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A 2 day portraiture oils workshop with professional artist & tutor Peter Keegan.

Working from photographs and inspired by the painterly approach to oil portrait painting used by great artists such as John Singer Sargent who famously painted ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose in Broadway, Peter will guide and demonstrate the artistic principles and practices used by Sargent.

Working Alla Prima (wet-into-wet with oils) you will discuss and learn the importance of a tonal palette and how fully understanding tonal values will aid you in capturing the true form of the head.

Working from photographs provided or using one of your own images you will explore:

  • Exploring the face though form, shape and value rather than reliance on a tight underdrawing
  • Painterly mark-making and the bravura brush stroke
  • Getting the most out of a limited palette and which brushes the great artists used
  • Achieving both a likeness and (more importantly) the character of the model
  • Details – when to add them and where to leave them out

This course is ideal for those painters who are:

  • Looking to deepen their understanding of traditional Alla Prima oil painting
  • Wishing to explore the methods and ideas used by some of the great portraitists of the past
  • Looking to move away from working tightly
  • Wishing to achieve a greater understanding of tonal values and a limited palette
  • When to use painting mediums such as linseed oil and when to leave them alone

This 2 day course is suitable for painters with some experience of portrait painting in oils and is not suitable for the complete beginner.

By the end of the 2 days, artists will have completed (or near completed) a single head and shoulders portrait.

There will be an exclusive trip to the neighbouring gardens of Russell House for workshop participants where John Singer Sargent famously painted ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’.

The workshop will run from 11am-5pm on Friday 14th June and 10am-4pm on Saturday 15th June.

Tickets £200 (Limited to 12 places)

Tickets will be going on sale to the public at 10am on Friday 26th January 2024, and 1 week earlier for festival benefactors.
Do consider becoming a Benefactor (for as little as £50) to secure priority booking for all our 2024 events. Benefactor applications are now open.

About the tutor:

Peter Keegan is an award-winning artist and highly sought-after painting instructor known for his knowledgeable, engaging, and inspiring approach to teaching.

Having obtained a Fine Arts degree from Cardiff School of Art in South Wales, Peter has gone on to exhibit his work in numerous established art institutions, including the Royal Institute of Oil Painting, The New English Art Club, and the Royal Society of British Artists. He is an elected member of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Art Societies.

Peter was the first artist in residence at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre in Buckinghamshire in 2020, where he captured the busy and colourful life of an operating theatre. The 13 paintings commissioned by the theatre are now in their permanent collection, with the most prominent painting measuring 12 feet in height.

Alongside Peter’s practice as an artist, he is the founder and co-presenter of the popular podcast Ask an Artist, where he shares his advice and knowledge on the business side of being a working artist and interviews fellow artists and industry experts.

Peter is a brand ambassador for Rosemary & Co brushes and Michael Harding Oil paints, some of the finest art materials in the world. Peter leads dozens of fully-booked courses, workshops, and holidays throughout the year.

For more information on Peter and his work, please visit www.peterkeegan.com

Materials List:

  • Ground: Ready primed white canvas, no smaller than 50x40cm 
  • Paints: Peter will be using Michael Harding Oils in the following colours (similar colours by different manufacturers are welcomed): White, Yellow Ochre, Scarlet Lake, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber, Ivory Black
  • Brushes: Suitable brushes for oil painting. Peter uses Rosemary & Co Hog brushes, sizes 2-10. Peter will be selling oil brush sets on the day if you wish to purchase one. 
  • Mediums: Low Odor/Odorless solvent. A little linseed oil.
  • Easel: An appropriate standing easel, suitable for the size of canvas.
  • Studio Sundries: Paint palette, palette knife, rags/kitchen paper, pot for medium, painting apron, pen and paper for note taking.
  • Reference Image: Although excellent reference images will be available for you to work from, if you would like to bring your own image, please have it printed no smaller than A4 in size or on a tablet/iPad to paint from.

Would you like to buy a Broadway Arts Festival apron to wear at the workshop?  If so, just add it to your order for £18 and it will be available for collection at your workshop.


Tutor Peter Keegan


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Classical Alla Prima Portraits Standard Adult
£ 200.00
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