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From pigment to paint

Weekend-long practical course

Short course

  • 6 July 2019, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 7 July 2019, 10.30am — 5.30pm
This event has now ended

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This exciting weekend practical painting course will teach you the traditional techniques used to turn pigment into paint, and then use them in your own work.

This exciting weekend course explains in detail the traditional process of turning pigments into paint and the benefits of then working with your own oil paints.

From the earliest cave paintings to today’s contemporary artists, natural and synthetic materials have been used to make paint. Binders enable pigments to adhere to a surface and have ranged from: blood, animal fats and glues, to beeswax, egg, oils and acrylics and the effective combination of complex ingredients is as much an art as a science.

The mixing of linseed oil with coloured pigments to make oil paints was first documented in the Middle Ages, most notably by Theophilus, the author of De Diversis Artibus, a treatise on Christian arts and crafts. The Renaissance artist and art historian Giorgio Vasari highlighted the significance of oil painting as a revolutionary new medium. He flagged innovations of artists such as Jan Van Eyck in the early 15th century who was undoubtedly a great innovator of his time, painting with the richness and depth of colour afforded by oil, in comparison to the traditional tempera binders prevalent during this period.

Since then, oil paint has generally been built up in thin transparent layers known as glazes. This method further developed from the 16th to the 19th centuries. An added combination of thick impasto and opaque paint with expressive brushwork was exemplified by the Royal Academy’s first president Sir Joshua Reynolds and fellow Royal Academician Thomas Gainsborough during the 18th century and can be seen in John Constable and JMW Turner’s work in the first half of the 19th century. Simultaneously, artist’s works could alternatively be smooth with no visible evidence of brush marks. The range of techniques which oil painting allows artists today is perhaps best understand through an in-depth exploration of how pigments move to paints, the focus of this weekend course.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 6 July 2019, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 7 July 2019, 10.30am — 5.30pm

The Clore Learning Centre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£480. Includes all materials, light refreshments and a wine reception at the end of day one.