Classical Art Atelier

Impressionist Painting Course

5-Week Online Course with Adrian Cooke

Our new online oil painting courses use Zoom video-conferencing platform for our live weekly classes, supplemented with downloadable study notes and image references, and one-to-one student support and feedback from your instructor.

Each class will include many demonstrations, guiding you in detail through the painting process, interaction and discussion about the oil painting method and techniques, and practical exercises which can be submitted by email for individual appraisal.

In this 5-week online oil painting course, you will be introduced to the painting practices of these three turn-of-the-20th-century masters - Zorn, Sorolla and Sargent - who were not only contemporaries but also friends and artistic rivals. You will also been shown the standard approach to oil painting - the methods and techniques, tools and materials, best practices and useful tips, and much more - which are currently being taught at all of the major realist painting academies in Florence and around the world. Suitable for beginners, this course will also benefit more advanced or professional artists, who might wish to reinforce some of their skills and knowledge.

I could not paint at all if I had to paint slowly. Every effect is so transient, it must be rapidly painted. Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923)

Course Description | Learning Outcomes | Booking Details | Gallery | Materials & Equipment List

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Learn the Impressionistic Painting Techniques of the Sargent, Sorolla and Zorn.

Our Impressionist Painting Course begins on Wednesday, 11th November 2020, and runs for 5 weeks. Two class times are available: Wednesday mornings or afternoons. Please choose whichever time of day you'd prefer, and note that you cannot switch between class times.

  • Language: English
  • Time: Irish Standard Time (UTC+1)
  • Platform: Zoom
Morning Class

Impressionist Painting
Online Course

10.00 - 11.30am (UTC+1)
Starting 11th November 2020

Afternoon Class

Impressionist Painting
Online Course

2.00 - 3.30pm (UTC+1)
Starting 11th November 2020

Course Description

Discover the Impressionist Techniques of Sargent, Sorolla & Zorn


By the end of the 19th century, some painters bridged two worlds: the grand manner derived from Classical Realism, and a looser bravura style that leaned more towards Impressionism. Formally trained in the atelier method, these artists had gradually loosened their style to adopt new and freer methods and trends in painting. Anders Zorn from Sweden, Joaquin Sorolla from Spain, and John Singer Sargent, an American expatriate, fall into this category of painters who emulate the best of the old and new worlds.

Each student will select one master painting by Zorn, Sorolla or Sargent to copy in order to learn their methods and techniques. Copying master paintings is a standard 'atelier method' approach to learning the skills of oil painting, and one that has been practised by all of the Old Masters. In this course, you will learn the principles of academic oil painting as well as the alla prima style employed by these master painters, covering topics such as gesture, proportion, value composition, and colour theory and harmony. You will be shown how to pre-mix colours and values on the palette, using Zorn's limited palette system, as well as mixing wet-in-wet on the canvas.

Vivid colours and painterly expressive brushwork play a crucial role in these paintings. These stylistic effects and the overall painting process will be clearly illustrated through a series of cohesive steps.

Color is an inborn gift, but appreciation of value is merely training of the eye, which everyone ought to be able to acquire. John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
  • Art Materials & Equipment
  • Desktop / Laptop / Tablet
  • Printer / A3 Colour Printing
  • Webcam
  • Internet Connection

You will need certain art materials and equipment to do this course. Please see Materials List below.

  • Live Demonstrations
  • Discussion / Q & A
  • Student Support via Email
  • Comprehensive Study Notes
  • High Resolution Images
  • Practical Assignments
  • Individual Feedback / Critique
Getting Started

General Exercises

Initially, you will be introduced to some basic concepts about pictorial representation, namely: design, value and form. You will work on some preliminary exercises including matching a value colour strip and rendering a flesh-toned sphere.

The first steps of your master copy painting are all about gesture and placement - getting the figure painting started and generally establishing where everything is going to fit. Drawing and good planning will play an essential role at this stage.

Colour & the Zorn Palette

Theory & Palette Organisation

You will learn how to lay in the dominant colours in the lights and in the darks to completely fill out the canvas. You will be shown how to set up your palette correctly, handle the oil painting medium effectively, and understand some basic colour theory including the Zorn palette and Munsell's Colour System. We will focus on big-form modelling first. The key principles of oil painting, as well as traditional studio practices, will be demonstrated and explained. Some of these include working on a coloured ground (or 'imprimatura'), understanding composition, developing contrast and value, colour mixing, and brushwork.

