Oil Painting Workshop



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At SSCA painting from life is the culmination of all the essential skills we teach. In this course students attend the one-week portrait course and work from the live model.
Group one - July 25th - 29th
Group two - August 1st - 5th
5 Days 10AM - 4PM
(can be split into four equal payments of £100)

The course starts with an in-depth explanation of the SSCA process for approaching realistic painting and drawing. A technical demonstration on mixing colours organising the palette and preparing mediums, and producing a painting made directly from the live model. Students work for 5 hours daily, theory in the morning for two hours and three hours in the afternoon with the model.

The session begins with two hours of theory and drawing, designed to strengthen the students visual relationship with three-dimensional form. Students use a limited palette for their portrait, they soon discover its phenomenally wide range of hues and its harmonious unity of them. Projects range from 3, 5 and ten minute drawings and then progress to develop a structure for their painted portrait.

In the afternoon students return and work with the live model. In a rich and atmospheric environment students learn the essential points of classical portrait painting, rhythm, lighting, the illusion of three dimensional form and space. This class will fine tune the students approach to painting from life in any students work, wether experienced or complete beginner. The knowledge and confidence is applicable to every form of artistic expression.

Students will use the sight-size method of measurement as well as other drawing methods including Riley and Loomis.

Instruction is on an individual basis, so students of all levels are welcome.


  • 1 HB Pencil

  • 1 sharpener

  • Sheet of tracing paper, A4 size. 

  • One 10x12 canvas board.

  • 75ml Bottle of Windsor Newton Liquin

  • One tube of Burnt Umber or Raw Umber acrylic paint, black acrylic paint, white (any brand, any quality, small size)

  • Small bottle of odourless solvents.

  • Oil Paints - Daler Rowney Georgian Oil Colours or Windsor Newton Oil Colour (must include Oxide Light Red, raw Umber, Burnt Umber,  Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Ivory black, Yellow ochre, Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue) 75ml/37ml

  • 1 pack of baby wipes

  • One pad of paper tear-away palettes (or if you prefer a plastic/wooden palette, just remember to keep it clean)

  • Artist brushes of good quality or long handled cat's tongue brushes sizes 2-12. 

  • (Long handle if possible)

  • https://www.rosemaryandco.com/watercolour-brushes/golden-synthetic/filbert-cats-tongue




9AM-12PM, 1PM-4PM, 6PM-9PM



(Can be split into three monthly payments of £200)


The Space

257 London Road


This course is designed to advance the student’s translation of the three dimensional to the two dimensional, allowing you to confront the human figure, and eventually to draw it with fluency. Skill in drawing is considered fundamental to painting, sculpture or other art form at the Scottish School of Classical Art, and so we begin with the most difficult subject to draw effectively - the figure.

Students gain an introduction to the academic method of figure drawing, used by the major Realist ateliers of 19th century. Best exemplified the French and Russian Academic tradition.

Students learn the intricacies of the gestural drawing - an essential precursor for your finished drawing, and tuition in anatomy. This tuition will give an overview of specific pieces of the human body and how they directly translate to our figurative drawing practice. The goal with our anatomy lectures is for you to use the figure as a reference point for your knowledge, develop realistic drawings without extensive time with the figure.

From the second week through the end of the course, they work from the live model everyday for 2 hours per session on a long pose, using graphite and working on paper. Students receive regular individual critiques to help guide them toward a fully resolved and accurate drawing from their instructor.

Our objective as painters, draftsmen and anatomy students is to see the form of the human figure as it exists in life, as opposed to the static and fragmented nature of the cadaver or charts and diagrams. By the conclusion of DRAWING THE FIGURE IN THE ACADEMIC STYLE you will be able to work freely and confidently with the human figure and use the descriptive information it provides to create a believable visual impression.

By the conclusion of DRAWING THE FIGURE IN THE ACADEMIC STYLE the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of human anatomy by a sophisticated outline and well designed shadow shapes, as well as descriptive half tone shapes integrated into the big light shape

  • Demonstrate proportion among various forms

  • Demonstrate skill with dealing with the subtle changes of the living, moving form

  • Create edges that give the impression of form turning in space

  • Create a realistic impression of weight and balance

  • Create a realistic impression of structure and solidity

  • Create a realistic impression of light flowing over the form


Two HB pencils (Blue Staedtler if possible)

5+ 2B Pencils: This kind have very soft wood and are easier to sharpen:

STAEDTLER Mars Lumograph 2B Pencil (Pack of 12) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001A1PP62/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_F40D0JR49553BZMRVB4K

Two 2H pencils. (Blue Staedtler if possible)

One sanding block or sand paper sheet - fine grain. (Any hardware shop should have these for very cheap.)

One sharpening blade (Stanley knives work well)

One artists gum rubber

One mahl stick



No refunds can be made once the student has paid the tuition fees and committed to the course, unless provided with a doctor’s note to state medical issues or special circumstances.