Textures and Textiles in Oil | Workshop

Learn how to paint convincing representations of a range of different materials in oil.

Date & Time

20th + 21st June 2020 | Weekend | 10:00-17:00


LARA London
371 Clapham Road
London SW9 9BT
Bring me there

This workshop taught over two days by Ben Laughton Smith will teach you to paint convincing representations of a range of different materials in oil. Capturing surface textures is a vital competent of still life painting and the clothed portrait. Students will consider techniques for painting a wide range of surfaces such as shell, lace, porcelain, crystal, copper, satin, fur, chrome and so on. During the course you will have the opportunity to paint several studies of different materials, considering strategies and methods to convey their varying appearances.

This course requires a minimum number of enrolments to run.


Aims of this Course

This course will address:

  • How to understand the visual characteristics of different materials
  • Breaking down painting procedure for complex subjects into logical steps
  • Brushwork and handling
  • Assembling an appropriate palette of colour and mixing accurate colour values
  • The importance of edge control and variety in capturing textures

The Facilities

Each class is limited to 8 students working from two models. The workshop room is located within the main school of LARA London. Each set up is lit with individual professional photographic lighting which provides a steady, unchanging environment from which to observe all elements of still life painting.


Please bring the following materials with you. Items marked with an asterisk are stocked in the LARA shop. Please call ahead if you would like to reserve items to ensure availability.

Oil Paint: The LARA Palette

  • Lead White – PW1 (recommended) or Titanium White* – PW6
  • Nickel Yellow* – PY 53
  • Yellow Ochre* – PY 43
  • Cadmium Red* – PR 108 (or cheaper alternative English Red PR 1C1 or Winsor and Newton Scarlet Red)
  • Alizarin Crimson* – PR 83 (more permanent alternatives: Quindacridone Magenta – PR 122, Quindacridone Maroon – PR 206)
  • Cobalt Blue* – PB 28 (or cheaper alternative Ultramarine Blue* – PB 29)
  • Raw Umber* – PBr 7
  • Ivory Black* – PBk 9
  • We highly recommend Old Holland, C Roberson, Blockx, Vasari and Winsor and Newton (cheapest option)

For Painting

  • Balanced wooden arm palette* (if you are right handed, please buy a left handed palette, and vice versa)
  • Four stretched linen canvas* or canvas panels approximately A3 sized
  • Hog bristle brushes* (overall a good selection of hog brushes should be used. The more brushes, the easier it is to keep colour mixes clean. A variety of sizes is essential for handling large areas of the painting as well as small details. However, a set of at least 10 ‘filberts’ and ‘flats’ should be enough to get started).
  • Flexible steel palette knife*
  • Refined Linseed Oil*
  • Winsor and Newton Sansodor*, Sennelier Odour Free Mineral Spirits* or Jackson’s low odour solvent (odourless turpentine substitute for painting). You cannot use turpentine within the studio
  • Airtight metal brush cleaner* or jam jar (jam jars must be clearly labelled with your name, course and solvents it contains)
  • Metal dipper* for medium
  • A good supply of kitchen roll* for cleaning brushes
  • Tupperware tub for keeping paints overnight
  • Something to carry your wet paintings home with on the last day, for example, a canvas carrier*. If you are unable to find one, another canvas of the same size can be strapped to the front to keep the painting safe while being transported.


“Excellent. Ben is very clear, structured and knowledgeable and able to tailor his teaching to all levels. I learnt a lot and thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend/attend again. Thanks Ben.” Laura Arenson

Excellent. Ben’s course was interesting and his teaching full of insight and very enjoyable.” Tony Cohen

Learn from the best tutors

Ben Laughton Smith

"The key advantage of atelier training is that it is underpinned by a philosophy of seeing in which all the individual parts contribute to a cohesive whole."


In stock