cciba image painting cciba spring creative workshop 1 

Gina Heyer Untitled, 2008-2009. Oil on board.


Painting reflective surfaces

Short Course 7-11 September 2015

Mastery of shiny, translucent or reflective surfaces in paint can often seem like an impossibly difficult task. This painting workshop aims to give participants a manageable entry into this seemingly complex subject matter.  By initially focusing on simple subject matter we will explore how light interacts with the reflective object, looking carefully at how patches of light/colour on the object meet.  These observations will then be applied to a final photorealistic painting.


cciba image painting cciba spring creative workshop w

Ralph Goings Still life with Spoons, 2006, Oil on canvas.

While the focus of this course will be on rendering reflective surfaces and introducing photorealist painting techniques, the basics of studio setup, anatomy of painting, composition and handling of paint will also be covered.  Participants will get the chance to make their own primer paint from scratch according to traditional recipes and will be introduced to key technical aspects of painting while applying this knowledge in a series of paintings.  A relaxed and supportive atmosphere is encouraged.  Critical feedback will be given individually as well as in group discussions with a focus on challenging and developing each individual’s technical skills and opening participants up to new possibilities in paint.   While the course is open to anyone, those with at least some painting competency will benefit most.  After the final day of the course work will be exhibited in the form of a group exhibition and as is customary, can be enjoyed over a glass of wine. After the finishing touches are applied to the final painting it is hoped that participants should conclude the course feeling they have new skills, techniques and the confidence needed to tackle more challenging painting subject matter.



Gina Heyer is a photorealist painter focusing on the dark and empty interiors of public buildings as her subject matter, painting these with seamless meticulous detail. Her most recent solo exhibition at BRUNDYN+ entitled Order & Division was concerned with the architecturally and ideologically defined parameters of the public institution. She graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts (cum laude) from Stellenbosch University in 2011. She currently teaches drawing part time at the Department of Visual Art at Stellenbosch University.


cciba image painting cciba spring creative workshop 2

Gina Heyer Single File, 2011-2012, 440x460mm, Oil on board.



Reflective objects:  A selection of shiny/reflective and/or translucent objects to use as painting subject matter. Simple or unusual objects can work well: sweet wrappers, a silver drawing pin, a shard of glass, discarded machine parts, white gloss crockery, silverware or glassware. A contrast of new, old, precious, broken and throwaway items can make for a very interesting and contemporary composition.


A neutral background: such as grey cardboard or fabric. A cardboard box with one side removed is often a fantastic ‘stage’ for a still life and aids in carefully controlling lighting. A neutral grey background will allow the highlights on reflective objects to show up the most but this background can range from white to black or any muddy/nondescript tone in-between. Bring some options along.


A bedside lamp if you have one for lighting the still life.


I will bring my camera to photograph your compositions for the final painting but bring along your own camera if you have one.


Spare change for printing out of photographs and making photocopies.



6-8 pieces of thick natural unlined cardboard. 3-4mm thick Eskaboard is advised (Uni Stat sells these for R35 per sheet, this sheet can be cut into 6). The size and format of board is your choice but due to limited time it is advisable to not venture much larger than A3. (Boards may also be cut from untampered Masonite/hardboard or canvas board may be purchased from art shops)


Apron/protective clothing

Large house painting brush for priming boards

Some newspaper

One sheet each of fine, medium and course sandpaper used to smooth down primed boards. The grit will depend on the smoothness of board you prefer.


Pencils, preferably HB or 2B and pencil sharpener for preparatory drawing onto boards.


Oil and/or Acrylic paint. Suggested colours: titanium white, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, cobalt blue, viridian, magenta, burnt umber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre.

A selection of paint brushes. Rounded or pointed bristle synthetic fiber brushes are ideal.  

Palette: Any clean, large nonabsorbent surface such as a wooden, melamine or disposable palette, ice cream tub lid or a white dinner plate.

Artist's white spirit (or distilled/genuine turpentine although this is slightly more toxic) (for use with oil paint)

Artist's refined linseed oil (for use with oil paint)

Rags/tissue to clean and wipe off brushes.



Liquin or drying mediums such as Winsor & Newton's liquin light gel (for use with oil paint) or other acrylic painting mediums.

Nothing beats a block of green sunlight soap for cleaning brushes.


If you are unsure about any materials feel free to contact Gina Heyer on 0822020650/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., alternately anything missing from your kits can easily be purchased from Uni Stat in the Neelsie at any point during the course.

Click here for more information on pricing, times and workshop dates.

Click here and like the CCIBA Facebook page for more updates on workshops and events future events.

Latest from Africartoons