with Michael Weller

Figure in a room – inspired by Bonnard’s The Table

Over the five weeks of this course you will consider how Bonnard composed his painting The Table. From this study each of us put together our own picture of a figure in a room. We will copy Bonnard and paint and draw from life, at home.

  • Tutor, Michael Weller
  • January 13th, 20th, 27th, Feb 3rd and 10th
  • 10.00- 12.00 GMT plus return for crits at 4.00
  • £200/course
  • Delivered via zoom, and WhatsApp.
  • Recordings of each demo available from the day of class until two weeks after the end of term.

What to expect on this course

The intention is to work towards one painting with various exercises leading towards this. The exercises may be the end in themselves.

Week 1 – copying the painting, outlining the big shapes, blocking in the big colours.

Week 2 – Sight-size study of the living room with table.

Week 3 -Sight-size self-portrait.

Week 4 – painting from one of your drawings.

Week 5 – painting from one of your drawings.

You may opt for another Bonnard painting of a figure in a room. Whatever painting works for you.

There will be Homework, pencil drawings, tonal and colour notes of a figure at a table in a room.


Oil paint

This is a fairly limited number of colours but get 60ml tubes or bigger, and at least twice as much white. Michael uses Jacksons Artists Colours. Affordable, good quality.

  • Titanium white (warm white is nicer but more expensive),
  • lemon yellow (or cadmium yellow light),
  • Alizarin crimson (rose madder is nicer, but dearer) and
  • cobalt blue.

And The Rest

Low-odour oil-paint solvent. A small jar for the oil solvent. Zest-It or Sansador are fine.

Sketchbook, pencils, eraser

Brushes. Good to have some bigger brushes.
Michael likes long filbert brushes, household brushes and sometimes hands and fingers.
Canvases/panels/painting surface. 13 x 18cm for week one, still life.
25 x 30cm for the other weeks. one larger canvas or board for final piece. If you have a surface that you like to work on, stick with that.

Palette or mixing surface. Paper tearaway palette is great. Wooden palette fine.

Kitchen paper or rags, newspaper. A plastic bag for rubbish.
Plastic disposable gloves are great.
Apron is good. Don’t be like Michael (!) and not wear an apron.
Some hand gel to wash your paint-covered hands.
Easel – for your board or canvas.

The Table 1925 Pierre Bonnard 1867-1947 Presented by the Courtauld Fund Trustees 1926 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N04134