Better Oil Painting: What they don't teach you at Art School

2 TUTOR: Paul Minter (BA Hons PGCE)

During this course, your tutor will teach you all you need to know in order to make confident and successful oil paintings in traditional and contemporary styles. He will cover the absolute basics and enable you to get going using the materials correctly and effectively. People often assume that oil paints are messy, smelly and complicated. None of which is necessarily true, but you do need to be taught what to do. The tutor will show you lots of techniques that you are very unlikely to discover by accident. This course is suitable for painters who wish they had received more formal training, and for beginners in oils who have some experience painting and drawing. All materials provided.

1 Full Day
Full day course

Course Notes


Until the mid-20th Century, art students were taught their craft by copying the works of great artists of the past. I believe that this is an excellent way to learn what to do. Of course, the paintings we study have to be carefully selected to provide what you need. We will paint a landscape, a portrait, a still-life and a sunset. We will look at old master techniques as well as impressionism and modern direct painting. I will demonstrate each painting using tried and trusted methods. You will be amazed at how much progress you can make, what you are capable of doing, and how much ground we can cover.

If you have painted with me before I will make sure that all the paintings are ones that you have not attempted before.

This course is suitable for painters who have used water colour or acrylics and want to try oils. In the past I have called it "Oil Painting made Easy” but that might suggest that it requires little effort, which is not true.

Oil painting has a reputation for being messy, smelly, and taking ages to dry. None of this is true if you are taught some basic techniques and use the right materials. The point is that you need to be taught good practise, because you are very unlikely to discover these things by accident. You need to be shown how to avoid mixing all the colours into a muddy mess.

Once you have learned some basics on this course you will be able to apply these new techniques to your own work at home. You can take your painting in whatever direction you like, confident that you have methods that you can utilise to create better paintings.

All of the materials and equipment will be provided but a couple of old jam jars with their lids would be helpful.

Please bring an apron or wear old clothes as oil paint does tend to get on things, especially sleeves. Bring a re-fillable water bottle, it is often hot in the studio, and you will need to keep hydrated. I discourage the use of cups, glasses, etc because the temptation to dip one's brushes into them is too great.



Course Tutor

Paul Minter


About Paul


Paul returns to Marlborough this year. He is a very experienced teacher and tutor who has taught for institutions as diverse as the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Helsinki University and until recently was Head of Art at Pinewood school.

He is an associate tutor with the Norfolk Painting School and writes articles on oil painting for Leisure Painter magazine.

His classes are always popular, entertaining, packed with art history, highly instructive and practical.


Gift vouchers

Request a brochure

Summer School Entertainment 2024


Talking Stones

Rock, Paper, Scissors Brian Anderson has been a lecturer and course tutor at the Summer School...

More News

All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul

WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul

WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul

WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM