Best Painting Classes near me

Twice a month, Brooke teaches a small group art class in West Portland. To register, contact the Village Gallery of Arts      



(503) 644 ~ 8001

Brooke travels for workshops and offers free tuition to large group organizers. To host a class, contact the artist directly.

" I've taken several painting lessons with Brooke and in a short amount of time I'm already seeing a dramatic improvement in my paintings. I would recommend her as an instructor for oil painting. "

~ Michael, L. Portland, OR.

" Fabulous artist and teacher! Brooke has made a tremendous impact, not only on my painting, but my day-to-day experience of rich and complex colors in everything I observe. "

~ Marcus, C. Portland, OR.

"As a beginner art student, I have discovered my passion working with oil paints. My teacher and mentor, Brooke Walker-Knoblich has showed me how to express myself through art. Every lesson with Brooke has been a self-discovery."

~ Erick, R. Portland, OR.

Oil Painting Materials List


Choosing Paint

When purchasing oil paints today, there are so many colors and brands to choose from it can get complicated (and expensive!) very quickly. Most beginning artists choose a brand of paint based on price. The cheaper paints (like Winton from Windsor & Newton or 1980 from Gamblin) are considered student grade which means they have half the pigment load of an artist grade paint. If you see "hue" in the name it means the color is made with a substitute (cheaper) pigment. Brooke recommends you avoid purchasing these paints as you may find them difficult to work with and you will go through paint much more quickly than investing in a good quality artist grade paint. Brooke's favorite brand is Gamblin (a local Portland company!) because the texture of their paint is deliciously buttery straight out of the tube. However, most major brands have excellent quality paint. You may find that some are stiffer or looser straight out of the tube and  depending upon your personal preference you may like one brand over another.  It may also be helpful to purchase colors from several brands to see which ones you like best.


Choosing Colors

You are not required to purchase all of the colors Brooke uses, but it is important to have at least one of each primary color (red, yellow, blue) + white and ideally a set of secondary colors that open up a full range of color. Brooke's primaries are Cadmium Red Medium, Cardmium Yellow Medium, and Ultramarine Blue, and she also includes Alizarin permanent, Gold Ochre, Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Turquoise, Dioxozine Purple, Titanium White, and chromatic Black.


Toxicity Concerns

Cadmiums are a heavy metal pigment and therefore can be highly toxic when ingested. Exposure occurs when an artist is careless with washing their hands and transfers paint onto food. Exposure can also occur if the paint becomes particalized and it is inhaled (always wear a respirator when sanding paintings!) but the cadmiums cannot be absorbed through the skin or inhaled through normal painting practices. There are modern "subsitutes" for the cadmium colors if you're really concerned, but the colors tint very differently than the real thing.


Additional supplies required for oil painting

Gamsol (odorless mineral spirits) + a jar with tightly sealing lid to hold the Gamsol, linseed oil (or a medium of choice) + cup to hold it, a neutral colored palette (glass, wood, or plastic will do), a palette knife, paper towels, brushes (a broad range of small to large, flats/filberts/rounds... again you may find you prefer to paint with a particular brush shape so purchase a variety for experimentation, you can never have too many brushes!), and a surface to paint on (stretched canvas, linen panels, wood, or anything that has been prepared with a gesso sealer will do). When choosing a size of your surface pick something that is similar in proportion to the reference image you will be working from. For example if your photo is a square, then a 12x12" up to a 18x18" surface would suffice. 11x14" 12x16"  16x20" and 18x24" are all great standard sizes (which makes framing the painting much easier and cheaper). You will need a good quality photo (or digital screen), tape, and a table easel (or plein air easel). 




Study oil painting with Brooke Walker-Knoblich in her Portland art studio. One-on-one, private lessons are designed to fit the needs of each student and include both foundational  courses (composition, drawing, form, etc.) and more advanced subjects (color theory, portrait painting, plein air landscapes, etc.). Students of all ages and skill-levels are welcomed.



Brooke's private art lessons are three hours long. She creates a relaxed learning atmosphere with classical music and tea breaks and demonstrates each step of the oil painting process by developing a painting alongside her students. A single lesson is $100 and includes all painting supplies.  Discounts for weekly or monthly lessons are $75/class. Cash  or check payments preferred, Paypal available.