Understanding oil painting materials


How to choose the right materials for the job

Next Available: Sun, 24 Mar 10:00AM (AEDT)
6 hours
Over 10 people have attended this class



 Open to all skill levels, beginners to painters with an independent practice.

This class looks at the full spectrum of artists oil paint, brushes, mediums and surfaces. Learn how to select the right materials for your needs, what you should know about safe studio practice, and gain a fascinating insight into the origin and history of oil paint. Sample a range of pigments to unlock the possibilities of colour mixing, test-drive brushes from budget to high-end, and try out various mediums to help achieve the results you want in your work. Questions welcome!

In this workshop we cover:

  • the full spectrum of artists oil paints & mediums, qualities, origin and manufacturing
  • the history of colour use in painting
  • safe studio practice: Oil painting mediums come in all consistencies and can be overwhelming, not to mention toxic to use in your studio
  • sample various pigments to unlock the possibilities of colour mixing, including a range of colour-wheels to keep as reference
  • experiment with brushes and surfaces: Which hair and shape is correct for each type of paint application? How can we look after our brushes properly and save money?
  • substrates: We will consider the range of surfaces currently available for oil painting and instruct on how to make your own surface to best suit the type of mark you want to make

All materials, morning & afternoon tea supplied. Bring an apron, a notebook and all your painting materials questions!

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What you will learn

  • Understand the properties of different oil paints and colour mixing possibilities
  • How to select the right medium and substrate for the work you want to make
  • Choosing and caring for your brushes, and safe studio practice

What you will get

  • Practical demonstrations and the opportunity to try a range of materials
  • All materials
  • Refreshments
Parking Info

Parking is ticketed in Brunswick St but there are some 2-4 hour spots in the surrounding streets. The No 11 tram comes down Brunswick St, get off at stop 15. All-day parking on Brunswick St is a flat fee of $12 on Sundays only.

What to bring

  • A pen and notebook

What to wear

Your own apron or painting shirt.

Appropriate for

Students already familiar with working in oils and curious beginners

Fitzroy Painting

(1144 Reviews)

About us: Established in 2009 and based in a Victorian heritage building overlooking bustling Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Painting is the original and best of private art classes in Fitzroy!  A working artists studio, the space provides a great environment to develop your painting and drawing skills with the expert support and guidance of highly qualified teachers and full-time professional artists.

Our 4 - week beginners courses in oil painting, drawing and watercolours are designed for the complete beginner, taking you through a series of exercises and building your skills week by week. Students may choose to continue to our Beginners Courses Level 2 and 3 in both painting and drawing..  Ongoing students are supported to help develop their own direction, with optional exercises offered to expand on skills and knowledge, and our Atelier students are assisted in taking it to the next level in professional practice.

Love the class? All students wishing to extend their course may purchase class-passes for ongoing students at a discounted rate. Some of our students have gone on to Higher Education courses and are now exhibiting professionally!

Evening classes include wine and refreshments, and morning classes include tea, coffee and cakes. Classes run for 3 hours and basic equipment is available for student use at the studio, including easels, palettes and drawing boards. We believe in safe studio-practice and provide low-toxic, low-odour materials for student use, as well as high-quality clean-up materials for brushes and hands. We also have storage facilities if you wish to keep your materials at the studio.

Each student works at their own pace and receives one-on-one attention, and all students are invited to exhibit in our annual end of year exhibition, a fun opportunity to show family and friends what you’ve been doing!

Visit our website for more info and pictures of student work. www.fitzroypainting.com

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Your Teacher

Kez Hughes graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts and Music in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons) Painting, and has gone on to lecture at the Ian Potter Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at Melbourne University and the Victorian College of Arts.

Kez is passionate about oil painting, materials, and sharing her expansive knowledge to help painters make the best choices for their painting practice. Brace yourself for a few dad jokes, a ton of information and a fun day test-driving the vast range of oil painting materials available today!

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5.0 (2 reviews)
Amandarated it
29 Sep 2022
This course is amazingly informative - all oil painting students should take it. Kez is a fantastic teacher, very knowledgable about all aspects of the course. The best part of the course is that it is hands on too, we got to play with the different pigments, mediums and surfaces to see what we like, along with what we should avoid. Highly recommended.
Maryrated it
29 Sep 2022
Rating Only

Cancellations & Refunds

If the organiser cancels the class:

You are entitled to a full refund.

If you can't attend the class:

You’re welcome to send someone in your place.


  • A refund can be requested 10 days before class starts. An admin fee of AU$50.00 applies.
  • A transfer can be requested 10 days before the class starts. An admin fee of AU$25.00 applies.
  • A credit note can be requested 10 days before the class starts. An admin fee of AU$10.00 applies.

No changes will be allowed after these times.

We recommend the refund upgrade option upon checkout in case you’re not able to attend the class. Learn more about refund upgrade option.

Terms & Conditions

Bookings and class cancellations policy: 

Fitzroy Painting is unable to offer any ‘make-up’ classes for classes, courses or workshops.  

Please consider taking out the Weteachme insurance policy if you think there is a chance you may not be able to attend. This policy is managed by Weteachme, and any refunds must be sought through the insurer directly. Please read their terms carefully before purchasing as change of mind is not a valid refund option.

Absences without notification will forfeit the full class/course fee and receive no credit.

Should Fitzroy Painting be forced to cancel a class students will be notified as soon as possible prior to the scheduled class and will receive a refund, transfer or a credit voucher for a replacement class, course or workshop.

Collection of work and materials left at the studio: Please understand that our storage capacity is extremely limited.  Beginners work and painting kits will only be retained for one month after which they will be disposed of.  

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