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Oil Painting Level 1

Oil Painting Level 1

Chelsea College of Arts
Taught by
Enver Gursev


Oil Painting Level 1 is suitable for those new to oil painting and those with some experience, the course will build your painting skills and confidence in the medium of oil paint.

We will throw light on the materials and processes involved, and have you working from still life right from the beginning with particular emphasis given to painting without the use of drawing or preparatory line.

We will look at a range of techniques, including mixing colour, stretching a canvas, glazing and various paint application methods. You will then go on to working on self-directed projects whilst guided through interpreting your initial sketches and concepts, as well as organising them into a plan.

Please Note - Students should make arrangements to take their work home at the end of the course. Any work that is left in the studio, during or after the course, is at a student’s own risk. In such circumstances students should ensure that work is clearly labelled with their name, course title and dates. Work will be kept for no longer than one month after the end of the course. Please note that we are unable to arrange for the delivery of your work but would be very happy to prepare this ready for collection should you wish to arrange for a courier.

Topics covered

  • Imprimatura to create an under painting
  • Colour theory and mixing colour
  • Drawing with paint
  • Creating form and space using colour
  • Stretching and preparing a canvas
  • Glazing and scumbling
  • Various paint application methods
  • Balance and Harmony in painting
  • Using different mixing mediums
Course outcomes
You’ll leave the course with a body of work and you’ll have more awareness of the diverse concepts and production of the generic process of oil painting. Many people move on to Oil Painting Short Course: Level 2 upon completion of this course.

Who should attend
Those who wish to develop the skills to express themselves through the medium of oil painting.


Tutor Description

Enver Gürsev is a professional artist, working primarily as a painter and sculptor. In addition to his visual art practice, he is a musician; drummer and percussionist. Born in London, he has a long and diverse experience working within the arts. As a teen, his first brush with the creative sector was as a sign-writer; painting pub signs whilst designing record covers and posters for independent bands. As a fledgling artist he was mentored by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi and went on to graduate from Camberwell College of Arts. 

He has since exhibited extensively and worked in collaboration with a number of progressive artists nationally and internationally.  Enver has lectured at the University of the Arts London since 2006 has worked as a tutor and arts event organiser for Cor Blimey Arts in Deptford. He was a consultant and curator for the Levent Gallery in Mayfair, and his recent talks include among others, Nolia’s Gallery in Southwark and at Yinka Shonibare Guest Projects in Hackney, where he was invited to host an evening celebrating Jean–Michel Basquiat. Enver's work explores memories, both personal and assumed and the effect of dismantlement and displacement of culture. He focuses on meanings imbued in abandoned objects and spaces, with a fascination for ghost towns, borders, no man’s land and their peripheries. Aside from these thematic preoccupations, Enver takes great reference from what is deemed 'Outsider Art' of untrained artists along with the 'Unsophisticated Art' of the fairground, tattoo and folk art. 

At present Enver is lead artist and project manager for the prestigious commission: BP Shipping Centenary Collection.


Please bring the following materials with you on the first day:

  • Palette and palette knife

  • An A2 canvas board

  • Any objects you might like to see in a still life

  • Linseed oil (not Stand Oil)

  • An apron or old shirt to protect your clothes

  • 2 empty glass jars for your medium

  • Selection of brushes - bristle and/or synthetic (see pdf for further details)

  • Selection of Oil Paints (see pdf for further details)

Oil Paints and Brushes (PDF 93KB)

Please note that studio safe solvent and medium is provided by the college. Students are advised not to bring their own products for health and safety purposes.

While an A2 canvas board is recommended by the tutor, you are welcome to bring additional boards, canvases or other painting surfaces in your preferred size or shape.

Please note that most materials needed for the short courses are available at the Chelsea College of Arts' Art Shop. Please contact the Art Shop directly for opening hours and availability.

Available dates