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Oil Painting with Colour and Light

Dr David Briggs
  • Term: Term Two 2018
  • Start Date: 30 Apr 2018
  • End Date: 25 Jun 2018
  • Time: Mondays 10am–2pm
  • Number of Classes: 8
  • Teacher: Dr David Briggs
  • Level: All Levels
  • Age: All Ages
  • Location: The National Art School
  • Availability: Unavailable

Discover how light and colour actually work, and avoid the confusion caused by colour myths, in this in-depth course in modern colour theory and its application to oil painting. Beginning students will learn to handle oil paint confidently and expressively, to analyse and paint a subject tonally, and to mix any colour they want quickly and accurately. Continuing or advanced students will apply these skills to painting subjects of their own choosing in full colour.

Dr David Briggs

Dr David Briggs trained at the Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney. He specialises in life drawing and painting and in relating modern scientific knowledge of colour to artistic practice. He has taught art classes since 1996 at many institutions, including six years as the life drawing instructor for Disney’s Sydney studio and, since 2009, numerous classes in life drawing, art history and theory, and practical painting at the National Art School. He is the author of an extensive website on the theory and practice of colour for painters, The Dimensions of Colour. In 2018 he was invited by the Inter-Society Color Council (USA), as part of their International Color Day event, to present a webinar on his unique approach to teaching colour for painters.

An assortment of flat and round, bristle and/or synthetic sable brushes of various sizes from fine to large, in good condition.

Artist grade oil paints, preferably including:

  • Titanium White OR Zinc White
  • Permanent Rose
  • Bright opaque red (like Cadmium Red)
  • Bright yellow
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Phthalocyanine Blue (e.g. "Winsor" OR "Spectrum" Blue)
  • Raw Umber
  • Ivory Black or Winsor and Newton Charcoal Grey

And optionally including:

  • Bright orange like Cadmium Orange)
  • Phthalocyanine Green (e.g. "Winsor" OR "Spectrum" Green)
  • Ultramarine


For new students: pieces of acrylic-primed canvas, a bit bigger than A4 (most offcuts sold at Parkers are suitable)\

For continuing students: two stretched canvases, at least 12" x 16"

Other equipment and materials


  • Pencil and notebook
  • Ruler
  • Tube of Matisse Carbon Grey acrylic paint for toning canvas
  • Palette, either wooden (not white) or a small glass clip frame
  • Stainless steel palette/mixing knife (not plastic)
  • Screw cap container ("dipper") for painting medium
  • Linseed Oil (small bottle)
  • Odourless Solvent
  • Old rags and paper towels

Protective clothing and covered footwear essential