5-day workshop with Academy of Realist Art Toronto Principal instructor Fernando Freitas. 

What you need to know 

Fernando takes students through the stages of the Tenebrist approach to oil painting in this workshop.  Similar to the much-loved “In the Studios of the Old Masters” workshop, this program teaches the chiaroscuro approach (which means light/dark, or light and shade) used by such artists as Rembrandt and Caravaggio. 

Working from a selected study, students learn the specific step-by-step process to achieve an exact copy, as well as gain a clear understanding of the principles of oil painting, and the best techniques and materials to use.  

This workshop is suitable for all levels of experience.


Monday 8 Aug 2022 - Friday 12 Aug 2022


The Heritage Centre, 101 Church Street, Rickmansworth


£650 (Lunch Included)

Materials you will need

Oil Colours

  • Titanium White, Lead White

  • Cad Yellow Med

  • Yellow Ochre Light or Pale

  • Cad Orange

  • Cad Red Med

  • Alizarin Crimson

  • Earth Red: Venetian or Persian (Indian) red

  • Red Umber (Williamsburg, Old Holland, Michael Harding)

  • Burnt Umber

  • Raw Umber

  • Ultramarine Blue

  • Ivory Black or lamp black

*Note: Purchase only Artist Grade paints.  Do not use Winton or water soluble paints.


  • Odorless mineral spirits (GamSol). Turpentine is NOT permitted in the studio.


  • Primed acrylic panel or canvas 18"X24" (panel preferred). Ampersand or Raymar are suggested brands.

*Note: Your canvas for this workshop should be prepared ahead of time with a mid-value brown imprimatura: an initial mid-value stain of oil paint diluted with mineral spirits, and applied over the entire surface of the canvas. We suggest trying to match the swatch below as best you can using a mixture of burnt umber, white, and black, well mixed with a palette knife. You will need approximately half a ping pong ball-sized amount. You can transfer this to a disposable pie plate to dilute slowly with mineral spirits until the mixture is the consistency of house paint. Apply it with a brush over the entire canvas and set aside for at least 2 weeks to dry completely. To speed up drying, you can add a drying agent, like Liquin or another alkyd dryer, before applying.


  • Linseed oil


  • Palette (Select one of the following): Glass, wood or paper (Grey Matters)

  • 2 Palette knives; long blades

  • 2 Medium cups

  • 2 Small jars for cleaning brushes

  • Mahl stick (a ½ inch diameter dowel approximately 30 inches)

  • Rags or paper towels or shop towels

  • Knitting needle

Brushes (either natural or synthetic hair)

  • 2-3 Bristle hair filbert brushes - ranging in size from #2 to #8

  • 10-20 Soft hair filbert brushes - ranging in size from #2 to #12

          •  2-3 EACH of #2, #4, #6, and #8

          •  1 EACH of #10 and #12

*Note: No flats or round brushes needed; these are the minimum brush requirements - please feel free to bring more.

For full material list, please click here.


Additional Information

1. The deposit fee of £100 will be deducted from the balance of the booking.

2. Maximum 20 students per class. We will be assessing and implementing any covid-19 safety measures that remain in place at that time, to ensure the safest environment we can. We will be issuing separate details on covid protective measures implemented.


For all T&Cs, please click here.


About Fernando Freitas

The Director and Senior Instructor at the Academy of Realist Art, Fernando Freitas has close to 20 years of teaching experience. He also conducts drawing and painting workshops throughout North America and Europe, as well as works on portrait commissions.  Most recently, his work can be seen on the hit NBC show 'Hannibal'. 

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