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	Image: Absolute Beginners class in action

Absolute beginners 2014

Monthly classes with Brenda Tye

Now in its 10th year, Absolute Beginners is the place to learn new skills, brush up on old ones, experiment and explore.

Focusing on building basic, practical art-making skills, this is the most comprehensive beginners program around. Each month students learn techniques specific to a medium, while also studying how other artists have used the medium in the past.

Brenda Tye welcomes the complete novice as well as those with some art experience. Come try new materials and approaches and challenge yourself in a friendly, supportive environment.

Image: Absolute Beginners class in action

Various Fridays and Saturdays in 2014, 1pm
See listing for dates

$58 non-member
$48 member

Bookings and enquiries: 02 9225 1878

Become a member

Materials supplied, unless otherwise advised with the booking confirmation.

Three full working days (Mon–Fri) notice is required to qualify for a refund. All refunds attract an administration charge of 25% of the ticket price(s) with a minimum charge of $5. Not negotiable.

Duration 3 hours
Location: Art Gallery Society (members lounge)

Drawing basics using graphite BOOKED OUT

Learn to use graphite, both as a wet and dry medium. Explore the act of mark-making to build up your drawing vocabulary and learn to see simple shapes in complex forms. By applying your increasing sensitivity to line, tone, texture and composition, you’ll build skills and confidence, while searching for ways to interpret a subject.


Friday 14 February 2014 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 15 February 2014 1pm – 4pm

Seeing tonal relationships with charcoal BOOKED OUT

Charcoal is the perfect medium to explore tone. In this workshop, you’ll look at the way other artists have used this most expressive of mediums, then make your own works in direct response to the style, subject matter or method demonstrated by these master artists.


Friday 14 March 2014 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 15 March 2014 1pm – 4pm

Exploring the colour wheel BOOKED OUT

This is the perfect workshop for anyone who wants to work with colour in any medium. The colour wheel has been around for many years and while its format changes, its unique practical way of demonstrating the importance of colour relationships stands the test of time. In this workshop, you’ll make your own wheel from scratch, learn how to see colour from an artist’s point of view, learn to mix and adjust colours to suit your own purpose, and be introduced to basic colour theory.


Friday 11 April 2014 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 12 April 2014 1pm – 4pm

Animals in art BOOKED OUT

Watercolour is a wonderful and versatile medium, much loved by many artists. Using images of animals and natural forms, Brenda will guide you through the steps to create a simple watercolour painting. You’ll spend time experimenting and learning some simple brush techniques such as flat wash, gradated wash, brush control and mark-making.


Friday 16 May 2014 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 17 May 2014 1pm – 4pm

Still-life painting BOOKED OUT

Construct you own painting working from a classic still-life study. Make thumbnail sketches while looking at composition and learning to see tonal relationships. Learn about using different painting mediums then create a simple still life in acrylic paint.


Friday 13 June 2014 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 14 June 2014 1pm – 4pm

Drawing landscape BOOKED OUT

This month, study landscape drawings by Lloyd Rees and Brett Whiteley. Examining traditional and more contemporary approaches will teach you different ways of seeing the landscape and making a visual response. You’re welcome to bring photographs of landscapes you are familiar with or work from ones provided. You’ll use graphite, charcoal and washes to build both depth and texture, while exploring different techniques to add interest, life and movement to your compositions.


Friday 25 July 2014 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 26 July 2014 1pm – 4pm

Watercolour painting BOOKED OUT

A beautiful sensual medium, which truly inspires some artists because of its transparent, fluid and free-flowing nature. You will learn to make a flat wash, gradated wash, brush control, mark making and complete colour charts, and about glazing, before heading into abstraction and completing an experimental composition inspired by new techniques and the artists you have studied today.


Friday 15 August 2014 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 16 August 2014 1pm – 4pm

Pastel drawing BOOKED OUT

Pastels appeal to all our senses. Their chalky texture and pure pigments are held together with a minimum of binder medium. They’re perfect for exploring colour and bridging the gap between painting and drawing. Looking at the work of Edgar Degas, famous for his pastel drawings, you’ll make studies of his technique and learn how both instructive and rewarding this medium can be.


Friday 19 September 2014 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 20 September 2014 1pm – 4pm

Coloured pencils, ink, watercolour BOOKED OUT

Examine the beautiful textures, colours and detail found in botanical art and scientific drawings then use these as inspiration for your own versions of history. Make a collection of unique drawings and paintings using ink, watercolour and coloured pencil, brought together using simple bookbinding techniques to tell individual stories.


Friday 17 October 2014 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 18 October 2014 1pm – 4pm


This month, you’ll examine artworks from the Gallery’s Asian collection that demonstrate the incredible beauty and eloquent expressiveness that empty space combined with the 'right’ brush stroke by a master artist can convey. Ink lends itself to experimental techniques very similar in nature to using watercolour. But learning to mix and utilise the many shades between white and black will both challenge and astonish you.



Friday 14 November 2014 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 15 November 2014 1pm – 4pm