A journey into oils with Robin Eley

19 01 2013
Jeremy DV Boyd First Oil Painting Sm

My first oil painting in progress!

The portrait coming to life...

The portrait coming to life…

This past week I had the rare luxury of attending a week-long oil painting course run by my favourite Adelaide portrait artist, Robin Eley. What a great week!

Held at CDW Studios, this was the first course for Robin’s newly established school, The Art Academy. A highly professional course and very well set up, right down to the last detail. The week was a combination of keenly listening and watching as Robin generously shared his experiences and skills from the stage, as well as gaining practical hands-on painting experience from students’ own work stations under Robin’s guidance. The course was a very modern setup, with painting demonstrations projected as live video footage up on large screens so students could watch both Robin’s canvas and palette as the painting came to life, allowing us to gain valuable insight on brush technique and colour mixing. Each student had their own desk, easel and still-life light box to work from.

Jeremy DV Boyd Robin Eley Oil Painting 2

Jeremy DV Boyd Robin Eley Oil Painting 6

Being my very first foray into oil painting I definitely had my L-Plates on, though quickly learnt an amazing amount from both Robin and other established artists in the room. All very giving of their knowledge, skills and feedback. The week had a very collaborative atmosphere amongst many friendly new artist friends.

Not having used the medium before, my main challenge was getting a handle on the physical properties of oil paint. They didn’t react at all as I was expecting! In fact, quite the opposite to other mediums I’d used. Surrendering myself as a complete beginner, I became a sponge to all that was said and tried to put painstakingly it into practice. To say oils are complex is an understatement! By a few days in I was feeling more confident and really enjoying the process. We did a few painting exercises before moving on to a more complex portrait. I didn’t get through to a finished painting, though thoroughly enjoyed the learning process and was happy with the result of my progress. It has ignited a real interest in oils for me and I’m keen to continue on with the journey. Watch this space…

The Business of Art - Robin Eley, Kim Buck, Sam Hill Smith, Michael Zavros

The Business of Art – Robin Eley, Kim Buck, Sam Hill Smith, Michael Zavros

The week was rounded off with a full day lecture on The Business of Art, where artists Robin Eley, Kim Buck, Michael Zavros and Hill Smith Gallery owner, Sam Hill Smith, providing thoughtful insights and advice on making a living from art.

All in all, an inspiring week and my first steps taken for a journey in oils.

You can check out Robin Eley’s stunning body of work here.
And scope out upcoming courses at The Art Academy.


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