Florals in Oils - Building the Illusion of Reality September with Lyn Diefenbach

Love Flowers? Enjoy painting? Combine the two passions and learn how to create oil paintings full of luminosity, dimensionality and light. Lyn will share her extensive knowledge of colour as well as provide you with the technical know-how to create the illusion of reality with oils.

The building blocks of line, tone, colour and edge will be covered in depth to give you a rich understanding of these key areas.

Enjoy clear, informative demonstrations and individual attention at your easel. You will use your own reference material so you can choose your own degree of difficulty or perhaps your favourite flower. Definitely creating the WOW FACTOR.

Learning to build the illusion of reality is all about understanding the core principles of painting. Join us for a weekend of learning how to move your paintings to the next level with Lyn.

If you are new to oils or a complete beginner and feel a bit nervous, reach out to us and we will put you in touch with Lyn.

Materials list

Please come with your canvas toned with a thin wash of acrylic paint or oil in a colour appropriate to your subject. Have the subject drawn up with willow charcoal BEFORE the class.

As to what colour to tone the canvas – this is dependant on the colour of the flower. If the flower has a yellow centre, use cadmium yellow light. If not, tone the canvas with a colour that is in general the mid tone of the flower and keep the colour warm rather than cool.


I recommend any of the following:

Art Basics Series 877KF Sizes 6, 8, 10 and 12 (available from Art Scene Sydney) OR

Neef Series 460 Indian Sable Imitation Filbert sizes 6, 8, 10 and 12 OR

Rosemary & Co Filbert Series 276 sizes 6, 8, 10 and 12

For drawing fine detail

Rosemary & Co Pure Sable series 91 size 8 OR

Silva Renaissance 7110 Sable Cats Tongue Size 8OR

Any kind of small pointed brush

Note: I use soft brushes not bristle. You might have your own favourites and you are welcome to bring those.


Bring all the oil paints that you have. I cannot recommend specific colours because each person will have a different subject. Here’s a list of my “work horses” for florals (by no means does this mean that you have to buy them all): sap green, olive green, viridian, winsor green, cadmium lemon, cadmium yellow, Indian yellow, burnt sienna, naples yellow, alizarin crimson (cad red, winsor red deep if you are painting a red flower), permanent rose, purple madder, cerulean blue. Most of the above colours are Winsor & Newton Artist Colours. Art Spectrum Flinders Red Violet, Italian Pink and Australian Gold are also good. The white I use is a “Soft Mixing White” put out by Winton. This is a transparent white which stays wet on the palette for a few days.

1 stretched canvas. The shape will depend on the composition of your subject. Be realistic in the size that you tackle.

Odourless solvent

Paper Towels

Kneadable eraser


Drop Sheet

LARGE Palette – I use white painted masonite available from hardware stores. Size around 45 x 70 cm

Reference Photos – make sure these are clear, large enough to work from and have a good play of light and dark. If you are doing your own printing from a computer, make sure that you use photo quality paper NOT plain paper.


This workshop is being held in the luxurious surroundings of All Saints High School. You need to take the entry to the school with the large BLUE All Saints sign. Drive to the end of the car park and park there. You will see a building called the Visual Arts Centre.


If you are flying in, we recommend The Village B & B in Mudgeeraba for accommodation.


You are best to BYO lunch or drive out during the break. There is tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge.

Please note that Artable adheres to strict booking conditions as outlined in the link at the bottom of our website.


All Saints High School - Highfield Dr, Merrimac QLD 4226

Book online

$395 per person

Meet the Teach

Lyn Diefenbach

I have been a professional artist for 25 years and a teacher of the craft of painting across Australia and the world for some 20 years. For quite some time I wasted a lot of energy worrying about whether being an artist was something worthwhile. It seemed to be a fairly useless occupation- not noble like a doctor or a teacher. But then I read Pope John Paul 2’s letter to all artists and this had a profound influence on me. In his letter John Paul exhorted : “Artists of the world, may our many different paths all lead to that infinite ocean of beauty where wonder becomes awe, exhilaration, unspeakable joy……… May your art help to affirm true beauty, which as a glimmer of the Spirit of God, will transfigured matter, opening the soul to the sense of the eternal.”

With this new insight I set off on an incredible journey of discovery both of myself and the craft of painting. I discovered that my chosen field, as with life, was one of continual learning. It’s like the “carrot and stick” routine – you never quite “arrive” but you have to keep on trying.

There is always more to learn both through experience and sheer determination. In amongst all of my travels I have met some of the worlds leading artists – ones whom I consider have “arrived” and guess what, they all say the same thing – “there’s more to learn, the next painting is going to be the masterpiece.”

Lyn demonstrating in Tuscany

Lyn demonstrating in Tuscany

Learning can happen by watching and listening to those who have trod the path and it can happen in solitude. Some of my greatest insights into understanding colour have come simply by experimentation and often by accident. From the very beginning of time we see this again and again – caveman, storm, lightning strike, fire.

I’m often asked for advice on how to progress with an art career and my answer would be to never stop learning. Even someone who is well and truly “up there” needs to move forward not stagnate in their processes. To leap into the unknown every so often is good for the soul, all be it sometimes terrifying and confronting.

A number of works in the Studio

Whenever you go into a new learning environment, go with your mind open and your receptors on high alert. Go with a sense of eager anticipation and expectation, not with fear and dread. Nervousness is okay, but harness it as a positive energy not a negative one. Rise to the challenge of stepping outside of your comfort zone and go on a voyage of discovery, even if the end result is the discovery that it is not the direction in which you want to go. You have allowed yourself to put in place one more stepping stone of your life’s journey. Always remember that a perceived failure is simply paving the way to success and a deeper understanding of yourself.

Visit http://ldief.com/

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