Palette-Knife Painting - Acrylics (5 Day Tyalgum Art Retreat) with Don Milner

Develop your confidence and abilities with the palette knife to loosen up your paintings and create stunning seascapes & urbanscapes. Our Tyalgum Art Retreat brings together the arts community like no other with a whole 5 days dedicated to your arts practice whilst meeting new friends and learning from the masters. Price shown is for deposit only. Full price is $1395pp

Come and immerse yourself into this fun, creative and informative workshop where you develop your confidence and abilities with the palette knife to loosen up your paintings and create stunning seascapes & urbanscapes. We will explore many aspects of Acrylic painting with mediums and a focus on mixing colours, using Acrylic medium, under painting for drama and effects, colour discourse with attitude, colour harmonies, tonal mapping, composition and visual balance, adding texture for drama. 

Heaps of good learning plus lots, lots more. Learn and grow new painting skills and techniques through well considered painting exercises which help you develop your confidence and abilities with the palette knife and this fabulous medium. You will map out your ideas and concepts by scribing and modelling in charcoal directly onto canvas before adding paint and colour to complete your masterful creation. 

Then we flip the switch, slowing things down a bit as we take a fresh look into the amazing opportunities presented by the Urban Landscape. Definitely NOT A YAWN here as we explore reverse colouring over alternate bold grounds, applying textures using palette knife techniques which add drama and interest with fabulous and often unexpected results. (Not a trip for the faint hearted) 

Next we explore the Seascape in a new and inspired way, but all the while incorporating the brush and palette knife to maximum effect for best results. 

This workshop is an ideal painting and learning experience as it offers each student opportunities to develop and grow their own particular painting styles under the watchful eye of Australian Artist Don Milner. 

You can expect in-class, live painting demonstrations to better illustrate techniques and explain every step along the way to assist students to better understand and how they can incorporate these techniques into their own paintings. 

Students are encouraged to then use what they are learning as they create their own workshop paintings. 

Students will acquire new skills, perspectives and understandings of the painting process, as well as developing self confidence whilst expanding on their existing painting repertoires. 



Brush Sizes: (Hog Bristle Bright in #10, 6) + (Taklon Pointed Rnd #4) + (Taklon Bright #10 &/or #16) + (NEEF 95 Bright Stiff Synthetic, #8) + (Fine Rigger Brush) + (Bristle Flat #4 or 50mm) 

Suitable Palette or 12 x White Plastic Dinner/Picnic Plates (Must have smooth bases) 

Painting Knife for mixing plus any you own (rectangular shape 60mm x 14mm approx in size) 

2 x Water Container (Ice-Cream containers) or 2 Small Plastic Buckets + Dish Washing Liquid 

Pencils 4b + Kneaded Eraser 

Willow or Vine Charcoal Sticks. 2mm + 6mm (2 of each)
2 x Soft Charcoal Pencils * Round Compressed Charcoal Stick (Soft)

Stretched Canvas 2 x (60 x 90cm) + 2 x (50 x 60cm) approx

Stretched Canvas 2 x (20 x 30cm) approx or similar for exercises 

Fine Mist Squirt Water Bottle (NOT a Garden Sprayer but like these photos) 

A3 Cartridge Sketching Pad 

25mm (W) Roll of Masking Tape 

3 meter Tape Measure  

Box of Tissues 

Clean cotton cloth or rags 

Two old towels 

Don supplies appropriate Photographic Reference 

This is the basic range of paint and materials all students will require for the workshop and students may also bring their own appropriate materials from home, then as the workshops progresses, students can add to this range of materials if they feel the need. 

Students bringing previously owned materials from home will still need this basic range of colours or very similar colours to match this basic range. 

Most students will already have most of these items and colours. 

Students may also purchase their materials as a group to reduce expense and then share at the workshop. Only one problem with this is that they may find this frustrating if these students live in different home locations and want to practise and develop some of the painting skills at home.

