Oils for Beginners

50 TUTOR: Melanie Cambridge

If you are completely new to painting, or have never worked with oils before, then this course is for you. Oil paint is buttery in texture making it easy to blend, scrape off and re-work as you paint. Ideal for beginners. Starting with the basics, brushwork, colour mixing and paint-handling, the course is full of demonstrations, simple exercises and step by step guidance to give you the skills and confidence to paint with oils. All materials will be provided.

2 PM
PM course

Course Notes

THE COURSE IN DETAIL: - what can I expect?

The week will be full of demonstrations accompanying all sessions. There will also be plenty of one-to-one tuition to help everyone achieve their very best by the end of the week. Starting with a series of lessons on the technical aspects of paint-handling and colour mixing, there will be opportunities to work from still life arrangements, photographs and original paintings provided by the tutor. Tuition will be step by step so you are fully supported as you learn.


DAY ONE: Introducing Oil Paint

Start with an introduction to the materials and equipment you will be using. How to lay out your palette, mix colours, blend colours together and apply paint in layers, wet on wet. Melanie will demonstrate each technique first as a simple exercise, before you have a go.


DAY TWO: Getting started

Painting our first subject - a simple still life with fruit and maybe a jug of flowers. Separate arrangements on each table so students will have their own studies to work from. Painting step by step alongside the tutor.

DAY THREE: Paint a Landscape

Paint a simple landscape. Starting with lessons on mixing greens and techniques for painting trees. Working from photographs to sketch in the subject before starting to paint. Tuition will be step by step, so you can understand each stage and build confidence as you paint.


DAY FOUR: Water & Reflections

Reflections can be really easy to paint with oils as colours stay wet long enough to blend them. Painting a Lakeland scene with mirror-like reflections.



Continue working on your Lakeland scene, plus demonstrations on painting moving water with studies of a fountain and sparkling light on water.


At the end of the course there is the opportunity to join the Court Exhibition on Friday afternoon to show off your newly acquired painting skill to friends and family, if you wish.


(for use during the course and to take home and enjoy afterwards)

2-brush set - a medium filbert for blocking-in and smaller round brush for details

All course notes and handouts


PROVIDED IN THE STUDIO (for use during your stay)

Traditional Oil paint

Low Odour painting medium

Low Odour Thinner for cleaning brushes

Fast-drying Painting Butter for textural effects

Jam jars to hold medium & brush cleaner.

Palette knife


Tear-off palette

Oil sketching paper for various quick studies

4 canvas boards for finished paintings

Use of additional brushes during the course.

Table easel

All course notes and handouts - also available to download to your Tablet i-Pad if you have one.


Pencil or pen & sketchbook

Tablet or i-Pad if you have one as images and handouts can be sent in advance by via email if requested.

Please feel free to bring along any reference photos if you wish to use these as well as those provided by the tutor.

FOR GETTING WET PAINTINGS HOME: Canvases of the same size can be put together face to face with pegs to separate them.For this reason, all canvas boards supplied are of the same size. Pegs and carrier bags included so wet paintings can be wrapped together to take home.



Any Questions?

Always happy to discuss any concerns you may have about this course or what to bring along so please feel free to contact Melanie via email using art@melaniecambridge.com. If you wish to speak on the telephone, then please leave your phone number so she can contact you.


Email: art@melaniecambridge.com

Website: www.melaniecambridge-fine-art.co.uk



Course Tutor

Melanie Cambridge

About Melanie


Melanie's work is based on light and colour, capturing the essence of a subject rather than every detail. She has written several art instruction books and runs painting workshops and breaks around the UK as well as being a regular tutor at Marlborough Summer School.She teaches in oils, gouache, and mixed media. Melanie also gives demonstrations and workshops to art groups around London and the Southeast.


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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