You will learn how to:

  • Draw with the paintbrush
  • Create three-dimensional volumes
  • Use of a set palette
  • Mix flesh tones for full-colour painting
  • Use and understand oil painting materials
The older I become, the more I realise that drawing is the most important of all the problems of picture-making. Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923)
Expressive Brushwork

Master Copy Painting

You will complete a second and final pass of your master copy painting, turning your attention now to the smaller and medium forms. Capturing the energy and vitality of these paintings with expressive brushwork will be main goal, as well as creating transitions of tone and carefully refining the quality of edges.

Sargent's, as much as Zorn and Sorolla's, approach to painting allowed for more spontaneous, less controlled brush strokes which gave the effect of capturing the sitter in a candid moment, and he believed that styles were techniques to be used rather than an end representation in themselves.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will have learned:

  • Set up and organise your palette
  • Colour theory and mixing
  • Dry brush method
  • Grisaille painting
  • Underpainting-overpainting method
  • Simplify shapes and structures
  • Subtly model form
  • Mix natural and realistic skin tones
  • Build up colours with increasing intensity
  • Work with translucent glazes
  • Handle edges, paying special attention to their quality
  • Understand the use of grounds, mediums and solvents

Booking Details Impressionist Painting Online

You can choose to do this course in the morning or in the afternoon, whichever you prefer - there are two class time options every Wednesday.

Book Now

Learn the Painting Techniques of Sargent, Sorolla and Zorn Online

Our Impressionist Painting Online Course begins on Wednesday, 11th November 2020. Please see course details, important information, and terms and conditions below, or contact us to discuss, email or call +353 (0)87 660 9644.

Morning Class

Impressionist Painting
Online Course

10.00 - 11.30am (UTC+1)
Starting 11th November 2020

Afternoon Class

Impressionist Painting
Online Course

2.00 - 3.30pm (UTC+1)
Starting 11th November 2020

Course Details
# Impressionist Painting Course
Location Zoom - Online Video Conferencing Platform
Duration 5 Weeks
Class 90 minutes per week
Day Wednesdays (morning or afternoon)
Dates 11 Nov., 18 Nov., 25 Nov., 2 Dec. & 9 Dec. 2020
Times Morning Class
10.00 - 11.30 am
Afternoon Class
2.00 - 3.30 pm
Choose either morning or afternoon class All times shown are Irish Standard Time (UTC+1)
Instructor Adrian Cooke
Language English
Price € 100 EUR
Terms & Conditions

Please read this information before enrolling. By paying for this course, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions below.

  • Fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
  • You cannot switch between morning and evening classes. Once you have selected either the morning or evening class, you will not be able to change your class time.
  • All times are shown in Irish Standard Time (UTC+1). It is important that you know the correct class time as it relates to you. You will not be refunded for any confusion or mistake about this on your part.
  • 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 course fee will be fully refunded.

Materials & Equipment List


You will need a certain amount of art materials and equipment to help you do this course. Not everything on the list below is absolutely necessary - just make sure to have a basic supply of oil painting materials, and the more specialist materials will be discussed during the course. Materials and accessories are available for purchase at Cork Art Supplies, where you will be entitled to a 10% discount when you enrol for this course. We also recommend Jackson's Art Supplies UK.

Oil Colours
  • Titanium White
  • Ivory Black
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Vermillion
  • Cadmium Red Medium
  • 4 x Bristle Filbert (size 4)
  • 2 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)
  • Primed Canvas 10-12oz
  • Canvas Boards 30x20 & 50x40cm
  • Liquin
  • Refined Linseed Oil
  • Odourless or Low Odour Mineral Spirits (or Turpentine)
  • Easel (table, portable or studio)
  • Hard drawing board
  • Wooden Palette
  • Palette Knife
  • Palette Cups
  • Glass Jar
  • Paper Towels
  • Masking Tape
  • Skewer or knitting needle
  • Mahlstick
Impressionist Painting Online Course

Start Learning the Methods of the Masters

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