St Ives School of Painting

Intermediate Oil Painting

Acrylic / Oil / Landscape - Materials included

Book Selected Date

Course details

Learn key techniques and strategies to develop your representational painting skills and bring life and energy to your work.

landscape oil painting by greg humphries

During this course, you will be learning more about how light and colour work in nature. With the beautiful backdrop of St Ives as inspiration, artist Greg Humphries will encourage you to take pictures of your chosen subject matter, considering light/dark balance and movement in your images as well as the components needed for a strong composition and subject matter.  Back in the studio explore these themes further through drawing using dry materials such as pencil, charcoal and pen as preparatory work for painting. 

Learn how to scale up your images onto a support and watch Greg demonstrating techniques such as underpainting and how to build up simple forms gradually. As the course progresses, you will be considering the use of colour to achieve atmosphere in your paintings. Greg will be referencing various colour theories devised by artists such as Swiss painter, Bauhaus teacher, and author of ‘The Art of Colour’, Johannes Itten’s, who was one of the first people to define and identify strategies for producing successful colour combinations. 

This course utilises the benefits and advantages of both acrylic and oil paints to achieve layered images that consider colour saturation, colour group and hue interaction to achieve final pieces of artwork.

What will I learn?

  1. How to build feeling and mood into a representational painting from a photograph
  2. How to scale up images using the diagonal and grid methods onto a support
  3. Learn about different artists’ colour strategies and start to implement these into your painting
  4. Explore the affect of differing tonal values on the mood of a painting
  5. Learn about composition and what makes a successful image.

Who would this course suit?

Students should be familiar with mixing secondary and tertiary colours, using solvents and mediums and can prepare their own grounds on supports of their choice. A perfect follow on if you have joined one of our beginners courses in oils or acrylics.

Intermediate Oil Painting

Acrylic / Oil / Landscape – Materials included

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

Our studios are fully equipped and we provide you with all the materials you need for your course. However, if you have a favourite set of brushes or any specialist materials that you would prefer to use, please bring them with you.

Timings and Breaks

The first day starts at 10am and finishes at 4.30pm, please aim to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before the start time.

All course days after that start at 9.30am and end at 4pm. There are plenty of nearby places to eat and we will serve tea and coffee at break times during the day.


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

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 Long Stay Car Park, both a 5 minute walk away. In the peak summer months it may be easier to park at Trenwith 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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