Moquin oil beginners

Oil Painting for Absolute Beginners

This class is the perfect introduction to oil painting, suitable for those new to painting or those considering changing mediums. We will spend 6 weeks learning how to paint simple objects from observation. We will cover the basics of value and color mixing. I will also do simple demonstrations. No pressure, it will be fun and you will have a better idea if it is a path you want to pursue further after this class.

Maybe you are only thinking about trying out oils but you are not ready to invest in the materials? This is the class where you can try it out before purchasing anything. For an additional material fee of $20 paid to me on the first class, I will provide you with materials to use during class, all you have to bring is yourself and your enthusiasm, you won’t have to lug a thing! Or, if you’d rather not pay a material fee because you already have materials, here is a list of what I need you to bring to class, please make sure you have them all:

  • A pad of canvas paper at least 9x12 or 12x16 or multiple supports of similar size to paint on, i.e. canvas board, canvas, or poster board cut to size and gessoed (use white acrylic gesso)
  • A backing board to tape the paper to
  • Masking tape
  • A disposable palette to put paint on (a roll of freezer paper is fine, you can tape it to the table)
  • brushes of various sizes and shapes, some bristle and some synthetic (don’t bother with sables)
  • a palette knife or two
  • Paper towels
  • Murphy’s wood oil soap for clean up or Dawn dish detergent
  • Oil paints in the following colors:
    • Black (I don’t really care what type of black)
    • White - a large tube
    • Yellow (cad Yellow Light or a yellow that just looks yellow, not orangey)
    • Cadmium Red light (or some really orangey red)
    • Permanent or Quinachrodone Magenta (a red that is a little purple)
    • Ultramarine Blue
    • Pthalo Blue (green shade if indicated, sometimes called Cyan)

For inexpensive but good quality paints, I recommend Dayler Rowney Georgian Oil Colors available online at Dick Blick. You could also use Winsor Newton Winton colors available at Michaels. When in doubt, open the tube and look at the color as the names change across brands.

Please do not come with a miscellaneous pile of old oil paint, it is important that you have a good basic primary palette of relatively new creamy paint, not stiff dried out leftovers. Those are fine to supplement with later!

If you have any questions feel free to email me at or call 774-313-0080.

About the Instructor

Mary Moquin, artist statement: I have spent many hours, over many years, closely observing and meditating on the structures that surround my summer home. I have become fascinated by their geometry and the additional shapes created by cast shadows that change and turn depending on my vantage point and the sun’s position. The outward shapes change, yet I know the underlying structure remains the same.

As I repeatedly draw and redraw these same structures, I seek out the subtle relationships between shapes. Sometimes I see new shapes and I am amazed that I never noticed them before. The lines that bound the shapes will shift depending on my point of view, but the fact that they always lie connected on the same plane ensures their innate relationship: a triangle remains a triangle even when I can’t see it. There is something about this “truth” that makes me hopeful.

Our classes and workshops are open to students of all abilities and needs. We are currently unable to provide one-on-one instruction, though we will make every attempt to address accommodations for full and successful engagement whenever possible.
If a student requires individual supports, parent/guardian/PCA/teacher/ABA Therapists/etc are welcome to attend.
Please contact Christine Ernst, Director of Education, for more information at