Class Schedule

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Techniques in Oil and Cold Wax

Techniques in Oil and Cold Wax

Two Saturdays, February 3 and 10; 11am - 3pm

Instructor: Andrea Wedell


This cold wax medium has become very popular because of it’s ability to extend and add body to oil paint, it’s ability to speed up drying time, increase transparency and workability. It also doesn’t require any special set up or ventilation, and allows you to build up very exciting textural effects and layers. This course is for beginners through intermediate students (though advanced students are welcome too). I am used to running multi-level workshops that serve everyone’s needs and goals.

Specifically this workshop will cover:

-        CWM/Oil how to’s: proportions, solvents, mediums, surfaces

-        to use

-        Tools and how to use them effectively: Brayers, silicone tools, brushes, palette knives

-        Techniques covered:

                Foundational layers for optimal results

                Techniques and decision making through the rest of your layers:

                Texture imprints

                Using RF pigment sticks

                Dry pigment and how to use it safely

                Adding collage

                Dry mark making and mark making in general

                Glazing and veils of color

                Composition guidelines to help you when you get stuck

                Color theory and color mixing to take some of the guess work out of what to choose next

What you’ll come away with:

•  Confidence in how to best work with the medium

•  An understanding of the process of working in CWM/Oil from start to finish

•  A stronger understanding of composition and color

•  An ability to avoid common pitfalls like muddy color, overly opaque surfaces

•  How to reference a photo and how to work with no source image

Andrea’s Workshop Philosophy

Even though working intuitively is a blast, it comes with it’s challenges. My aim is to help you keep your intuition alive and well, while also giving you the tools and technique to be able to step back from what you’re creating and make informed decisions.

Beyond the pure technical aspects of CWM/oil, having a few composition tools up your sleeve will give you the ability to answer the questions I hear so often from students: Where do I go from here? Something is off with this painting, but what is it? Is this painting finished? What color should I choose for the next layer?

Think how great it will feel to have so much confidence in your own process that you can stand back at any moment and know what your painting needs and why.

I help you see when it’s time to PLAY and when and how to stand back to move forward. The combination of intuition, play and, technical understanding and analysis is what helps you build up consistent skill.

Instructor: Andrea has been painting and exhibiting her work for 30 years in the US and Europe. Her training is in fine art, teaching and coaching. Andrea weaves both her deep knowledge of painting, her expertise in adult learning and coaching to nurture the artists she works for, helping them build technique, confidence and their singular voice. She was born into a family of artists, has always had a deep respect for the creative process and self-expression.


Audience: Designed for artists who have some experience and want to explore cold wax medium. Not suitable for a pure beginner, someone who has never painted before.

Fee: Members $350; Non-members $400               

Where:  Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, 781 Hamilton Parkway, Novato (building behind Beso Café)



Materials provided by instructor: cold wax medium and surfaces

Materials list provided by participants: must bring the minimum - items in BOLD CAPS

Mediums and Solvents

Cold wax medium :

Galkyd Gel (optional but highly recommended; I use it to strengthen paint film, make it more flexible, speed up drying time and it gives a slight satiny finish to your work rather than a matte finish)

GAMSOL by Gamblin or equivalent solvent (odorless mineral spirits

Citrasolv to clean your instruments and for reductive techniques.

Markmaking Tools

Graphite water soluble crayons, great for making marks , but you can use anything you have: pencils, colored pencils, pan pastels. Some other include: ArtGraf, Graphite, Carbon pencils, Lyra

Graphitkreide, Stabilo, Carpenter pencils.

I’m a pretty big fan of pan pastels for cold wax, so you’ll see me use them in demos. They come in lots of colors, but I’d get one or two to see if you like them before investing. Ditto for pigment sticks. They’re expensive. Pigment sticks, wonderful deep color, and the stick form makes mark making a blast

Tools to apply oil and cold wax

SPEEDBALL RUBBER BRAYERS (get at least two), available in many sizes

SLICONE BOWL SCRAPER, great to scrape back layers, this one’s a good size for anything:

PAINTING KNIVES to mix your oil and cold wax mixtures

Palette knives (I recommend at least 2; my favorites are the Ateco offset

Brushes if you’d like to use them with cold wax, you’ll need galkyd.


Choose your favorites

Arches oil paper in a pad, you can mount it on board after

AMPERSAND GESSO BOARD 12 x 12, is the perfect support for oil and cold wax, and 12 x 12 is great size to start out with: but choose any size you feel good about.

GESSO BOARD (Ampersand is a great brand) but if you’d rather not use a pre-prepared Gesso board, you’ll need some Gesso to prepare your surface with.

Others to consider

Multimedia Artboard

Raw wooden panel, flat or cradled

(*Note: Multimedia Artboard and Ampersand Encausticbord and Gessobord do NOT require any gesso)

Necessary Extras

SCOTT SHOP BLUE TOWELS or equivalent – super absorbent, great for wiping paint on the canvas or cleaning tools.

I use so many of these, I buy them in bulk

Richeson Gray Paper Palette, has a color wheel on the back :

ARTIST'S TAPE – to keep the sides of your panels pristine while you’re working, or to tape your edges if you’re using paper – A MUST HAVE

Oil Paints:

Oil paints – really any brand is fine. If you’re a beginner, go ahead and choose student grade paints. Gamblin makes a very good set.

Suggested Colors you’ll see me using in demos:







Alizarin Crimson

Permanent Green Light (or Viridian)

Dioxazine Purple

Zinc White

A few paints which lend themselves well to glazing: Any color can be used as a glaze, but the following pigments are especially useful because they have a high oil content and thus are very good glaze candidates:

Indian Yellow

Alizarin Crimson


Ultramiarin Blue


Sap Green

Pthalo blue

Quinacridone Magenta





Cutting mat

Raw pigment





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