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Charles Harris

Charles is a classically trained painter producing Scottish landscapes and portrait paintings and drawings. Charles’ style is traditional and based upon a solid foundation of Fine Art painting techniques, specifically from the Classical era which are no longer taught.  


Charles is a passionate advocate of these almost forgotten painting techniques and has travelled all over the world visiting art institutions to deliver keynote speeches and training upholding their value in art today.  

Charles offers his own classical painting training through a 5-day, practical Masterclass course in either painting or pencil portraiture, which will be available again in person when possible. The in-person course consists of 4 days of practical classes covering how to use the tools and an understanding of classical painting, and a 5th day including a lecture and Q&A session.  The course is designed for all levels of experience from complete beginners to the more experienced and open to all ages.

Charles is is currently re-designing a new online version which will be available shortly, details of which will be published here when up and running.  Charles' courses take an individual from novice to professional painter and teaches concepts and skills that are fundamental to the creation of art.  

Charles is the author of Trust Your Eye an Illustrated History of Painting, a book on Classical Art explaining how Great Art was made and is filled with full colour plates of some of the best classical paintings ever created. This limited-edition of 250 books is written to help those with no knowledge, revealing lost skills and understanding of great art. 

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Deeply influenced by the classical era, Charles uses the same fundamental techniques devised by Italian and French artists from the 600-year Classics period. He cites great artists such as Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci as sources of inspiration. 


Charles paints directly from life, something that is unusual in art today. His beautiful landscape pieces are painted whilst on location; he famously paints in all weathers. His portrait work is similarly painted during a series of organised ‘sittings’ with his posed subject.  


Charles follows a very strict, Fine Art painting process in all of his work. Similar to classical Italian painters he begins with a monochrome painting, using ochre paint. He then builds the scene in tones of brown, focusing on the objects and creating a strong 3-dimensional feel. Only when he is happy with the scene does Charles begin to introduce colour to his painting.  

Location and Links

Madderty, Perthshire  

To find out more about Charles' way of working read his blog pieces 'The Pleasure of Drawing', Part 1 &  Part 2 in the News section

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Work by this artisan

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