From the Ground Up – Oil Painting Workshop February 24-28 2022

I am excited to announce my first live workshop in a 1.5 years!  Immerse yourself in a fun and informative week of painting with the 5-day From the Ground Up: a process-based oil painting online workshop

You will earn how to build an oil painting from the ground up with practical tips, feedback, instructor demos, and plenty of hands-on painting time.  With a focus on the process rather than the outcome, you will begin a painting and work from imprimatura to final paint application.  This is a great way to strengthen your painting skills, learn a different approach if you’ve been feeling stuck, or jump in to oil painting as a beginner.  All painting levels welcome!  Particularly well suited to intermediate painters.

This workshop is also available as a pre-recorded course, for you to work through at your own pace.

Introducing Nicole Sleeth Atelier

Welcome to the Atelier!

All artists have to start somewhere. Every great artist has learned from those who came before, honing their skills and getting to know their own style.

This is how I learned to paint and appreciate art more deeply, and it’s how I want to share what I know with you in my new online studio, Nicole Sleeth Atelier.

Nicole Sleeth Atelier brings the painting and drawing instruction I’ve taught at my studio in British Columbia for the last decade, online and accessible to you at home.

There are courses and lessons on drawing, oil painting, and studio skills such as:

And this is only the beginning! Membership with Nicole Sleeth Atelier includes the growing library of instructional videos as they’re created and saved.

Subscribe monthly or yearly to the Atelier to gain access to all courses immediately, as well as newly added courses and exclusive members-only content. You can also purchase an individual lesson or course, which you can then view as many times as you’d like.

Winter Show at Fortune Gallery, December 3 – 22 2019 and January 3 – 15 2020

My latest painting, Nocturne (oil on linen, 80″ x 40″) was a creative vacation from my current series.  A little bit fantastical and inspired by nocturne works of Whistler and Solomon, it was a lot of fun to paint.  I’m looking forward to showing it for the first time at Fortune Gallery‘s annual Winter Show, opening Thursday December 12 from 6:00-8:00pm and hope you can join me.

The show runs from December 3-22 2019 and January 3-15 2020.

All Eyes On You: solo exhibition September 4-29 2019 at Fortune Gallery

All Eyes On You

Solo exhibition at Fortune Gallery.

September 4-29 with opening reception Thursday September 12 7:00-9:00pm.

What is real, what is ideal? The works in All Eyes On You are, at their core, about giving agency to the female subject.

This body of work confronts and challenges societal constructs including this age old pearl: the passive and decorative object – a.k.a the female nude. In painting history these ‘objects’ are traditionally called models. In this exhibition, these models have transformed, shedding this label and many of its objective associations. Each individual is a confident individual, simultaneously strong and unapologetic. These women intentionally fix their gaze on you, the viewer. In turn, you no longer see just a body: you connect directly with a sentient being.

Voyeurism is supplanted by accountability and most importantly, connectivity. My work extends beyond oversimplified quests for power in representation. These paintings enable a stimulating mind and body link between the active model and the engaged art goer.

July 29 – August 2 2019: From the Ground Up oil painting workshop


From the Ground Up: A Process-Based Approach to Oil Painting

5 Day Oil Painting Workshop – July 29-August 2 2019

Registration below.

A successful painting is not about the end product – it’s about the process. A deliberate, thoughtful approach that balances planning with experimental curiosity puts the focus on how you are painting, rather than what you are painting. Paradoxically, by putting your focus on a thoughtful process rather than the outcome, the end product tends to be more successful.

In this intensive 5-day oil painting workshop, you will build a painting from the ground up. Steps in the process will include value studies, considerations for canvas preparations, underpainting, colour pre-mixing, first pass, and second pass. You will learn about oil painting supplies and materials, how to paint an imprimatura, the importance of dedication to the process rather than the outcome, creating a convincing sense of volume and form through paint application and colour temperature relationships, and colour mixing techniques – all with a modified direct painting (alla prima) approach. The style of painting will be representational but not photo-realistic, allowing for a painterly feel. You will learn to how to follow the reference as a guide more than an ideal.

You will work from either your own photo reference (ideally figurative or portraiture, but not required), a studio-provided photo reference, or a studio-provided still life setup (limited number available). There will be instructor demos, discussions and explanations, plenty of hands-on painting time and individual feedback, and a social hour on the last day to wrap up the workshop.

Drawing and shading experience is necessary; oil painting experience is helpful but not required. Some preparation prior to the workshop is required.

Beginners are encouraged to work in monochrome (white + brown or black paint) if preferred, to simplify the process and focus on paint application rather than colour mixing.


Monday-Friday July 29-August 2 2019
11:00-6:00 every day

Price: $745 + tax
Early bird $50 discount: $695 + tax if registered before June 1
8 students max
Ages 14+

Payment and cancellation policy:

Payment confirms your spot. All payments final and non-transferable. In the unlikely event the workshop is cancelled by Nicole, a full refund will be provided.

Workshop held at Nicole’s studio in Victoria, BC.  Please note there are two flights of stairs to access the studio.

Materials list and detailed notes provided upon registration.

Contact Nicole with any questions.

April 9 – June 29 2019: International Biennial Portrait Competition at the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art

I am delighted that “Shift” (oil on linen, 64″x35″) will be included in the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art‘s (Wausau, WI) inaugural International Biennial Portrait Competition, curated by Margaret Bowland.   The exhibit runs from April 9 to June 29 2019.  

To place your vote for the People’s Choice award, click here.

Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art
309 McClellan Street
Wausau, WI 54403


Figureworks 2018 – November 21 2018

I’m pleased to announce that my newest painting Unmask (oil on linen, 60″ x 40″) is a finalist for the Figureworks Prize competition in Ottawa.

The show opens on November 21 from 6-10pm.  If you are in Ottawa, go to the opening, have a bite to eat, and view the awards presentation at 7:30!  Work will be for sale, and 100% of the price goes to the artist.

Figureworks continues to December 1 at St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, 310 St Patrick St, Ottawa ON. Congrats to all the other finalists!

Show hours and more details available here.

Figureworks Ottawa
Opening November 21 6-10pm
St Brigid’s Centre for the Arts
310 St. Patrick St.
Ottawa, ON Canada

August 17 2018: Free painting demonstrations at Opus Victoria

I’m pleased to be offering two free painting demos at Opus Art Supplies in Victoria, BC.  Both on Sunday August 17th, the first will be from 12:00pm-1:30pm, and the second from 2:30-4:00.  While they are free, registration is required and I encourage you to register early as they do fill up quickly.

I will be discussing and demonstrating how to create a convincing and powerful figurative oil painting using depth, mass, and volume.  The demo will cover topics such as colour temperature relationships as they relate to value changes, considerations when working from a photo reference, paint application and brushwork, with plenty of time for questions.

To register, contact Opus at 250‑386‑8133 or toll free 1‑800‑524‑6555.