Introduction to Oil Painting

Robert Xavier Burden
12 Sessions »Tuesdays, September 12–November 28

7:30–10:30 pm | Fort Mason Pier 2, Studio 218, Suite 26 | $530

No prerequisite.

Materials List

This course will introduce students to classical painting techniques and concepts, with an emphasis on understanding the formal language and the fundamentals of visual expression. Introductory assignments will be from observation and geared toward realism. In the first half of the class we will complete a series of studies to address form, value, color, composition, perspective, and figure/ground relationship. Later classes will address the development of the figure through alla prima painting (a work completed in one session) and sustained poses (a painting completed in multiple sessions). The final segment of the course will involve a basic reproduction of an Old Master's painting. Demonstrations and critiques will be given throughout the course.

NOTE: We are excited to have this class meet at SFAI's new graduate center, Pier 2 at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (Herbst Pavillion, 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94123). Close to the course start date, you will receive detailed directions of how to get to your classroom space. If you have any questions, please call: 415-749-4554 or e-mail: You can read more about our new graduate center online here: 

Registration for this course is now Closed.

Robert Xavier Burden is a San Francisco–based artist who works primarily with oils. He completed his BFA in Painting and Art History at Queen’s University and received his MFA from SFAI, where he was the recipient of the 2007 Irène Pijoan Memorial Painting Award. He has exhibited throughout North America. He has also previously instructed classes at CCSF and Pixar Animation Studios.

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