For 3 years, beginning in 2002 I studied oil painting techniques at the Charlie Sheard Studio School. The philosophy of the school is that technique and superlative craftsmanship are the foundation of the creative process. The school teaches the methods, systems and practice that were handed on by one painter to the next for hundreds of years. The training is designed to function as a bridge between contemporary painting practice and the ‘lost’ techniques of the old masters. Students of this course receive intensive professional level tuition in sixteenth to nineteenth century practice, which can be applied with equal success to figurative or abstract forms. By the end of the 3 years students have a clear understanding of the methods used by the old masters and are able to reproduce their effects.

Each painting consists of a primed canvas (Belgian linen), an under painting using brown and white (Burnt Umber and Lead White – for its strength), the colour is then applied in layers until you reach the desired effect. Transparent and opaque paints are used. It sometimes takes months to achieve the final outcome.

small bowls 2008



§ 13 Responses to Technique

  • Great article I’ve just added to my bookmark list.

  • Chas Spain says:

    Great to see your technical work Leanne.
    I’ve come back to drawing in the last couple of years and have just started to put my toe in the water of doing some more observational painting with Marco Corsini in Melbourne – first person I think I’ve met via WordPress! – anyway he is about slowing down and getting back to the bones of things. Finding it hard graft but looking forward to exploring this. Your work here is really something to aspire to
    You might like Marco’s work – it’s on

    • leanneT says:

      Great to hear from you Chas. I had a look at Marco’s work – thanks for the link. It’s quite amazing, I love the detail! I think it’s a great idea to get into some drawing in fact I need to do the same. I love the process of painting and don’t mind that it takes a long time to complete a piece. You really get a sense that you’re building something. Thanks so much for stopping by and enjoy you’re drawing! I think if I lived in Melbourne I’d be distracted by all of the amazing cafe’s!! L

      • Chas Spain says:

        It’s true – we are very spoilt in Melbourne where-ever we go. The life drawing class I go to (Roar Drawing) is run at Brunswick St Gallery so that is in the thick of bohemia – lots of energy. Marco runs his classes in Richmond, but away from the street life so no distractions!

  • desterre says:

    Enjoy seeing your wonderful paintings through layers as they progress.

  • Hi Leanne, I would like to ask you something but can’t find your email adddress. Coud you please contact me? Thank you!

  • Robin McCoy says:

    Not sure you want to answer a technique questions? But here goes. Do you use pencil drawing right on the canvas , do you spay it with something so it doesn’t smear? Also do you paint with a glazing , if so how many layers do you think?
    thank you for your time, I love your work, Robin McCoy

    • leanneT says:

      Hi Robin,
      I don’t use pencil I only use oil paints. Even the initial drawing is done in burnt umber (oil). I don’t spray it with anything. I do paint with glazes (transparent colours). Some parts of the painting will be 15 layers or so whereas other parts might be 2 and sometimes I like to see the underpainting in parts. It just depends on the outcome I’m after. Thanks for stopping by. Happy to answer your questions. Happy painting. L

  • Robin McCoy says:

    Hi Leanne, here’s another question, was wondering if you work from photos? and do you make a gride? or use a projector? just love your love.

    with much Aloha, Robin

    • leanneT says:

      Yes I take a lot of photos – part of the process. I love photography just as much as painting. I do use a grid and if I need to get a lot of work done a projector is really helpful!! Hope it’s going well!! X

  • Robin McCoy says:

    Thanks for being so opening. I am always trying to improve.
    Aloha, Robin

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