The Painter’s Survival Guide with Emily Joyce

5–6 March 2022
10–1 pm and 2–5 pm daily

An Exploration of Paint Materials and Studio Practices

$175, $160 for members
Materials are included; however, participants are welcome to bring their own brushes and additional paints.

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This comprehensive two-day workshop provides participants with the knowledge they need to take full advantage of painting material properties, increase their artist material literacy, and understand how to improve their studio practice to better care for their paintings.

Participants explore different parts of the layered structure of the traditional oil painting—canvas, gesso, drying oils, varnish, and various contemporary painting mediums—and discuss their function, practical chemistry, and how to correctly use each when painting. A few other topics that are discussed throughout the workshop include historical oil painting techniques, how to improve the handling and storage of one’s paintings, and how to make one’s studio practice safer and more eco-friendly.

Students are encouraged to experiment with the materials and processes discussed during the workshop and develop an oil painting on canvas using the knowledge gathered in the class.

This program is made possible by the Iva Speers Fund for Art Education and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Emily is an artist and paintings conservator, based in Toronto, Ontario. Through her studies, she has come to better understand the functions of art materials and how to change her painting processes to increase the longevity of her work, inspiring her to develop this course for fellow painters.

She is a recent graduate of the Master’s of Art Conservation program at Queen’s University, specializing in the treatment of oil and acrylic easel paintings. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) with a minor in Art History, also at Queen’s University. For her BFA thesis, she specialized in oil painting, studying the techniques and materials of Master painters such as Caravaggio, Bosch and Rembrandt. In 2018 she completed a certificate in Traditional Materials, Methods of Painting and Restoration techniques through San Gemini Preservation Studies in Italy, where she learned about the science of art materials.


Portrait of Emily Joyce painting a large canvas. She is wearing black and is turned to the side with the paint brush in her left hand.

Portrait of Emily Joyce

Image Credits

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