2021 – Dr William Ritchie. Realistic Oil Painting of Wildlife.

Details Price Qty
Deposit William Ritchie $211.43 (AUD)  

  • April 7, 2021 - April 11, 2021
    9:00 am - 4:00 pm

William Ritchie, Victoria. Oils.

This workshop will focus on constructing realistic oil paintings of wildlife from start to finish over five days.

What will we cover?

Everything necessary for producing high quality, realistic oil painting will be covered. Materials and tools. Choosing a subject. Planning a picture. Composition. Expression, light and feeling. Background elements and connection to the environment/landscape. Tone and colour theory. Principals and techniques. Methods and application. The ordered and methodical construction processes. Details and finishing touches.

Workshop – Workflow overview

Day 1.

The thinking behind a good painting. Subject selection: what to look for and why. Knowing what you want to paint, what you want to achieve and planning to achieve it is a very important first step. The composition is next: this is integral because getting it right from the start will set up the painting. It is very difficult and time consuming to change a composition later! Getting started, drawing up and transferring your drawing to the work surface and preparing for paint. Putting down the base layer: Starting with the background and setting up the colour profiles across the painting.

Day 2.

What we need to think about when painting. What are the key things to concentrate of to develop the artwork? Getting that feeling, atmosphere, mood and expression. We will enhance the base layer and develop any environment features (i.e. landscape, botanicals, grass, water etc). This will involve a range of techniques. We will be blocking in the essential base tones and establishing the tonal contrasts. We will examine colour and colour theory and how to incorporate it into our painting.

Day 3.

We will work on enhancing our contrasts and developing the textures and impressions that will underpin the detail. We will further develop the colour profiles to complement the tonal arrangements. We will begin developing textures and features.

Day 4.

Development and refinement of textures to underpin and form up the detail. These are critical steps in developing the paintings focal points, three dimensional qualities and impact.

Day 5.

Finishing touches: this is where the detail comes in. This is where we do the editing and refining. We will work with wet on dry techniques to put the finishing touches on the work to create that refined sense of realism.

Reference pictures will be provided digitally in advance but will also be available via USB on the day. My preference is to avoid unnecessary printing. These will include hills, clouds, trees, ocean etc. The workshop will centre around these.

William Ritchie is a scientist with a PhD in biology, William now works as an artist constructing highly realistic paintings, drawings and sculpture that have received numerous awards and commendations. William’s skill as an artist coupled with his understanding of biology and the natural world, presents a unique perspective that is represented in the detail and character of his artwork. This unique blend allows him to more accurately portray subjects in ways that invite others to learn and better appreciate them. In many of his works William incorporates subtle environmental and conservation themes while capturing a feeling or expression that best represents his chosen subject. William has been a regular finalist in the coveted Holmes Art Prize for realistic bird life art and received an award for excellence in 2019. William’s works are held in private collections throughout Australia and overseas and he is represented by the Morpeth Gallery. William is a member of the prestigious Society of Animal Artists (SAA) which is an international organization comprised of members who produce the best animal art in the world. As a member of the SAA, William has exhibited in their annual exhibition held at prestigious museums and galleries in the United States. William is also a signature member of Artists for Conservation (AFC) and in 2019 had two works featured in their annual exhibition catalogue.

Artists statement

I am a realist artist working mostly in oils but also in gouache, watercolour and graphite. My subject matter is primarily landscapes, scenes, animals and wildlife. In all my works I aim for a sense of realism and expression that captures the subject matter as it was when I experienced it. I try to replicate the feeling imparted through the experience as it appealed to me, whether that be simplistic or complex. I find Nature has so much to offer and unfortunately, more often than not, these offerings go unacknowledged, taken for granted, or are simply not understood. I feel that through traditional tonal realism painting and realist art, there is tremendous opportunity to make an expressive statement that showcases the details, subtleties and importance of nature that are so often overlooked.



97 Mary Street, Grafton, New South Wales, 2460, Australia