Painting autumn landscapes in oils with Tom Benjamin

Ref: SLW32004

Book now

Places available

About this course

Explore outdoor oil painting techniques in a range of locations to capture rich autumn colours and atmospheric weather. You will paint outside as much as possible, as well as in the studio.

Course Description

Autumn is a special time of year for landscape painters. Colours can be very rich and the weather atmospheric. This is primarily an outdoor painting course in oils. The tutor will focus on techniques that will help you to make paintings that capture your individual responses to the landscape more fully, and also to deepen and enrich those responses.

You will be working in a range of locations (depending on the weather), which exemplify the beauty of the season. Subjects will include woodland and open views. You will be working on quick, one-off oils and also one or more sustained paintings. You will also explore ways of structuring paintings so they have a sense of space, light, form and atmosphere. The techniques that you focus on will be those that allow you to work at speed, so that you are better able to capture the fleeting effects of light.

You will be able to work on paintings in the studio in the evenings and in the event of bad weather. This will give you an opportunity to look at studio-based techniques and approaches for taking ideas further. This will be in addition to one-to-one discussion while you are working and whole class talks. The tutor will also paint sometimes, so that you can see how he approaches landscape painting.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Acrylic gesso primer and acrylic paints to add to primer for colouring ground
  • Studio safe solvent (ie Zest-it) for studio use
  • Two 8 x 6 inch MDF boards, two 10 x 8 inch MDF boards, two 12 x 9 inch MDF boards and two 16 x 12 inch MDF boards

What students need to bring

  • Paint rags
  • A camera or smart phone if you want photographic references
  • West Dean has its own sketching easels and portable chairs, but you are welcome to bring your own foldable chair if you like.
  • Oil paints: Titanium White, Winsor Yellow or equivalent, Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Winsor Blue (green shade) or equivalent, Raw Umber, Ivory Black
  • Hog brushes (artists’ quality) the tutor recommends long flat in a range of sizes 1–10
  • Double dipper
  • A flat palette
  • Surface to paint on – canvas or board
  • White spirit or turps (for outdoor work only)
  • A two inch decorator’s brush
  • **Please bring painting equipment and a surface to paint on for the first evening session.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of oil paints, such as Titanium White, Winsor Yellow or equivalent, Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine, Winsor Blue (green shade) or equivalent, Raw Umber, Ivory Black
  • A good variety of hog brushes, long flat in a range of sizes 1–10, double dippers, palettes, canvases, boards, studio safe solvent, two inch decorator brushes

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Tom Benjamin Publicty Photo

Tom Benjamin

Tom Benjamin paints landscapes, town and coastal views in oils, outside in front of the subject, in all weathers. He is represented by Sarah O'Kane Fine Art.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.