Students Enjoy Oil Painting Workshop With WA Artist Rachelle Dusting

Years 11 & 12 ATAR Visual Arts students were treated to an oil painting portraiture workshop this week with Perth artist Rachelle Dusting. Rachelle taught the girls the importance of ‘colour temperature’ when painting, focusing on tonal values. The girls were taught how to identify and paint cool and warm temperature tones when executing a portrait in oils. The girls produced some amazing artworks.

We asked Year 11 students Claire Kavanagh and Kate Loughnan for their thoughts on the workshop.

“A challenge I faced in completing the workshop was being in a room with such talented people, I was originally stressed that I couldn’t keep up with procedures and techniques, but as Rachelle taught us as a group, she made sure everyone was looked after and assisted us whenever we needed whether that be colour mixing or painting style. One key thing I learnt in the workshop was how to paint realistically with oil paints. In the past, my previous understanding of using oil paint was to use big strokes of a general colour, but Rachelle taught us how to be specific and technical about picking and using colour, and really identifying how to make every stroke purposeful. The part I enjoyed the most in the workshop was learning a variety of different painting techniques that I can use in my final piece. I never really knew how to use oil paint properly, but the workshop really helped me understand how to use the medium and how to create a cohesive and dynamic piece.” Claire Kavanagh, Year 11

“The workshop with Rachelle focused on the technical process of oil painting. She talked us through the choices she makes when colour mixing and how to achieve the right tones of highlights and shadows. This involved a lot of trial and error. Rachelle pointed out the vibrant hues that people often overlook when colour mixing skin tones. She used a shade chart with punch holes to see colours in the image separately from the overall image. She also encouraged us to paint upside down to see the true form and shapes of the subject matter rather than what we think we see. It was so interesting to see how everyone adapted and worked with the methods Rachelle gave us in their own works.” Kate Loughnan, Year 11

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