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.