Classical Art Atelier

Italian Renaissance Master Copy Painting

3-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Brian Smyth

In this intensive 3-day workshop led by Brian Smyth – artist and tutor at the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, Italy – students will be introduced to the techniques and practices of classical atelier painting, focusing specifically on the reproduction of an oil painting by one of the Italian Renaissance masters.

Italian Renaissance painting spans a wide period in art history, beginning in the late 13th century and flourishing from the early 15th to late 16th centuries. While much of the painting of the Renaissance period was commissioned by or for the Catholic Church, with the growth of Humanism, artists turned to Classical themes, particularly to fulfill commissions for the decoration of the homes of wealthy patrons, the best known being Botticelli's Birth of Venus for the Medici. Indeed, the Medici's city of Florence in Tuscany is renowned as the birthplace of the Renaissance, and in particular of Renaissance painting, although later in the era Rome and Venice assumed increasing importance in painting.

The Italian Renaissance Master Copy Painting Workshop will be held in Cork on 22-24 November and in Waterford on 29 November to 1 December 2019.

BOOK EARLY & SAVE! Book before 31 October and SAVE 10%!

The faithful reproduction of such a master painting has been a staple part of atelier training for centuries, and it is one of the best ways a student can learn the methods and techniques used to create such extraordinary works. Indeed, it is how these Italian Masters themselves would have trained. This approach allows students to acquire a deeper understanding of both the aesthetics and the techniques used by these Old Masters, and it also helps them to improve greatly as painters. This is the method currently being taught at realist painting academies all across Europe and beyond.

Students will work from a choice of several high-quality reproductions supplied by the academy. The various stages of a painting, from the drawing stage to the final rendering of the forms, will be discussed and demonstrated in detail. Further topics include: colour, paint quality, edge treatment, the relation of light to form, and much more.

Each student can choose an image from which to copy from, for their master copy exercise.

Materials List
  • Live model
  • Basic materials included*
  • Handouts
  • Practical exercises
  • Live Demonstrations
  • Slide Presentations
  • Refreshments provided

*Students will be required to bring certain materials.


Brian will demonstrate each of the key steps of the master copy painting process, and will individually assist each student as they progress on their copy.

Master Copy of Jusepe De Ribera's "Saint Jerome" (ca.1647) by Brian Smyth © 2018

Day One

The first day will be devoted to shorter exercises, mainly in monochrome, which will serve to strengthen the student's understanding of the gesture, proportion and construction of the figure.

Days Two & Three

The two subsequent days are spent working on a master copy, where the students will learn about drawing with the brush, the creation of volumes, the use of a set palette, and the mixing of flesh tones for full-colour painting.

Notes & Handouts

Students will receive various handouts that explain the correct methods of using oil paint. These hand-outs will lay out the various grounds, materials and mediums used in oil painting and also describe the various layers used in classic underpainting-overpainting techniques, that will be covered in this workshop.

Workshop Details

The Italian Renaissance Master Copy Painting Workshop will be held in Cork and Waterford in November 2019. See details and special offers below, or contact us to find out more and to enrol.

# Venue Duration Day Time Dates Cost
1 Nano Nagle Place, CORK 3 Days Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10.00am - 5.00pm 22-24 November 2019 € 300
2 St. Patrick's Gateway, WATERFORD 3 Days Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10.00am - 5.00pm 29 Nov. - 01 Dec. 2019 € 300

Important Notes

  • You must book before 31 October 2019 to avail of the 10% early bird discount.
  • Fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
  • Classical Art Atelier reserves the right to cancel any course or workshop at any time if the minimum number of students required is not reached. In such cases, your fee will be fully refunded.

About Brian Smyth

Oil Painting Instructor

Brian Smyth is an award-winning graduate of the Crawford College of Art and Design. He has had several succesful solo exhibitions in Dublin and London and has participated in and curated many group exhibitions. He has completed many private commissions, including a 14-painting Stations of the Cross commission for a church restoration project in his native Co. Cork.

Brian has his works in many private and public collections and continues to develop his technique, to exhibit his paintings and to work on portrait commissions.

Brian began his studies in The Angel Academy, in Florence, in 2012, and has worked there as an instructor since 2013. Visit to see his work.

Materials List

Oil Painting Workshop

Stretched and unstretched canvas will be provided by the academy. However, it is imperative that you bring a portfolio case large enough to fit a canvas 50x40cm or some other means of taking your wet canvases home with you. Your work will not be stored by the academy.

All materials and equipment are available at Cork Art Supplies, where you will be entitled to a 10% discount upon enrolling for this workshop, or at Jackson's Art Supplies UK

Oil Colours
  • Titanium White
  • Ivory Black
  • Burnt Umber
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Red
  • Alizarin Crimson Permanent
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • 4 x Bristle Filbert (size 6)
  • 2 x Soft Synthetic Filbert (size 8)
  • 1 x Soft Filbert (size 12)
  • 1 x Soft Round (size 1)
  • 1 x Soft Fan Brush (size 6 or 8)
  • Liquin
  • Fast Drying Linseed Oil
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Turpentine
  • Wooden Palette
  • Palette Knife
  • Palette Cups
  • Glass Jar
  • Paper Towels
  • Portfolio Case
Italian Renaissance Master Copy Painting Workshop

Start learning the oil painting methods and techniques of the Old Masters

Book Now