Classical Art Atelier

Introduction to Classical Painting Techniques

5-Day Workshop in Classical Painting with Brian Smyth

This intensive workshop by Brian Smyth, artist and tutor at the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, Italy, introduces you to the academic painting practices in oils, and demonstrates some of the principles and techniques currently being taught at the realist painting academies in Florence and elsewhere. This workshop will focus on learning through the completion of a master copy of a figure painting from the 19th century.

This workshop takes place at C.I.T. Arts in Health & Education Campus, No. 46 Grand Parade, Cork City, from Monday 02 to Friday 06 July 2018.


Copying master paintings is one of the best ways to improve one’s painting skills, whether one is an established artist or a beginner. Painting the human figure offers the greatest scope for dealing with gesture, proportion and subtle colour. This intensive workshop starts with learning the principles of academic oil painting.

Beginning with the use of the dry-brush method, Brian will teach and demonstrate how to measure and capture accurate proportions, and how to emphasise a good sense of gesture in the figure. This process is all explained through a cohesive step-by-step procedure designed to enhance the student's ability to render the human form.

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

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

*Students will be provided with a list of materials to bring.


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

Images courtesy of Brian Smyth © 2017-18

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 to Five

The subsequent days will be spent working on the master copy, where 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 Introduction to Classical Painting Workshop will be held at C.I.T. Arts in Health & Education Campus, No.46 Grand Parade, Cork. See the details below, or contact us to find out more and to enrol.

# Venue Duration Day Time Dates Cost
1 C.I.T. Arts in Health & Education,
No. 46 Grand Parade, Cork
5 Days Monday to Friday 10.00am - 5.00pm 02 - 06 July 2018 € 500

About Brian Smyth

Classical Painting Instructor

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.

Introduction to Classical Painting Techniques

Start learning the oil painting methods and techniques of the Masters

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