David's signature style reveals a personal and contemporary expression of beauty and order which pays homage to the Classical Tradition inits craftsmanship. Collectors of David's work often relate that his painting evokesa sense of peace, stillness, or a contemplative mood. His award-winning workshave been covered by major art publications including Southwest Art, Art of the West, and American Art Collector. David also teaches several workshops per yearin portraiture and still life painting throughout the United States and abroad.

Through demonstration and personalised instruction, David will teach the application of the painting medium as he applies it in his own professional work. Stages of painting will include:

Underdrawing - methods and thought processes of how to construct the underlying drawing of your subject on your painting support (your canvas or panel).

Colour Study and Underpainting - discussion on some basic colour theory and mixing. Creating a colour poster study to help us workout our major colour concerns before launching into our portrait and applying athin layer of oil colour onto the drawing in preparation for the next stage.

Overpainting - This is the real business of painting where I show you will paint your subject region by region; bringing each area to a finish before moving on. Among other things we will discuss paint handling, basic colour mixing and turning form.

Glazing and Continuing the Overpainting - On this day you will glaze and make minor adjustments as necessary. We will also continue to work on the overpainting.

In addition, students are encouraged to ask any other questions applicable to the art making process. In past workshops we have discussed other items such as: composition, how to take good photo reference material, the importance of drawing/painting from life, personal art making philosophy, and many other related topics.

Materials list


Bring an adequate selection of good quality brushes. I prefer a selection of filberts in both hog bristle and sable (or soft synthetic). For a bare minimum in brush supplies please bring sables or soft synthetic filberts in numbers 2 through 10. A few very small rounds for detail work are also highly recommended.

Some brands I have used and recommend are:

Sable or soft synthetic:

  • Trekell Legion Synthetic Mongoose
  • Trekell Red Sable
  • Rosemary & Co. Eclipse (synthetic)  
  • Rosemary & Co. Pure Red Sable
  • Robert Simmons Sapphire (sable/synthetic blend)

Chungking Hog Bristle:

  • Trekell Hog Bristle
  • Robert Simmons Signet Series

You will also need a soft synthetic hair flat or filbert brush for oiling out. An inch or so wide will be fine. This should be an inexpensive brush. It does not need to be of high quality.



Any good quality paint such as M. Graham, Michael Harding,or Rembrandt will be just fine. Stay away from student grade paints.

You may use your own selection of colours if you arecomfortable with a particular palette. But still try to bring some alkyd white.Otherwise I recommend the following:

  • Titanium White
  • Akyd White – Irecommend Winsor & Newton Griffon (alkyd) Titanium White
  • Cadmium Yellow 
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cadmium Red Light
  • Transparent Red Oxide
  • Raw Umber
  • Alizarin Crimson or similar
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Pthalo green



I recommend size 12 x 16 (but bring what suits you). This will primarily be a head study. You will only need one canvas. I recommend a smooth weave linen or cotton, well stretched and primed. Oil or acrylic primed panel is also suitable, but I recommend against a very glassy smooth surface.

Also, bring something with which to do one or two colour studies. I like to use a scrap of primed linen taped to a board. A small, inexpensive canvas panel is also suitable.

A note about toning the canvas or panel: “Toning” your support is simply staining the stark white with a little oil colour. Rub some oil colour on your canvas or panel along with some mineral spirits.  Then wipe it off with a paper towel or rag (I prefer a cotton cloth) until you can’t wipe off anymore. That’s it. The goal of toning is simply to kill the stark white of the primer.



Liquin Impasto Painting Medium – (From Winsor & Newton. Please note this is a thicker gel consistency of Original Liquin. Itcomes in a tube. Do not bring any other alkyd medium to class. They are not all the same.)

A Palette Cup

A Small Amount of 1:1 mixture of Walnut Oil and OMS – an ounce or so should be more than enough)

A Palette – Either a glass palette, disposable sheets, a hand-held wooden type or whatever you prefer. If you are not familiar with using a hand-held palette do not bring one “to try it” for this class. It takes some getting used to. We’ll be learning enough new things as it is. Stick with a glass palette or the disposable sheet type. Please try to avoid white or overly dark palettes. A grey or tan colour is to be preferred.

A Trowel Shaped Painting Knife (for mixing) – the blade being 1½-2 inches (or thereabouts) in length.

Rags or Paper Towels Brush Basin/Cleaner

Odourless Mineral Spirits (OMS) – I prefer Gamsol by Gamblin. This solvent dissolves very slowly into the atmosphere, making it safer to use than other solvents or turpentine. Please do not bring a product you bought at the hardware store. Bring something made for artist use.

Measuring Tool – I prefer a long knitting needle. 

Mahl Stick – If you are looking to achieve very fine detail and a refined finish a mahl stick is essential.


Optional (but strongly recommended)

A Container in which to store Your Palette and Paint When Not Painting – I have a plastic “Tupperware-like” container from Masterson that works perfectly.

Glass Scraper – If you are using a glass palette.

A Small Hand-Held Mirror – A great tool for seeing your painting in a fresh way and seeing your mistakes. I use one all the time.

A Pair of Close Focusing Binoculars – Such as the Pentax Papilio. Very helpful for seeing detail if you are positioned a bit away from the model.








10.00am - 17:00pm


(flexible start date)


David Gray




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