Upcoming Classes
& Courses

M5 – Bush Flowers in Oils or Acrylics with Leah Newman

This is a 6 week course.
NOTE: No solvents or mediums will be permitted into the class. See below for recommendations.

Leah Newman is a recent BVA graduate at Adelaide Central School of Art and has studied oil painting under Louise Feneley for several years. Leah has been a finalist in both state, national and international art prizes, including The Blake Prize, Waterhouse Prize and Tatiara Prize. Primarily Leah works with oil paint on a variety of supports.

This 2.5 hour x 6 week class, will cover:

Briefly: setting up your still life, lighting and composition.

Then in more detail: Leah will guide you through the process of painting a botanical still life from drawing up to finishing your painting through demonstrations and assistance with your own painting.

Our aim will be to repeat this process each week as our botanical subject will need to be refreshed, however photos may be taken and continued on with through the week. You may like to bring in your work the following week for comments or to carry on with if you prefer, rather than starting a new painting.

If you are an experienced oil painter, please feel free to bring a support of your choosing ready to go.

For beginners, please bring a few sheets of pre primed A3 Canson canvas paper. Ideally a neutral mid-tone. Leah recommends 80% paint with 20% low toxic underpainting medium, such as Langridge Low Toxic Underpainting Medium as a general rule. Paint your paper and dry outside or in a well ventilated area. Method: thinly cover your canvas paper with the paint/medium mix and then rub off excess with an old cloth. Please bring to class dried and ready to go, as no solvents or mediums will be permitted into the class.

Leah will provide Rublev Oleogel and Linseed Oil as a substitute for mediums and solvents. You can make a very successful painting without needing to use toxins, and hopefully you will enjoy the process even more!

In class we will be working alla prima or wet on wet, or Leah can guide you to carry on with a dry painting without the use of mediums.

Please just bring your oil paints and a variety of brushes, palette knife, a flat palette, 4 bulldog clips or equivalent, paper towel/rags, apron and disposable gloves if you like. You can bring a very simple subject of your choosing, however Leah will be setting up a still life that will be good to learn from.

If you have not already purchased oil paints, Leah would highly recommend Michael Harding’s oil paints. They are more expensive but they will go a good deal further; you really do get what you pay for. They also do not have toxic driers and fillers added. The pigments you choose can be personal to your practice. However, if you are starting from scratch Leah recommends this basic list for botanical oil painting:

  • Titanium white
  • Mars black
  • Lemon Lake
  • Cadmium yellow or Indian yellow
  • Cadmium red – can substitute for a more affordable pigment ie Pyrole red or Scarlet Lake
  • Alizarin Crimson or Alizarin Claret
  • Magenta or Amethyst
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Prussian Blue

Leah can also talk you through washing your brushes just using a bar of soap or Incredible Brush Cleaner so you need never use toxic solvents again.

To enrol in M5 – Bush Flowers in Oils or Acrylics, please contact the tutor liaison.

Viv Bishop



12 Aug 2024
10am - 12.30pm


St Matthews Homes’ Activities Hall
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$135 members; $180 non-members