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Welcome to Bienarté and our friendly team.

Discover the artist within you. In small, inspirational and carefully structured classes.

Every single person has the ability to create art and under the guidance of a skilled and attentive teacher, your talent can flourish.

Master Artist Marcel Desbiens has years of experience teaching students to find their own artistic voice and to gain and strengthen their technical skills. Hear what past and current students say about us.

Learn from award-winning local, interstate and international guest artists who offer courses and workshops for all skill levels in Oil colours, Acrylic, Watercolour, Drawing and Pastels in various specialty subjects. We also offer private lessons for intensive training in any technical area you need.

And all this, in the comfort of our purpose-built air-conditioned art studios.

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Bienarté is the major sponsor for the
Lethbridge 20,000 Small Scale Art Award.
Since our foundation, Bienarté has nurtured the development of over 15,000 new artists. Entries close 12 May.

The Lethbridge Landscape Prize returns in 2023.
The award invites all artistic interpretations of the Australian landscape, including urban-scapes and interiors. With a $20,000 first prize, the award is open to all forms of 2D and 3D artwork including paint mediums, drawings, digital works, works on paper, sculpture, installation, and video. Entries close 31 March.

Starting Soon

      • Painting Practice - Full Day | Marcel Desbiens

        Do you find it hard to devote time to your painting practice?
        Do you get stuck with a painting and don’t know where to take it next?
        Do you have technical questions about your painting?
        Are you looking for a group of likeminded artists to paint with?

        Painting Practice – One Day provides:

        • uninterrupted time to focus on your own work in a studio setting
        • an expert tutor to help you extend your skills
        • a small group of passionate like-minded artists

        This casual one-day Painting Practice session runs on the occasional Sunday throughout the year. The times are from 9.30am to 4pm.
        Bookings are essential and priority is given to existing studio painting students and alumni.

        What will I learn?

        Everything you need to know to complete your own painting project.

        Class sizes are kept to a maximum of 12 students to guarantee personal attention.

        Who is this course suitable for?

        Those who have completed ‘Foundation in Oils’ and ‘Gain Confidence in Oils’ courses, or who have the equivalent skills and experience.

        What do I need to bring?

        Bring your painting materials with you. Limited art supplies are available for purchase at the studio if you need a top-up.

        Please bring odourless solvent only and avoid any strong smelling mediums.

        What is provided?

        • easels
        • backing boards
        • chairs
        • tables
        • tea and coffee (bring your own mug)
        • a friendly and supportive environment
        • connection to the Bienarte art community.

      • Oil Painting With Confidence | Marcel Desbiens

        Now that you have acquired the basic knowledge for painting in Oils, it is time to apply those techniques in real time on a subject you might want to paint at home.

        The challenge at this stage of your learning is to keep the motivation going and not fall into procrastination.

        The best way is to enrol in a further six consecutive weeks to keep the momentum going as it is fresh in your mind.
        This is the best way to secure enough confidence before continuing at home in your own painting space.


        • To complement your acquired learning from the 8-week Foundation in Oils course
        • To gain confidence and be ready to paint on your own

        What will I learn

        Learn the basic technique for painting still life, seascape and fabric:

        • Painting a subject containing fabric in monochrome
        • Opaque and transparent colours
        • Applying Oil colour layering and glazing

        Starting a new project:

        • Choosing the right support from a variety of options (canvas, board, paper, etc)
        • Understanding the process of composition
        • Choosing a subject
        • Planning the development stages from beginning to completion of your painting

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        • Painting a subject containing fabric in monochrome from a photo provided
        • Starting your new project from your choice of photo or images
        • Applying colour over the monochrome fabric with glazing
        • Completing your own painting project, learning about varnishing and framing

        Who is this course suitable for

        While priority is given to students who have completed the 8-week Foundations in Oils course, this course is suitable for anyone with a basic practical understanding of Oil colours and their application

        Terms & Conditions

      • Foundations in Oils

        "Anyone can paint if they are given the right instructions.” - Marcel Desbiens, Master Artist and Principal Tutor

        If you have never picked up a paintbrush before, this course will give you the technical skills and knowledge to help fast-track your painting process and produce stunning works of art of your own. All in a friendly and supportive environment.

        The Course has been designed by Marcel Desbiens and has been developed over the years by the team including Ai Shah and Ros Danka.

        All materials are included. All you need to do is turn up!

        What will I learn?

        • how to set up your workstation to minimise mess and maximise your painting time
        • understand basic principles of colour mixing and paint consistency
        • learn how to control tone to create the optical illusion of reality
        • how to choose the right brushes and develop effective brush techniques
        • how to clean and care for your brushes
        • learn to paint in the traditional glazing techniques of the old masters

        In each class, your tutor will give a step-by-step demonstration, and then it’s your turn for hands-on painting exercises. Each exercise builds on the previous one so that each week your skills and confidence will grow a little more.

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        Who is this course suitable for?

        This foundation course is perfect for absolute beginners or for those who want to brush up on the fundamental techniques of oil painting. 90% of students who enrol in this course either have never picked up a paintbrush or have minimal painting experience. However, others who have painted before have also come along and found that they learned so much more about oil painting techniques.

        The Foundation in Oils course is a prerequisite for the Gain Confidence in Oils course.

        If travel time is an issue for you, consider the Live Online Via Zoom workshop that runs in a similar way but without your needing to leave your home!

        And if fixed learning times are an issue for you, consider the Self-Paced Learning | Foundations in Oils course that has easy-to-follow videos for you to watch at a time to suit you.

        What do I need to bring?

        • An old large towel to cover your table
        • A notebook and pen are optional for note-taking
        • Apron (Bienarte Aprons are available for purchase from our on-site shop)

        What is provided

        All the materials you will need for this course will be provided, including:

        • prepared paper for painting exercises by a master artist.
        • Digital Certificate of Attendance.
        • PDF booklet, packed with painting tips and tricks.
        • Free professional-quality oil colours
        • Free pack of paint brushes
        • Access to reference photos to practice at home.
        • Tables, chairs, easels
        • Tea and coffee (bring your own mug)
        • A friendly and supportive environment
        • Connection to the Bienarté art community.

        Receive a FREE GIFT PACK of 5 Schmincke professional quality oil colours!

        Receive a FREE PACK of Paint brushes!

        Oil Painting Starter Kits also available for enrolled students

        Once enrolled, every student will receive their FREE GIFT PACK of 5 Schmincke professional quality oil colours as well as their pack of brushes.
        To practice at home, we have made it easy for you by putting together an Oil Painting Starter Kits which contains everything you will need to get started! Save time and money and pick up your art pack.

        To purchase, see further below under "Related Products" and click on "Oil Painting Starter Kits" and "click "Buy Now"
        You can also view all items that are included.

        What Our Students Say About Foundations in Oils

        "A great art course! Highly recommended for beginners or those that want to learn more skills. I did the 8-week oil painting course and was surprised with the quality produced by the class (including myself : ). A great teacher. Well-paced and a good atmosphere. Paint on!"

        • Mark Allen, Bienarte regular student

        {image name:"GalleryImage_FoundationsInOils" align:"centre" caption:"Images from previous Foundations In Oils Courses"}

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Marcel Desbiens | Master Artist | Principal Tutor