Still life oil painting – beginners with George Popesco

Ref: SWE32212

Location: West Dean
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Places available

About this course

Gain confidence and understanding of oil painting with structured exercises and expert guidance.

Course Description

A thorough introduction to oil painting from still life. Gain confidence and an understanding of this wonderful medium with structured exercises and expert guidance.

The still life objects will provide a visually stimulating and varied subject group for the focus of your painting, including natural and manmade objects. Your painting will evolve through carefully planned stages that will give you control over the medium and encourage confidence in your painting style.

The particular qualities of oil paint to describe and express form will be taught, starting with colour and how to use it to structure a still life painting. Context and composition are also taught, and you will learn and practise different technical approaches, such as under-painting and impasto.

Through one-to-one tutor support, live class technical demonstrations and critical analysis, your confidence will grow. You will experiment and investigate different approaches to mixing and applying colour, mark-making and highlighting.

By the end of the course, you will have completed a successful still life painting through a thorough exploration of oil painting techniques.


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


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing some materials, shared amongst the group, including oil paints, linseed oil and studio safe solvent.
  • Please note that you may need to purchase more materials depending on the scale of the work you produce.

What students need to bring

  • Rags or an old telephone directory/newspaper
  • 3 jam jars with lids, 2 dipper pots (preferably with lids), sketchpad, pencil
  • Still life object: this object will form part of an interesting ice breaker exercise, something familiar to you which could be shared, talked about and even studied in oil colour.
  • A2 (equivalent) canvas or primed hard board/MDF
  • Brushes: generally a good range of student quality – natural bristle and/or synthetic brushes in both filbert and/or round pointed, in sizes large, medium and small

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials, including A2 (equivalent) canvases/boards or primed hard board/MDF, sketchpads, pencils, dipper pots, natural bristle and synthetic brushes in flat, filbert and round, in a range of sizes and studio safe solvent.

Additional information

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


George Popesco: Self Portrait

George Popesco

Since completing his academic training at the Royal Academy Schools London, George has taught extensively in varied Art & Design education structures alongside developing his own work and exhibiting both in group and solo exhibitions. George lives and works in Dorset, specialising in Oil Colour medium exploiting its tactile wet in wet qualities to form the mediums expressive and sculptural qualities.


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

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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.