Please Note: I use mostly Atelier paints (Interactive Tube Paint) for my workshops and classes, therefore my suggested colours below have been chosen from that range of paint.  

I do suggest that students purchase the best quality paints they can afford, and other artists quality paint brands are also fine as long as the same colours are available. Chroma A2 or similar are ideal for Beginners and are slightly more cost effective. However. I do not recommend Jo Sonja or Chromacryl for my students.  

Permanent or Titanium White (Large size) Chroma A2 is ideal 

Cadmium Yellow “Lite or Lemon” 

Cadmium Yellow “Medium” 

Pthalo Green 

Pthalo Turquoise 

Cerulean Hue 

Ultramarine Blue 

Pthalo Blue 

Purple (Must not be Dioxin Purple) 

Brilliant Violet 

Cadmium Red Light “Scarlet” or/- Napthol Red Light 

Alizarin Crimson (Small) 

Burnt Umber 

Burnt Sienna 

Raw Umber 

Paynes Grey 

Yellow Ochre or/- Yellow Oxide 

Raw Sienna (Optional) 

Light Red Ochre or Light Red Oxide (A2) (Small) 

Clear Painting Medium 

Atelier Regular Gel Medium (Gloss) x 2 

Atelier Heavy Gel (Gloss) Medium (500ml) (Not modeling paste)  

Please feel free to bring what you have at home to try also 

Students are welcome to bring or purchase other colours, but my intention is to have all students mixing colours from this basic colour range and then they can add extra colours to their palette if they want, after the preliminary workshop exercises are completed. 

Students are welcome to email Don at: [email protected] to get more information and clarify details on his ‘Painting Workshops’ or to discuss the materials required. 

This workshop is being held as part of our 5 Day 'Best of the Best' Art Retreat at the Tyalgum Ridge Retreat. We anticipate that these workshops will sell out very quickly and encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment. *FULL WORKSHOP PRICE IS $1395 - YOU NEED TO BUY YOUR WORKSHOP PLACE USING THIS LISTING TO PAY YOUR DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT IS DUE 31 MARCH 2019.


Please note that the Tyalgum Ridge retreat is located at 783 Tyalgum Creek Rd, Tyalgum Creek NSW. You will need to head to the end of Tyalgum Creek Road and continue onto a dirt road for about 100m before you reach the retreat. Please note that there is no internet reception so make note of your directions before you leave Tyalgum.

There is parking to your right as you arrive. The building is located over 2 floors so there are some steps involved.

Tyalgum can be reached from the coast via Murwillimbah or from the north through Chillingham and the Numinbah Valley - both are beautiful scenic drives.

From Tyalgum take Tyalgum Creek Road (runs between the Tyalgum Hotel and the service station) for 9kms. The last kilometre is a good quality gravel road. The retreat is the last property (no. 783) at the end of the road.

We are 30 kms or 25 minutes from Murwillumbah.

The drive from the Gold Coast Airport takes about an hour.


Students must be 16 and over for all adult classes unless arranged otherwise with Artable. The enrolment form for under 18s who are attending an adult class must be signed by a parent or guardian. Participants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult if they are staying in the accommodation.



Bookings for workshops will be in the order of bookings received on our website and paid in full at the time of booking. Artable bookings via the website give you an automatic confirmation via email. You need to write in the notes section of the booking form if you wish to share a room with a specific person or persons.


Telephone bookings must be accompanied by full payment via credit card or direct debit and all booking conditions apply as per website descriptions.


Artable reserves the right to cancel a class if minimum enrolments are not reached by 1 June 2019 or for circumstances beyond our control. Students will be offered placements in an alternative workshop or a refund of all fees.

