Classical Art Atelier

Baroque Master Painting

3-Day Painting Workshop Reproducing Caravaggio, Velásquez and De Ribera

In this intensive 3-day workshop led by Brian Smyth – artist and tutor at the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, Italy – students will be introduced to the techniques and practices of classical atelier painting, focusing specifically on the reproduction of an oil painting by one of the Baroque masters: Caravaggio, Velásquez and De Ribera.

The Baroque painting style, which predominated in Europe through the 17th-century, is characterised by dramatic scenes and subject matter, deep and rich colour palettes, and strong contrasts of light and dark. The paintings of Caravaggio and his contemporaries are noted for their expressive power, their technical virtuosity, and their naturalism.

This workshop will be held at Classical Art Atelier, Waterford, from 6th to 8th April, and at No.46 Grand Parade, Cork, from 13th to 15th April. Please see venues, dates and full details below.


The faithful reproduction of such a master painting has been a staple part of atelier training for centuries, and it is one of the best ways a student can learn the methods and techniques used to create such extraordinary works. Indeed, it is how these Baroque Masters themselves would have trained. This approach allows students to acquire a deeper understanding of both the aesthetics and the techniques used by these Old Masters, and it also helps them to improve greatly as painters. This is the method currently being taught at realist painting academies all across Europe and beyond.

Students will work from a choice of several high-quality reproductions supplied by the academy. The various stages of a painting, from the drawing stage to the final rendering of the forms, will be discussed and demonstrated in detail. Further topics include: colour, paint quality, edge treatment, the relation of light to form, and much more.

Each student can choose an image from which to copy from, for their master copy exercise.

  • Basic materials included*
  • Detailed handouts
  • Practical exercises
  • Demonstrations
  • Refreshments provided

*Students will be required to bring a list of materials themselves (see list below).

Materials List


Brian will demonstrate each of the key steps of the master copy painting process, and will individually assist each student as they progress on their copy.

Master Copy of Jusepe De Ribera's "Saint Jerome" (ca.1647) by Brian Smyth © 2018

Day One

The first day will be devoted to shorter exercises, mainly in monochrome, which will serve to strengthen the student's understanding of the gesture, proportion and construction of the figure.

Days Two & Three

The two subsequent days are spent working on a master copy, where the students will learn about drawing with the brush, the creation of volumes, the use of a set palette, and the mixing of flesh tones for full-colour painting.

Notes & Handouts

Students will receive various handouts that explain the correct methods of using oil paint. These hand-outs will lay out the various grounds, materials and mediums used in oil painting and also describe the various layers used in classic underpainting-overpainting techniques, that will be covered in this workshop.

Workshop Details

The Baroque Master Painting Workshop will be held at three venues - in Dublin, Cork and Waterford - this April 2018. See the details of each below, or contact us to find out more and to enrol.

# Venue Duration Day Time Dates Cost
1 Classical Art Atelier
Dunhill, Waterford
3 Days Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10.00am - 5.00pm 06, 07 & 08 April 2018 € 300
2 No.46 Grand Parade, Cork
(C.I.T. Arts in Health & Education Centre)
3 Days Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10.00am - 5.00pm 13, 14 & 15 April 2018 € 300

NOTE: Please contact us if you need help or advice booking accommodation in Cork or Waterford.

About Brian Smyth

Artist / Tutor

Brian Smyth is an award-winning graduate of the Crawford College of Art and Design. He has had several succesful solo exhibitions in Dublin and London and has participated in and curated many group exhibitions. He has completed many private commissions, including a 14-painting Stations of the Cross commission for a church restoration project in his native Co. Cork.

Brian has his works in many private and public collections and continues to develop his technique, to exhibit his paintings and to work on portrait commissions.

Brian began his studies in The Angel Academy, in Florence, in 2012 and has worked there as an instructor since 2013. Visit to see his work.

Baroque Master Painting Workshop

Start learning the oil painting methods and technqiues of the Old Masters

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