Learning oil painting onling — but need pressure of a live class
June 29, 2020 9:24 PM   Subscribe

I want to learn how to oil paint (still life) and it needs to happen at home. I am a beginner and have been too scared of failing to pick up a paintbrush since high school art classes. To go through with learning, I need the pressure of a live class to actually do it. It can’t be prerecorded. It can’t be learn at your own pace. I need to feel like I would let down a teacher/class if I didn't show up.

I don't want a series of videos you watch at your own pace, or even a series of videos sent weekly. I need something like a live classroom where the teacher and classmates will, in my mind, judge me for not showing up, because that’s the kind of pressure I need to actually do anything. I respond moderately well to not wanting to lose money, so I also don’t want a free course. Does something like this exist?

Note: even though places are opening up again, my partner is now going on 100+ days with a fever (COVID) and I'm still in strict quarantine mode and not eager to take any risks should she ever get better, so this must be online even if you personally think a small art class would be safe.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I don’t want to suggest this because getting a place on one of their courses is hard enough, but Royal Drawing School on London has live Zoom classes. They don’t really have a specific oil painting for beginners per se, and it’s more of a studio practice class with a focus on drawing, but they are welcoming towards beginners. Take a look at their catalogue and see. I speak as someone who has done 3 courses with them so far and had zero drawing and painting skills when I first started!
posted by moiraine at 12:56 AM on June 30, 2020

Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia is doing live Zoom classes. I've only taken their in-person printmaking classes, but they were well worth the cost, and were that rare combination of serious but friendly and welcoming to beginners.
posted by sepviva at 4:17 AM on June 30, 2020

Look around your community arts centers and schools. My local independent creative/craft store just open before covid and the owner is really trying hard to make things work. She's willing to do private zoom classes of various craft lessons in lieu of in-person, small courses as previously planned. Someone I'm sure would love to do private zoom lessons for payment. I plan on emailing the owner and asking about drawing classes.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 6:13 AM on June 30, 2020 [3 favorites]

My local art studio offers online oil painting. I took online watercolor painting last term!
posted by quadrilaterals at 12:31 PM on June 30, 2020

hmmmmm weird.. this is so timely and synchronistic. My painting/drawing teacher of many years just announced to former and current students that he is starting a beginner painting class on zoom on tuesdays.. I was meaning to ask him if it was open to people anywhere/folks-other-than-students-with-potential-to-transition-back-to-in-person-class. It probably is.. but I need to give him a call. I'll me mail you if it is and can tell you more : )
posted by elgee at 1:18 PM on June 30, 2020

My local place is offering a couple online classes in still life. (I don't know exactly how the class will take place, but they've been doing Zoom sessions for members, with a live model, and I assume these classes will be done the same way.)
posted by Bron at 12:28 PM on July 1, 2020

I've been to some events here - lovely people! https://www.atelierdojo.com/remote-still-life-painting. You could also talk to your classmates and agree to "meet" at the open studio sessions. You paint a model, but they are in the same pose for several hours. So you could treat it as a still life and paint the whole room- furniture, props, and costume, rather than focusing on their face/likeness.
posted by gang of puffins at 11:36 AM on July 2, 2020

gang of puffins, that class in particular looks perfect! These are all great suggestions — the only issue is that I am on the west coast in the USA and so far haven’t seen any linked classes that have times that work well for my schedule, but I am pretty sure I will be able to find something, thanks to having all the ideas/resources already mentioned.

I won’t mark this “resolved” yet since I haven’t signed up for anything yet. It’s a bit late for me to mention, but if anyone has recommendations for a course held on my time zone (PST) in the evenings (or even better are based in the Portland, OR metro area like I am), that would be great!
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 11:51 AM on July 2, 2020

Hi there, the thorn bushes have roses, i'm glad you left this question open. I talked to my teacher to be sure that he was open to students from all over, and he said yes . If indeed you are still looking for someone.. not sure the times will work for you, but in any case, I shall memail you now. He is really terrific and teaches in the academic realist tradition, and has been teaching painting and drawing for .. gosh.. well over 40 years. He's old school so no website, but I will send you his contact info. If there are any other mefites out there who happen to be reading this and looking for something similar, feel free to drop me a line also : )

to give you a sense of some of the work I did in my first year in his class, here are some links to some studies (I had already had some oil painting and drawing experience, but really had never learned a "system" for approaching the process - in class, everyone, beginner to working artist, age 12 - 92, starts from the beginning, studying form, cast shadow, light, etc.. examples of teachers that taught in this style would include Bargue ..)
posted by elgee at 3:32 PM on July 6, 2020

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