Artable relies heavily on group numbers for this retreat and we are contracted to our accommodation provider. Therefore Artable charges the following cancellation fees if you choose to cancel or do not attend:

On or before 15 March 2019: FULL REFUND

From 16 March – 16 May 2019: 25% of workshop fee

From 17 May – 1 June: 50% of workshop fee

From 2 June: NO REFUNDS


Registration is from 8-9.30am on the first day. We will gather together for orientation at 10am on the first day in the main hall. Classes commence at 9am and conclude at 4pm each day. Lunch is for 1 hour and held from 12.30-1.30pm. Dinner is held from 6.30-7.30pm in the Dining Hall.

Morning and afternoon teas will be permanently set up in the dining hall and tutors can work around their own times for these breaks.


Evenings will combine tutor discussions, art demonstrations, product demonstrations and more. You will be presented with a weekly timetable of events when you arrive and register.


Shared Dorm Room: Dorm accommodation is in basic shared room accommodations (male and females are kept separate) with basic shower facilities. All linen is provided, however you are encouraged to bring your own doona/blankets for extra warmth. If you are traveling interstate, we will arrange bedding on your behalf (advise at time of booking). Rooms are shared between 2 and 4 people.

Please note that we are unable to offer single rooms at the retreat due to the limited number of beds available. If you require a single room, we recommend

Camping On Site (Campervan or Tent): You can choose to camp onsite. There are shower facilities available for your use.

External Accommodation $150 Discount Applies: Feel free to make use of local Bed & Breakfast Options if you would like either your own room, or more comfortable accommodations. Please understand that there is very little discount as fees are set by the Tyalgum Retreat and include 3 meals a day, morning/afternoon tea, linen hire and venue hire fees.

Please advise us in the notes section at the time of booking if you do not want to be allocated to a dorm room. You will be asked to fill in a registration from after booking and will be able to stipulate who you would like to share a room with.


All students must register at the front desk upon arrival and before heading to their room or workshop. Registration is between 8 and 9.30am on Wednesday 4 July.

All course, accommodation and events information will be provided at registration.

By purchasing this workshop, you agree that:

You have read and agree to the above conditions.

A class without meeting minimum numbers may be cancelled and you will be given a full refund.

If you choose to seek external accommodation, you will have $150 deducted from your workshop fee.

Cancellation fees apply from 16 March as outlined above.

Artable may take photographs & video throughout the 5 days to be used for marketing purposes.


Tyalgum Ridge Retreat

Book online

$300 per person

Meet the Teach

Don Milner

Australian Artist, Painter and Tutor.. Painting and creating are Don’s passions, with Australia offering him such a rich source of inspiration for his artistic endeavours. He chooses themes and subjects from this rich and unique way of life, it’s characters and scenery, all of which inspire, colour and enrich his world as an artist. His honest, intuitive approach to painting has won Don many awards and accolades which have lead to many commissioned art works produced in his popular themes. Artists who influence and inspire him: Rubens, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Godward, and modern day masters: Norman Lindsay, Sydney Long, Rupert Bunny, Tom Roberts, James Whistler and contemporary artists: Ralf Heimans, Richard Schmid, Hal Barton, Herman Pekel, Kevin Beilfuss and many others. “I am primarily a Visual Communicator using images to tell stories in my own way as I celebrate my ‘Freedom of Expression’ through mediums such as Acrylics, Oils, Pastels and Charcoal. I’m inspired by my environment and the colourful characters who inhabit it. My internal impressions manifest and reflect themselves through my paintings, covering many subjects and genres, predominately Portraiture, Seascapes, Landscapes, and Still Life.” “I often paint in a traditional style, however, I also enjoy exploring new and dynamic ways of seeing and capturing my subject.” The Role of the artist when painting is to capture and express something special about their subject and the intuitive artist can see below the surface, which empowers the creative spirit to express “That Special Something” ..the true and unique essence of the subject. “I believe every artist needs to discover their own unique way of expressing these things by developing unique techniques and methods. Using colour and tone to create mood and leaving the mark of the artist’s brush strokes in the paint itself.”


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