Siobhán O’Callaghan: Speedy Sketch to Long Pose – Painting the Figure


In Studio - RHA School
10 Jun, 2023 - 11 Jun, 2023

This masterclass will provide an opportunity to hone observation skills and become immersed in the process of rendering what we observe in life, onto canvas.

Applications will close 8th of May, 5 pm.

Working from the live model, students will build their painting using charcoal or raw umber as a drawing tool before making use of the limited palette. The masterclass will provide an opportunity to hone observation skills and become immersed in the process of rendering what we observe in life, onto canvas.

We will focus on how to make a linear block in, design shapes and describe shadow edges to develop a three-dimensional figure.

Participants will be guided through presentation, demonstration, discussion and individually tailored feedback and support. They will be given an understanding of the steps involved in creating a painting of the nude from life.

We will apply comparative measurement as a tool to measure proportion, create an accurate drawing and work towards capturing likeness. Over the course of the weekend students will gain confidence in mixing a limited palette and handling oil paint, and acquire a practical knowledge in how to group values to create a sense of form.

Artist Bio:

Siobhán O’Callaghan is a Dublin-based visual artist. She is invigorated by art’s capacity for storytelling, documentary and commentary, and the processes of making. Her work finds form primarily through oil paint, with drawing, photography and video contributing to the process.

Siobhán studied Fine Art and Art History at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, graduating in 2015. She continued her artistic training at the Florence Academy of Art, Italy, where she was first introduced to classical methods of drawing and painting. There she worked entirely from life and honed her skills in observation and painting technique through one-to-one instruction. 

Through her practice she investigates topics extending from body politics and intimacy to culture and the every-day. She moves in the space between the classical, representational artworld and the more conceptually-driven contemporary artworld. She endeavours to create a conversation between these two – in her experience, sometimes disconnected and polarised – realms. Her work has appeared in numerous exhibitions including Alchemical Vessels, 126 Gallery (2023), RHA 192ndAnnual Exhibition (2022), Utopia Dystopia, dlr Lexicon (2019) and Caoláit, Burren College of Art (2019). She is supported by the Arts Council and dlr Arts.

Image credit: Bodies, oil on canvas, 25cm x 35 cm, © Siobhán O’Callaghan.

Please note:

Alternative to the application link, please email, three images of your work, a current CV and a brief Cover Letter.

For further information on the RHA Access Programme

  • Date:

    10 Jun, 2023 - 11 Jun, 2023
  • Time:

    10 - 17
  • Price:

  • Info:

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