Skin-tastic Skin Tones (Oil & Acrylic)

Workshop by Holly McWIlliams

Figure Painting Workshop

2-day Workshop:

Monday July 24, 9:30am-4pm
Wednesday July 26, 6-9pm


Essential workshop for all figure painters!

You will learn how to identify and mix proper skin colours using an easy to follow technique. Flesh tone and hue is one of the most difficult subjects to paint but after this workshop you will gain confidence and improve your portraits and figurative work.

2-day workshop that breaks down how to mix beautiful, realistic and lush skin tones in your artwork and learn the properties that make skin look believable.

Open to acrylic and oil painters.

instructor holly mcwilliams

Instructor: Holly McWilliams

Holly attended ACAD majoring in sculpture and painting. She has been instructing at Swinton’s since 2000 with a focus towards providing an enjoyable, positive and inventive learning environment. Holly concentrates on painting inspired by tradition. Full Instructor Bio: HERE


Paint: Acrylic or Oil 

Student grade paint will work, but if you are serious about painting, investing in artist grade paint would be better. It's more money but it's stronger, will last longer and is the true pigment which is better for color mixing and easier to work with. Ask your local art store what they carry.


  • Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Cadmium Red Medium
  • Anthraquinone Red, or Quinacradone Red (Rose will work too)
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Manganese Blue (Cerulean Blue can work)
  • Transparent Red Oxide or Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • Maganese Violet
  • Titanium White

Extras: not necessary but sometimes handy for painting the figure:

  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Orange

Mediums and turps:
No hardware store turps please!

  • Oil -Eco house turpentine (please only this brand)
  • Acrylic - Gloss Medium

Please bring a variety of brushes you have already. I prefer to have flat brushes and I like to use synthetic (for oil and acrylic) and hogs hair (oil paint). Brand's I love are: Princeton 6300, Heinz Jordon (HJ) series 10 (blue handel hogs hair) and Heinz Jordon (H. J) series 911 (burgundy handel and hair, synthetic). Here are a few sizes I would recommend
Flat brushes
Size #2, 4, 6, 8, 10,
Small round brushes for detail

Painting supports:
You can buy a canvas pad or canvas boards. Whichever you prefer
Pad of canvas paper 12"x16" for studies ***(primed canvas that has been bought off the roll and then ripped into 12"x16" (ish) sizes is great as well. Please have around 4 pieces. Or you can use 3-4, 12"x16" Canvas boards)

Please also bring:

  • Sketch book for notes and little studies no smaller then 9"x12" please
  • Pencil and pen for notes
  • 12x16 paper palette
  • Oil - Turp pot (a glass jam jar will work, make sure the lid doesn't leak!)
  • Blue shop towel preferred but white paper towel will work too
  • Masking tape


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Contact Us




Summer Hours

Monday 9am - 6:30pm
Tuesday 9am - 6:30pm
Wednesday 9am - 6:30pm
Thursday 9am - 6:30pm
Friday 9am - 6:30pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 11am-4pm

Closed: August 7


7160 Fisher Street S.E.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2H 0W5

Map to Swinton's



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