Tutor Lucy Smallbone
Location Online
Fee £40
Experience Level Beginner

For beginners and those returning to oil painting, this course is divided into six easy-to-follow lessons that you can take at your own pace. Your tutor, Lucy Smallbone, is an experienced teacher of oil and acrylics at Art Academy London who has a passion for gestural landscape painting. She will explain why she enjoys painting with oils, introduce you to the concepts of tone, colour and colour-mixing, show you four different techniques for applying oil paint and explain how you can plan your own projects and develop a style of your own going forward.

Students need to purchase their own materials for this course. We are not able to provide our painting pack for this course.

This course is suitable for students at our Beginner level.

  • Beginner

    Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Students spend time learning the very basics of the taught medium, for example, how to mix colours, use different tools, set up an easel. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience, they tend to follow a more structured path than our other courses, ensuring each student receives the guidance they need from the tutor.

Other course levels include:

  • Beginner +

    Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium, but still follow a structured path with guidance from the tutor.

  • Intermediate

    Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.

    These courses tend to be less structured and instead are tailored to the classes’ needs and the direction they want to advance in. Choose an Intermediate course if you are looking to improve your skills and have more critical discussions around the work you produce.

  • Advanced

    Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.

     Our Advanced courses include our Masterclasses.

All attendees must be aged 18 or over.

The following materials are required to complete the lessons:

  • A set of bristle brushes, both flat and round
  • One tear-off palette (9”x12”)
  • One palette knife
  • One bottle of Zest-it (250ml)
  • One 10″x12″ canvas board
  • One 10″x14″ canvas board
  • Two 12″x16″ canvas boards
  • Eight Daler Rowney oil tubes of Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, French Ultramarine, Coeruleum Blue and Burnt Umber
  • Two clean empty jam jars with lids
  • Kitchen towel or old rags
  • Newspaper/bin bag or plastic sheeting to create a clean painting area


Lucy Smallbone is a graduate from the Slade School of Fine Art Master’s program who specialises in modern landscape painting. Her work looks at the merging of fictional and real space and questions the part that memory and the mind can play in altering a view of a place. Picture plains tilt upwards and vivid colours grow across the surfaces, images are distorted by a rigorous sketchbook based drawing practice, taking them from realistic figuration into semi abstraction. Smallbone is a recipient of such prizes as the Haworth trust grant(2011), the David Balladie travel prize(2009) and travelled to Chernobyl thanks to th eDuveen Travel Prize(2016).



This course features on our online learning portal, that hosts prerecorded courses and tutorials from our Academy tutors. Learn from the comfort of your own home, follow along and take each lesson at your own pace.

In this introductory lesson, you will meet your course tutor, Lucy Smallbone, who explains why she loves oils and what it is about teaching and painting with oils that she enjoys. She will share some of her work with you, discussing her own painting style and why oil painting as a medium inspires her so much. Lastly, you’ll discover how the course is structured and what to expect in each lesson.

In this lesson, Lucy runs through all the materials and equipment you’ll need to complete this course – what each item in your toolkit is for, how you use them, as well as other available items. You will then learn how to set up your workspace to avoid mess, as well as some useful tips to prepare for each painting session. Finally, you’ll complete your first exercise in mixing and applying paint using a variety of styles.

In this lesson, you will be creating a tonal still life. Taking what you learned in the previous lesson about mixing and applying paint, Lucy will begin by showing you how to choose objects for a still life, apply a tinted ‘ground’ to your canvas board and sketch out your composition. You will then use the different paint-application techniques your learned last lesson to capture different tones and textures.

In this lesson, you will be painting a colourful still life. Lucy will introduce you to basic colour theory, how to mix primary and secondary colours, which colours contrast well with each other and how to tint and tone colours to match the objects in your set-up. Then, moving on from last week, you will sketch out your composition and choose which paint-application techniques to use for each object.

In this lesson, Lucy will introduce you to her love… gestural landscape. You will start with a simple, five-minute exercise to discover how gestural mark-making can influence the look and feel of your work. You’ll then learn some useful rules of thumb about using colour to create perspective in a landscape and how to emphasise key areas of your composition, before putting brush to canvas and producing a landscape painting of your own.

In this final lesson, you will be taught how to use everything you’ve learned in the course so far to develop your own style and plan and execute future projects. Lucy shares her tips and techniques for building up a portfolio of ideas and imagery to draw from in your paintings. She explains that ideas for artworks can come from anywhere… even on your own doorstep. After the lesson, you are encouraged to create a final project based on these techniques.

Please note: Access to the course is not immediate, it can take up to 48 hours from purchase to be enrolled on the online portal in order to access the course material.


Places Available!

Fee: £40.00