Masterclass: Painting Seascapes in Oils with Hester Berry
This course is a guide to making an oil painting in the studio. We will look at how best to gather source material, then how to get started on a final painting. After a brief demonstration, learners will begin their own painting. We will look at how one might begin on a ‘blank canvas’, how to build up a work paying attention to tone and colour, how to spot problems along the way and some possible finishing touches. This alla prima approach will mean that you hopefully go home with a finished oil painting at the end of the day. The skills learnt in this class could then be applied to en plein air painting as well as further independent work in the studio. The class is suitable for any level of ability, whether you are new to oils or landscapes or just looking to hone your technique and improve certain aspects of your discipline.
Hester’s practice is rooted in traditional representation and methods, but she is constantly challenging her understanding of “painting” and exploring ways paint can represent effects such as light, time, movement and climate. She uses marks as economically as possible, distilling the image/feeling/moment into what is necessary, so that through objective representation there is enough room for subjective interpretation.
Having grown up in rural Devon, Hester was always interested in landscape and the environment. Her traditional university training in Aberystwyth nurtured this interest and also led her to explore life drawing and portraiture. After continuing her studies to complete an MA in Fine Art in Wimbledon, she taught life drawing and painting in Brighton and London. Hester recently returned to live and work in Devon.
Her paintings and drawings are exhibited widely within the UK, and sell privately all over the world. Hester has won several awards and was shortlisted for the BP Portrait Prize, Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year. She has been teaching painting and drawing since 2011, at places such as Draw Brighton, Camden Arts Centre, and now Cornwall School of Art.
Oil paints in the following colours:
o Burnt Sienna
o French Ultramarine
o Titanium White
o Yellow Ochre
o Cobalt/Prussian Blue/cerulean (or a greenish blue)
o Lemon Yellow
o Cadmium Yellow Deep (Hue) (or a warmer yellow)
o Cadmium red Hue/scarlet
o Sap Green/Terra Verte
o Any additional colours are welcome!
• Board, canvas or oil paper, between 20 x 30 cm and 40 x 60, primed for an oil painting.
(If possible, at least a week before, a neutral brown ground should be put down (paint the entire board, using a brush or cloth, with a thin even wash of neutral brown oil paint, diluted with turpentine or turpentine substitute). This is not essential and it is certainly possible for beginners to just come armed with a white primed board/canvas/paper. Oil paper should be taped down to a board.)
• Paint brushes – a range of sizes, including a chisel brush around 2cm wide. It would be helpful to have one narrower and one wider than this also.
• A palette knife
• A paint palette
• Turpentine/turps substitute/ Zest-it in a jar/pot
• A photograph of a landscape scene you wish to paint (choose something with tonal variation if possible, colours should be as true as possible. You may use a phone or ipad but please make sure it has enough charge to last the day!). I will have some spares.
• Not essential but learners may bring linseed oil, poppyseed oil, walnut oil or any other medium, along with any further oil colours.
Provided by Cornwall School of Art if required
- Drawing boards
- Water jars
All art materials are available to purchase in the Truro Arts shop, 26 River Street Truro TR1 2SJ, and you will receive a 10% discount on all supplies for the course.
Hester’s practice is rooted in traditional representation and methods, but she is constantly challenging her understanding of “painting” and exploring ways paint can represent effects such as light, time, movement and climate. Hester has won several awards and was shortlisted for the BP Portrait Prize, Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year.Find Out More
Our courses usually begin at 10am and end at 4:30pm, with a half an hour lunch break at around 1pm. There will also be brief morning and afternoon breaks, with free tea and coffee available in the kitchen area. At Lunch time you can make things nice and easy by pre-ordering a freshly prepared Coach House Lunch. Alternatively, you’re very welcome to bring along a packed lunch and any other refreshments you like.
On sunny days students and tutors are invited to enjoy breaktimes outside in the leafy courtyard or gardens surrounded by birdsong.
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Cancellations must be made in writing/email more than 4 weeks prior to the course start date to guarantee a refund. Read our full policy on the Course Terms & Conditions page.