Painting workshop - skies
Simon Birtall on Twitter Simon Birtall on Facebook Simon Birtall on Pinterest Simon Birtall on Instagram Simon Birtall on Saatchi Art Art by Simon Birtall on Etsy

Art Workshops in Wirral

'Big Skies' (SB012)

This workshop was last run on 12th March 2015. Please contact me to request a repeat running of this workshop. The workshop was initially run as a full-day workshop, but may be condensed to a half-day. However, the longer the day, the more we achieve! More information on my workshops...

Step-by-step guide to painting a sunset
Step-by-step tuition guides students through the painting of a sunset

The Wirral coastline offers an ideal opportunity to study the effects of passing weather systems and changes in light quality on large expanses of sky. It can provide us with dramatic cloud formations and picturesque sunsets. On the 'Big Skies' workshop we will study approaches to the depiction of clouds in paint. In the morning session, students will be guided through the reproduction of a section of a 'big sky' painting. In the afternoon session, students will take what they have learned from the morning session and produce, under guidance, a new work from a photograph or photographs, which can be provided by student or tutor as suits.

The workshop will take place under my tuition in my home studio - a light and airy conservatory - in the Wirral. Student numbers will be kept to a minimum (2 or 3 students) to facilitate one-to-one tuition. The workshop will offer step-by-step tuition in an informal, friendly atmosphere, where students and tutor can bounce ideas off one another. It is my intention that students enjoy a productive, informative and fulfilling day. The class is suitable for beginners or more experienced artists. More information on my workshops...


10:00 - 10:30

A brief introduction to different approaches to the depiction of skies in paint and an open discussion on technique.

10:30 - 13:00

Each student will choose a reproduction of a 'big sky' painting. Students will then be guided through the production of a copy of their selected painting utilising as many technical aspects of the original artist's technique as feasible. You will not be expected to complete this work. It will be used as a means to familiarise yourself with a working technique.

13:00 - 14:00

Lunch break

14:00 - 17:00

Under guidance, students will take what they have learned from the morning session into the production of their own work. Students are encouraged to provide their own photographs in order to make their work more personal.

Please note that timings are approximate - I will make every effort to ensure that students are fully conversant with appropriate principles before moving on to subsequent stages - there is no rush and you will be under no pressure or expectations. Students may work in whichever medium - traditional oils, water-mixable oils, alkyds, acrylics etc. - you would prefer. I will produce a demonstration piece in oils prior to the workshop. By the end of the workshop you should have a finished 'big sky' painting and be familiar with basic elements of composition, application of paint and use of colour. Hot and cold drinks with nibbles will be provided, as will a cold lunch.

Learn how to paint big skies
Learn how to paint big skies