Creating Atmospheric Colour | Nick Olsen Bienarté

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Creating Atmospheric Colour | Nick Olsen

Creating Atmospheric Colour | Nick Olsen

Learn with Brisbane visual artist, Nick Olsen, to unlock the elusive creative urge.

Learn about Nick's spontaneous and expressive approach to landscape painting in oils and acrylics. This weekend workshop explores ways to follow a path to self-expression and the discipline of studio practice using acrylic and oil paint. 

With an emphasis on the urban environment, Nick will walk students through the basics of painting our unique part of the world.


  • To increase your confidence in using both acrylics and oil colours and to learn the similarities and differences and how they can work to your advantage
  • To learn the basics of what tools to use and how preparing your support can be an essential first step in creating your next painting

What will I learn

  • How to paint with a subject, using light and shade for contrast and a focus on colour
  • The difference between warm and cool colours and when to use them
  • How to make marks beyond what you can do with brushes
  • How to simplify what you see so you enjoy the process of painting
  • You will cover everything from priming to the finished painting

Starting a new project:

  • Choosing the right support from a variety of options (canvas, MDF board, canvas board)
  • Understanding the process of composition
  • Choosing a subject
  • Planning the development stages from beginning to completion of your painting

Initially, we will discuss materials and how to work within yourself.  Nick will explain warm and cool colours, preparing the groundwork for your first painting, starting in acrylics.  This will include drawing in charcoal.  

Nick will show you how to make marks beyond just using brushes.  There will be an emphasis on colour mixing and a detailed colour wheel discussion – cover off the basics to help increase confidence.  All the while Nick will be demonstrating techniques as well as his own processes.

Learn how to see colour and to mix what you see - these learnings will apply to both acrylic and oil painting. 

Having worked with Acrylics, Nick will introduce using Oil Colours.  Nick will cover how to transition from an acrylic under-painting to an oil-based finish. With good planning, you should be able to complete the painting you started.

On day 2 you will start a second painting and consolidate your learnings from the previous day.  You will be encouraged to loosen up with the aim of completing your second painting.

Students are welcome to use acrylics for the whole workshop, and are also welcome to continue their paintings in oils, as Nick does.

Who is this workshop suitable for?

This workshop will be suitable for both absolute beginners and those who have some experience but would like to develop good habits in all aspects of creating a painting from beginning to end.

What Should I Bring?

Nick will be using acrylics to start, so you will need a basic range of student-quality (inexpensive) warm and cool acrylic colours plus white.  Please bring a water container or two as well as a plastic palette - this can be on old plate or container lid.

You should also have a charcoal stick and a 2B pencil for drawing.  

For brushes, just a couple of flat synthetic and filbert brushes - Taklon is good.  The support you use will be discussed, but Nick will prefer a board or a canvas/ canvas board.  An  MDF panel is ok too.  You can gesso during the first part of the day as Nick will show you techniques he uses.  His recommended sizes are 12”x10” (25x20cm) for day 1 and 40x40cm (16” square) for day 2. 

About the Artist

Nick Olsen is a Brisbane-based painter who is interested in the built environment and how our living spaces reflect our cultural sensibilities through different times in our history. He uses a focus on light, tone and colour to elicit an emotional response and a sense of “place” in his work.

Exhibiting yearly since 1990, Nick is in numerous collections, including: Collections Gold Coast Regional Gallery; Ipswich Regional Gallery; Redcliffe Regional Gallery; QUT Gallery ( Alumni); and the Museum of Brisbane.

Among Nick’s awards are: Finalist Australian High Court centenary prize 2003; Finalist – Tattersalls Club Art Prize 2008, 2009; Gold Coast Art Prize 2013; Brisbane Rotary Art Prize – 2009, 2015,2016; Winner – Brisbane Rotary Art Prize ( Painting) 2007; Winner Royal Overseas League Travelling Scholarship 2011.

What else is provided

• Tea, coffee and biscuits (bring your own cup)
• A friendly, supportive and encouraging learning environment
• Connection to the Bienarte art community

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$480 Limited inc GST
Creating Atmospheric Colour | Nick Olsen

<p>Learn with Brisbane visual artist, Nick Olsen, to unlock the elusive creative urge.</p>

<p>Learn about Nick's spontaneous and expressive approach to landscape painting in oils and acrylics. This


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