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Oil Painting on Copper
with Eileen Sorg
5 Tuesday evenings, August 13th - September 10th
+ supplies
6:00pm-8:30pm each Tuesday
Basic oil painting experience required


Artist Eileen Sorg is known for her whimsical detailed illustrations of animals - storytelling through the imagery created mostly in ink, watercolor, and colored pencil. Eileen also has developed a deep love for oil painting over the years, and has created many original paintings on copper.

Eileen has developed a specific process for prepping the copper and developing layers of oil paint - creating a very durable work of art and a process that requires no harsh solvents or mediums.

Students enrolled in this 5 week class will learn her process of working on copper while creating their own original painting. Eileen will instruct, educate, guide, and critique you through to a final unique piece.

But why copper?

"I had wanted to learn oil painting for many years but found myself getting bogged down in all the technical details and putting it off. My paintings needed to be archival and the process of painting them to be as non-toxic as possible and I was also unwilling to give up my love of detail so I found myself on a quest to meet all of those criteria.

In 2009, I  attended an exhibit from The Rijksmuseum on the Golden Age of Dutch art touting such artists as Vermeer and Rembrandt. Not to sound dramatic but it really ended up being a life changing experience for me as I have always tried to emulate their powerful use of lights and shadows. Whilst perusing the exhibit I came across this little portrait painting that quite literally stopped me in my tracks. It was an 8x11" self portrait by an artist I had never heard of, Karel du Jardin, painted in 1662 and curiously to me at the time, on copper plate. It looked like it could have been painted that day, the colors looked fresh and there was no loss of detail, warping, or cracking. Amazing for a painting that was 347 years old at the time. I could have stared at it forever and it is the reason I began my journey of painting on copper. 

So why do I love painting on copper fifteen years on?

It is a very smooth surface and imparts little to no resistance on my brush.

I can capture even the tiniest of details.

There is no stretching like a canvas and no warping, tearing, or twisting over time.

The copper creates a beautiful glow in the areas where the paint is left transparent.

It can be etched into with a needle or scribe to add a signature or elements to the painting.

And so much more.....


Detail of "Heavy is the Head That Wears The Crown" - oil on copper


"Mathematics of Attraction III 


"More Precious than Gold II"


"The Ambassadors" - oil painting on copper by Eileen Sorg

What to expect from your class with Eileen


Week 1: *Copper preparation - surface preparation (degreasing and sanding), beveling edges, lacquering, and how to transfer the line drawing. Eileen will discuss the oil mediums she uses in order to work in a non- toxic way.

Week 2: Block in of the painting, creating a base layer of the local colors and finding the image's shadow shapes and light areas. Discussion of the decision making process for what areas of the copper are to remain more exposed, using thin layers of paint to allow for the "glow" of the copper to remain.

Week 3: Refining shapes & forms further as we work towards the details. 

Week 4: Continuing to add details to the image and problem solving any issues.

Week 5: Finishing the painting and discussing the varnishing and framing process of the completed artwork.

*Registered students will be provided with a raw, 6x9" piece of copper and access to all the tools and products needed to get it ready to be painted on.



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