Thursday, 12 December 2019

David Gray, still life workshop 1 - 5 September 2020 at BARA

I am delighted to announce that internationally renowned artist David Gray is returning to Belfast, in 2020, to deliver a still life oil painting workshop. David's paintings are exquisite, and he is a great teacher. His teaching style is exact, kind and thorough. He teaches all over America and Europe. 

In this workshop, David will take you step by step through the process he uses in creating his professional works. From the initial under-drawing through to final glazes, learn to build your painting in a series of layers that will help you effectively create an elegant and refined still life. 

Each phase of the process will be covered in detail. Daily demos will be given and you will apply the lessons on your own canvas. Personal attention will be given to each student.  

David Gray is an award winning oil painter known for his still life and human subject paintings rendered in a style reminiscent of the French Neoclassical painters Jacque-Louis David and his student Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. 

Please join David for five days of intense study, of learning techniques and concepts for painting from life, as well as camaraderie, and hopefully a little fun, too.

This is how David presents his workshops, in his own words:
In my workshops I teach the application of the painting medium as I apply it in my own professional work. Though I strive to keep the class fun and upbeat, we move fast and cover a LOT of material in a short amount of time. Note taking is highly recommended. If you are totally new to oil painting this probably isn’t the class for you. It’s really going to benefit the student who has a fairly firm grasp of drawing and oil painting basics. If you are really new you will learn a lot, to be sure, but a lot of it will be over your head, too. I will teach principles as I demonstrate on my own piece. You will also have the opportunity (and be expected) to apply the lessons on your own painting.  Regardless of subject matter the schedule generally follows this sequence:
Day 1 — Underdrawing. I teach methods and thought processes of how to construct the underlying drawing of your subject on your painting support (your canvas or panel).
Day 2 -- Color Study and Underpainting. We will discuss some basic color theory and mixing. We will create a color poster study to help us work out our major color concerns before launching into our portrait. We will also apply a thin layer of oil color onto the drawing in preparation for day three.
Day 3 — Overpainting — This is the real business of painting where I show you how to paint your subject region by region; bringing each area to a finish before moving on. Among other things we will discuss paint handling, basic color mixing and turning form.
Day 4 — Glazing and Continuing the Overpainting. On this day I will show you how to glaze and make minor adjustments as necessary. We will also continue to work on the overpainting.
In addition students are encouraged to ask any other questions applicable to the art making process. In past workshops we have discussed other items such as: composition, how to take good photo reference material, the importance of drawing/painting from life, personal art making philosophy, and many other related topics.

You can see more of David's paintings at his website here;

Your host, Julie Douglas, has 25 years experience teaching drawing, painting, and illustration, and runs Belfast Academy of Realist Art (BARA), which offers termtime drawing and painting workshops, as well as year-round workshops with visiting artists, including Michael John Angel (founder of The Angel Academy of Art, Florence), David Gray, Paul Foxton and Colleen Barry. Julie is a combination of enthusiasm, Irish hospitality, and fun; she will welcome you warmly and think of everything you need before you do. If you've been looking for an arty guardian angel, you have found her! 

David's five-day workshop is fully tutored. The day runs from 10am - around 5pm with a break at lunch time. There are cafes and deli's nearby, and students may go out for their break or bring lunch to eat in the studio, which is large and roomy. Refreshments are provided. 

The BARA easels studio comfortably fits 16 students each with their own dedicated lighting, wall space, chair/stool, and shelves. The second studio has large tables for flat work, tracing and cutting, with space for students to eat as well as a comfy seating area ('the parlour').

Cost: £700 to include instruction, tea/coffee, and some materials. A list of materials will be sent upon booking.
Deposit of 50% is required upon booking to hold your place.

To book a place on David Gray''s workshop please email

Terms & Conditions:
A 50% non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. Full payment must be received by 1st May 2020. If booking after 1st May, full payment is due at time of booking. 
Minimum number of students is 15.

COST: £700 to include instruction, tea/coffee and some materials. A list of materials will be sent upon booking a place. 

Not included:
Accommodation, flights, transport, and all other personal costs.  Fees are non-refundable unless the course is cancelled for any reason. 
If traveling, it is recommended that you take out insurance to cover costs in the unlikely event of cancellation etc. 
If necessary, we reserve the right to replace the tutor in an emergency. 

Details of accommodation near the studio will be provided upon booking. 

For booking information and all enquiries please email 

Belfast is a vibrant city with a warm, friendly atmosphere. If you are traveling for this course, you will find lots of things in the city to enjoy in the days before or after the workshop.