put together your own oil painting kit and the knowledge to get the most out of it.
  5. Confidence in using a variety of tools and techniques to get a range of marks and effects. This will help you create paintings that are interesting and striking.

Who would this course suit?

Whether you are a complete beginner in oil paints or would like to build your confidence working with them, this course is a wonderful starting point.

Beginners Oil Painting – Online

Oil / Beginners / Landscape

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Greg’s Work

I try to connect people to their environment with my art. I started out as a landscape painter, but it was only through undertaking a masters degree in 2009 that I realised the best way to connect people to their environment was to take them into that environment and get them to make the art! This is now the core of my practice and through my work I specialise in outdoor education and woodland management.

What to Bring

You will receive a handbook on setting up ready for the course covering equipment and materials. We will guide you on how best to set up in your own home environment whatever that might be from the kitchen to the studio.

You will be provided with a full materials list and you will need to use oil paint and either low odour white spirit or Zest It, if you are sensitive to solvents.

IT Equipment

You will need a laptop or tablet with audio and camera enabled so you can have a screen near where you are working. A phone is not ideal as you will struggle to see enough. You will also need reasonable broadband connection and speed.

Timings and Breaks

Before the course starts there will be technical session with our digital administrator to make sure you are comfortable with the technology and everything is working correctly.

Key Dates: Live Zoom Sessions

Pre Course Tech session – on request

Session 1 – Tuesday 17th October 10.00am – 1.00pm

Session 2 – Friday 20th October 10.00am – 12.30pm

Session 3 – Tuesday 24th October 10.00am – 12.30pm

Session 4 – Friday 27th October 10.00am – 12.30pm

You will be set self-directed tasks to complete in between live sessions.

These classes will be recorded and ready to view an hour or so after the session ends so you can review, pause, rewind, practice and recap before the next morning session.

All recordings will be available for you to watch again on demand as many times as you like for six months after the course ends. This means you can review and further develop your skills.

What our students say

Greg was fantastic. I loved the course, benefited enormously and have hardly put my paintbrush down since!

Liz Rigden

Greg was easy mannered with such a wealth of information. Practical methods of developing a new skill, taught with a natural openness .


 Great opportunity to learn about oil paints and appropriate techniques both in studio and en plein air. Lovely teacher with great energy and knowledge. 

Exceeded expectations, have done short courses at other schools and your organisation and style of tutoring was top of the list, well done all!



Online Broadcast

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 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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