Work practices



> Prospectus for fine art classes/courses - course outlines

Bill teaches traditional techniques of painting and drawing, design and composition, colour and colour theory for both beginners and advanced students. His approach to teaching is influenced by and draws heavily on the European schools, specifically the English, Dutch and Italian schools and the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.

The concept of learning from history is critical to Bill’s teaching. Constant reference is made to masterworks as exemplars for problem-solving. Further, most of the established texts regarded as standards in their various fields of art and design are used as reference sources.



Bill is able to provide instruction for both beginners and advanced students and conducts his classes in a well-equipped studio. He caters for:

> Private (one-to-one) tuition

> Small group lessons

> Weekend seminars

> Week-long intensive classes

> Art tours



> Drawing and painting

> Drawing and design

> Design and composition

> Painting techniques especially traditional schools

> Colour theory and design

Prospectus for fine art classes/courses > Printable PDF

One-, two- and three-day workshops and week-long and two-week schools
offered by Bill Morton.


1. Drawing for painting/information gathering

This course is designed to give students basic insights into drawing as an adjunct to painting. Emphasis is on drawing as the principle information gathering strategy as one of several strategies. Economy in recorded information is necessary, so tone and tonal drawing is looked at with some emphasis. Other strategies are the notational sketch, the detail drawing and how all of these in combination foster a "thinking on your feet" mentality; essential for using drawing as a preparatory information gathering for painting. These strategies are then applied to sketching sessions on location. (Recommended: 12 hours)

2. Setting out the painting

This course is a natural extension of No. 1 and looks to extending many of the information gathering ideas of that course. Working from drawings done on location, this course concentrates on setting out a composition in oil paint direct onto the canvas. After under painting, "blocking in" is done as a line drawing, some effort is invested in objective sighting and measuring, proportions, placement and the picture plane. Tonal pattern and finishing of the drawing is also investigated. This course could be done either working from drawings or direct from a still life subject. (Recommended: 12 hours or best, 24 hours in combination with Course 1)

3, 4, 5. Oil painting - landscape • still lLife • portraiture

Any of these subjects could be done to explore the main purpose of these courses - the actual application of paint to surface - of painting technique. This is in consideration of the notion that anyone can apply paint to a surface, but that this does not necessarily constitute artistic painting. Ideas such as control, manipulation, touch, sensitivity are all considered as part of the expressive qualities of painting. Also dealt with is the general issue of "studio etiquette", the palette and its organisation, the European approach to palettes by incorporation of a major earth colours component. This is fundamental to traditional techniques of glazing used as "over or under techniques" for colour harmonies. Issues of composition and design are also looked at, the frame of reference and its placement; space, negative space and form and the problems of the illusion of three dimensional form and space are also considered. Also Note: For portraiture additional fee for model applies.
(Recommended: 12 hours or: 18 hours or; 24 hours)

6. Further techniques - oil painting

This is a more advanced course and looks at applying the glazing technique to all styles of painting - especially the contemporary. Students can bring a partly-completed, (and for preference) unsuccessful work to class to experiment with glazing. As a technique this will open up a completely new range or technical possibilities of problem solving to painting.
Also to be considered are comparative properties of the different families of colours and, accordingly, how this makes them more or less appropriate to certain techniques. (Recommended: 12 hours or; 18 hours)

7. Colour theory - basic

This course is based around the colour wheel and how it underpins all the other branches of colour theory. It is not essential that this be done as a prerequisite for courses 8 and 9 but this is strongly recommended because of the way it feeds into those courses. Students will actually construct a three-primary colour wheel and then consider issues such as: primary, secondary, tertiaries, colour as value, "mechanics" of the colour wheel, highlights and shadows and the colour wheel, harmonies and contrasts.
MATERIALS FEE for colour pool to apply for this course - and for blank colour charts (Recommended: 12 hours)

8. Colour theory - design and composition

(Prerequisite: Course 7 Colour Theory - Basic - Not essential but Recommended)
In this course, Johannes Itten's five elements of harmony and seven principles of contrast are the basis of studies. Students investigate the way these design principles apply to colour and composition for communication of concept, mood, theme, etc. Students then produce a painting based on or incorporating specific design principles of harmony and contrast. (Recommended: 12 hours)

9. Colour theory - highlights and shadows and three­dimensional space

(Prerequisites: Course 7 Colour Theory - Basic - Not essential but
highly Recommended)

This course addresses those vitally important underlying theories of colour that apply to mixing and painting highlight and shadow colours. A most important aspect of this is a "spatial quality" that colour has - that colour can be made to be protrusive or recessive and how this applies to lights and shadows. The other major issue is correct palette procedure and how to produce a highlight and a shadow colour that technically are correct in relation to a "main" or "master" or "local" colour. Students produce a chart that exhibits all of the above theories which is also a permanent record.
MATERIALS FEE applies for blank
charts (Recommended: 12 hours)

10. Water colour painting (Prerequisite: Nil)

Most of the above courses can run as watercolour courses. Interested students or student groups need only specify this requirement. A further range of watercolour courses are available as they arise out of special need and the unique qualities of this technique. (Recommended: 12 hours)

10.1 Pen/ink and watercolour

In this course students investigate a unique technique which can be done as drawing in its own right or as an adjunct to painting. This charming approach uses a most unusual sketching in technique recommended for beginners who need to build confidence generally. MATERIALS FEE applies for pens provided.

10.2 Pure watercolour

Usually working from a still life, students investigate the charm, eloquence and spontaneity of the (pure) watercolour technique. An integral part is the "wet in wet" approach so experimentation is done with this for controlling moisture content at paper surface. This is essential for a range of expressive qualities that are the pure watercolour technique. Design and composition are an indispensable component and issues such as tonal pattern, the frame of reference and placement of the centre of interest, control of tone and colour are all integral to the course. Much of the philosophy for this course comes from the American Watercolour School. This is based in the traditions of the Europeans such as Claude, Rembrandt, Turner, Cotman etc. (Recommended: 12 hours or: 18 hours or: 24 hours)

10.3 Pen/indian ink and watercolour

In this course students investigate this most elegant of techniques of combining of the rendered pen and Indian ink drawing with the free and spontaneous technique of the watercolour wash. This course is highly recommended for students who work with architectural subject matter.
(Recommended: 12 hours or: 18 hours or: 24 hours)

10.4 Watercolour and mixed media

This course offers students the opportunity of exploring a quite wonderful application of the watercolour technique - that of combining it with other media. Techniques such as combining wet and wet, wet and dry are considered. Also included will be the introduction of collage, and other dry media such as pastel, crayon, etc., all of which produces a very contemporary slant to the technique generally.(Recommended: 12 hours or: 18 hours)

If required, specialist advanced courses can be provided based on any of the above. Also, one -week and two-week-long intensive holiday schools can be catered to and a good suggestion is that you can do combinations of two or more of the above courses that can be tailor-made to meet the special needs of your area or group. Materials lists are available immediately a booking is made.



These expenses are part of conducting seminars. Billeting is an acceptable way of containing costs. Travel to centres within or up to an 80 km radius of Toowoomba is free of charge. Over and above this distance, prior arrangements should be made in advance.

For further enquiries, or clarification on any of the above courses, please feel free to contact Bill.

A 12-hour weekend is the most usual time table. Should individual groups desire, a Friday evening session can be added, which will be treated as a general session for introductory talks, critiques, slide presentations and general lectures.



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