Sarah Spackman - Colour and Form: An Oil Painting Workshop (Online); Thursdays, April 14-May 5, 2022

This class is no longer available for registration. View the Online Course Catalog for all current class listings.

Date: Thursdays, April 14-May 5, 2022
Time: 9:30AM-12:00PM Pacific Time/12:30-3:00 PM Eastern Time/5:30-8:00 PM London Time
Level: All
Medium: Oil

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This course will explore the way colour can create form within a painting. Students will develop their colour mixing abilities and their understanding of the way colour works.
Each week, Sarah will introduce the weeks theme and guide students through several exercises to help develop their knowledge of colour and its possibilities. She will demonstrate certain aspects and encourage the students with their own practise. The practical element will be a large part of the course as it is the best way to understand what happens when you add one colour to another! At the end there will be a review of the session, and time for questions. We will also plan for the following week.

Still-life paintings by other artists will be looked at and discussed to understand how they have used colour to create form in their work.
The aim of the course is for students to use colour with more knowledge and confidence in their work.

Week 1: We will start by making a colour wheel. It is very important for every artist to make their own colour wheel, and it is fundamental to the understanding of how colour works. Creating different mixes can make a big difference to your painting.

This colour wheel is made using the 3 primary colours, no white! We will be making our own wheels on primed paper, trying to make the mixtures in as even steps as possible.
We will look at primary, secondary and tertiary colours and explore how they might be used in a painting.

Week 2: This week we will be considering how we represent light and shade in a painting. We will explore colour saturation and the difference between tone and colour. Using 3 primary colours and white, we will paint a white still-life. This will enable us to explore the qualities of tone within a simple still-life.

Week 3: This week we will look at setting up the palette and how to keep your colours clean and zingy! Each student will have their own set up at home and will each paint a still-life using a limited palette. Just three colours and white. The subject matter will be up to the individual, something that appeals to you, but a maximum of three objects. We will then paint the same set up using a full palette putting all the colour mixing skills to the test!

We will be working from direct observation and making judgements about the colour and tone in the paintings.

Week 4: We will go over the main points from the course and review the work done by the students. Questions welcome!




Sarah Spackman is a contemporary figurative artist particularly well known for her still life oil paintings. She works from a studio in Oxford that was once a punt building workshop.Strength of drawing and the delicate and subtle use of colour are two of the main qualities recognised in her work. Her practise focuses on the principle that good drawing is the basis of good painting and that colour should be used to enhance the organisation and definition of observed space and form. Sarah works in a considered way, with close observation. Her paintings are quiet in their presence but nonetheless powerful and engaging to the viewer. These are paintings that take a close look at things around us, take the object out of the ordinary and make the viewer look again.

Sarah trained at Byam Shaw School of Art, London and graduated from Camberwell School of art in 1981. She was elected as a member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 2019, and a member of the Small Paintings Group in 2021. Sarah’s work is in many private collections world wide as well as the collection of the Allied Irish Bank. Her work has also been selected for the Jerwood Drawing Competition , the NEAC, the ROI, the RBA and the Discerning Eye Exhibitions. Sarah exhibits regularly with several galleries throughout the


This class is no longer available for registration.