Academy of Realist Art

Still Life Painting (waitlist)

13 May, 2022
15 May, 2022

Duration: 3 days
Location: ARA Toronto
Instructor: Ryan Gauvin
Full Price: $425
Deposit Required: $150

Still Life Painting (waitlist)


*This workshop is now SOLD OUT – please email us to join the waitlist* Still life painting allows students to work with a variety of objects, explore composition, and practice creating shapes and building forms. Come learn a synthesis of techniques that allows for efficiency without compromising quality or draftsmanship.

Out of stock


*This workshop is now SOLD OUT – please email your name and phone number to to join the waitlist*

Still life painting allows students to select and work with a variety of objects, explore composition and lighting, and practice creating shapes and building forms without worrying about the objects moving.

This workshop introduces participants to an expressive, efficient approach to painting that can be called a direct method. The direct method allows the artist to explore the fundamental aspects of painting, including paint quality, warm and cool tones, expressive brushwork, accuracy of shape, form and colour, etc. The direct painting technique borrows somewhat from the layering methods used by most old masters, as well as from the modern alla prima style that features wet-into-wet paint application. Students will learn a synthesis of techniques that allows for efficiency of execution, but without compromising any of the principles of quality, craftsmanship, and draftsmanship.

The class will meet at our studio from 10 am – 4 pm ET each day.

Full workshop price is $425, and a $150 deposit is required to save your easel. The balance will be due on the first day of the workshop.


Oil Colours

  • Titanium White
  • Lead (Cremnitz) White (optional)
  • Cad Yellow Med
  • Yellow Ochre Light or Pale
  • Cad Red Med
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Raw Umber or Burnt Umber
  • Burnt Sienna
  • 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, 11"x14" or 16″x20″ (panel preferred). Ampersand or Raymar are suggested brands.
NOTE: Your canvas for this workshop should be prepared ahead of time with a mid-value grey imprimatura: an initial 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 white, black, and raw umber, 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 (small cups with lids for holding medium or mineral spirits)
  • 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)

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


About ARA Workshops

Each participant gets lots of one-on-one attention from our superb instructors. ARA instructors teach year round so, unlike many artists who offer summer/holiday workshops our instructors are professional teachers as well as accomplished artists. Whether you are an award-winning experienced artist or have never painted before, our instructors will tailor to your skill level. If you have any questions or are having trouble with online registration, please contact us. All participants will be required to follow our studio policies in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

Proof of vaccination

All visitors to our Columbus Centre campus must be fully vaccinated to access the building. Please email proof of vaccination to for verification before your class or workshop begins.

Masks and hand hygiene on arrival

On entering the Columbus Centre, all visitors are expected to wear masks at all times. We will now be requiring students to wear a minimum of a 3-ply medical (surgical) mask. Please sign in at the front desk to assist with records for contact tracing, and use the hand sanitization stations in the lobby and elevator. Upon arriving on the 3rd floor, all arriving students are also expected to wash their hands in one of the sinks in the Figure and Workshop rooms.

Daily symptom screening

Please come see an instructor on arrival to have your temperature screened. We ask that any students who are feeling unwell, who have had recent close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or who have recent travel history with a mandatory quarantine period, please stay home and self-isolate. As always, you can make up any missed classes at a later date.

Physical distancing

All horses in the Bargue room will be taped and placed 6 feet apart. These are not to be moved, and extra distance is encouraged whenever possible. Students with stations will be scheduled to ensure that capacity limits are met. Instructors will practice physical distancing while instructing.

Sanitization stations and common areas

Frequent hand sanitization throughout your time in the school is asked. Sanitization stations are located outside of each studio. The lunch room will not be available, so please plan accordingly and follow physical distancing rules during breaks.