Each new class we offer has a specific set of learning goals to help students improve their artistic skills.

Scroll down to see what you’ll learn.

historical painting techniques

historical painting techniques

In this class, students will learn all about traditional oil painting mediums and paint application methods. Alongside this we’ll learn about various types of brushes, painting surfaces, and indirect painting techniques that can be used to create sophisticated works of art based on the materials and methods of the great masters of the past.



  • Mediums: Oils, varnishes, solvents, wax, putty and powdered additives. What they do and how to use them in a painting medium.
  • Brushes: shapes, bristle types, applications during the painting process. What brush to use and how to get specific handling qualities or effects.
  • Surfaces/Supports: canvas, linen, wood, and their priming. How to prepare them and their effect on the painting process and outcome of the work.
  • Traditional paint application techniques: opaque, transparent, blending, broken colour, and multi-layered colour effects based on documented traditional methods.
  • Underpainting techniques: grisailles, ebauches, wipe outs, dead colouring. How to use them to construct a work through “indirect” painting methods.
  • Specialized traditional techniques: Glazing, velaturas, sfumato, impasto. Learn what these fancy terms mean and how to use them to create variety in your oil paintings.


We will be covering a lot of material in this course so the emphasis will be on understanding materials and process as opposed to focusing on creating one finished masterpiece. Students are expected to take notes, document their process through our exercises, and apply this body of knowledge to their own studio practice.