Classical Art Atelier

Plein Air Landscape Painting

3-Day Outdoor Oil Painting Workshop with Brian Smyth

Florence-trained realist painter, Brian Smyth, will teach a 3-Day Plein Air Landscape Painting Workshop at the scenic and historic Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens on Fota Island, Co. Cork, from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 September 2019. This is a unique opportunity to learn some of the methods of impressionistic alla prima landscape painting, as pioneered by artists of the 19th century.

Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens provide a splendid and tranquil setting, ensuring no shortage of outdoor subject matter for the paintings.

Limited Places! Please BOOK EARLY to ensure a place on this workshop!

Fota House & Gardens See dates & details Gallery Instructor Book Now

The focus of the workshop will be on creating vivid and accurate painterly sketches, painted directly from the motif. Students will learn the secrets and benefits of working sight-size and learn methods and principles behind colour mixing, to ensure the colours stay true to the subject.

Working with a limited colour palette, based on the Zorn palette system, Brian will teach you a step-by-step process to creating expressive and realistic landscape painting. Organizing the palette, colour mixing, drawing, value and edges will be covered, discussed and demonstrated. Demonstration paintings and in depth personal critiques will be provided throughout.

Materials List
  • Easels and boards provided
  • Basic materials included*
  • Detailed handouts
  • Practical exercises
  • Live Demonstrations
  • Refreshments provided

*Students will be required to bring certain materials.


Fota House is Ireland’s finest example of Regency period architecture with superb neoclassical interiors. Its internationally recognised arboretum and gardens are a haven for relaxation and enjoyment - the perfect place to paint!

On the first morning, we will be working in one of the beautiful late Victorian glasshouses in the Victorian Working Garden, where we will set up our palettes and begin the workshop with some exercises before moving outdoors into the gardens.

"Fota" is derived from the Irish "Fód te" meaning "warm soil" – perfect for the growing and cultivation of rare trees and exotic plants. The delightful and tranquil gardens at Fota were laid out by James Hugh Smith-Barry in the first half of the 19th century and include the palm walk, orangery, and atmospheric Victorian fernery.

We would like to thank Irish Heritage Trust, who manage Fota House, and the Office of Public Works, who care for the arboretum and gardens, for their kind permission to use Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens for this event.

Workshop Details

The Plein Air Landscape Painting Workshop will be held at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens on Fota Island, Co. Cork, this September 2019. See dates and details for this workshop below, or contact us to find out more and to enrol.

# Venue Duration Day Time Dates Cost
1 Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens, CO. CORK 3 Days Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10.00am - 5.00pm 20-22 September 2019 € 300

Important Notes

  • Weather Conditions: in the event of (1) rain, the workshop will continue outdoors beneath a marquee; (2) wind and rain, depending on the severity, we may move into one of the Victorian Glasshouses temporarily; and (3) storm, for health & safety reasons, we would need to postpone the workshop to another weekend.
  • Fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
  • Classical Art Atelier reserves the right to cancel any workshop at any time if the minimum number of students required is not reached. In such cases, your fee will be fully refunded.
  • It is recommended that you take out insurance to cover travel and accommodation costs in the event that this workshop is cancelled.

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
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Red
  • Transparent Red Oxide
  • Raw Umber
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Sap Green
  • Liquin
  • Fast Drying Linseed Oil
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Turpentine
  • 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)
  • Wooden Palette
  • Palette Knife
  • Palette Cups
  • Glass Jar
  • Paper Towels
  • Portfolio Case
Plein Air Landscape Painting Workshop

Start learning the oil painting methods and techniques of the Masters

Book Now