Painting materials course with artist Nina Royle Cornwall


This fascinating three-day course led by Nina Royle is a must for any artist who would like to bring a richer understanding of the qualities of paint and the importance of the painting surface into their work.

On the course students will consider how their personal painting styles are affected by the qualities and characteristics of materials used and how they have been applied to the surface of the support they are working on. How also can meaning in their work be strengthened, by investing time into a deep and rich understanding of these aspects in painting?

On each day of the course a different painting material or surface to work on will be selected as a guide for enquiry. These will be introduced with a short talk given by Nina that will touch on how the materials in question are made, where they are sourced from and their use historically. The talks will be delivered in an informative yet creative way that will inspire a different way of thinking about materials.

On day one of the course students will learn how to make traditional gesso panels with rabbit skin glue and whiting. This is a painting ground that has a beautiful warm, absorbent texture, which can acquire an ivory-like finish when polished. The panels lend themselves to being painted on in a number of ways that will also be explored, alongside the idea of why a painting ground is integral to painting.

Day two will look at the concept of variety through a limited palette of black and white pigments mixed with aqueous binders. Ink as a material will also be looked at. Opposed to considering black and white as non-colours or as contrasts of light and dark, Nina will introduce them as colours in their own right, possessing a diversity of shades. The differences between various commonly available blacks and white paint colours will also be explored. 

Day three will be a more general look at coloured pigments with a special focus on their history of use in oil paint. Students will make their own oil paint and explore a range of different binders and mediums that can be used to alter it’s properties. In doing this students will explore the benefits and drawbacks of making their own paint.

An unmissable opportunity to explore how you can engage more with the qualities of the paints and surfaces you use as an artist. 


Newlyn School of Art

All levels of experience. Beginners welcome. If you have any specific access or support requirements please give us a call at the time of booking to discuss your needs

We would advise that this course is suitable for those of 16 years of age and upwards. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our students

All materials are provided by the school. Please bring old clothes to paint in. This is an indoor course.

Please bring a packed lunch

£295.00 payable in full at the time of booking. The cost of all materials is included within the course fee and are provided by the art school

If you are looking for a local place to stay, please browse our page for Accommodation in West Cornwall - Newlyn, St Ives, Penzance, Marazion, Mousehole Guesthourses, B and B, Hotels, Cottages and Hostels

You are responsible for arranging your own accommodation and transport where applicable. Although we do list local providers of accommodation on our Website to try to assist you in finding accommodation, you are responsible for contracting directly with the accommodation provider and when doing so (and when booking transport) you should make arrangements for cancellation whether that is as the result of a cancellation of a Course by us or by you and you should consider appropriate insurance.

Our full terms and conditions can be found here.

Once you have booked your place, you will be emailed with confirmation of your order. You will not receive anything in the post. If you find you have not received a confirmation for any reason please have a look in your email spam folder and feel free to call us if you are unable to locate our email confirmation and we will be very happy to resend any information.

If you are interested in attending this course at Newlyn School of Art and would like to be kept informed of new dates for this workshop and similar new courses as they become available please let us know by clicking the "Keep me informed" button below.

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I so enjoyed the course, I learnt so much and Nina was such an inspiration. It’s honestly the best course I’ve been on.

Tracey, Cheltenham
Registered Office: Newlyn School of Art, The Old Board School, Chywoone Hill, Newlyn, Cornwall TR18 5AW. Tel: 01736365557.
Company Number: 7621257. Registered in Cardiff in 2011.