Elena Nikolaeva

Elena is a great teacher and has a superb understanding of many art modalities which her students find inspiring. She is offering a series of five workshop available over the July and August period, book one, two, three, or them all! Special rates for NSA Members.


– OCT/NOV 2022

All workshops are held in the Society’s Studio, Reyburn House Lane, Whangarei – just across the lawn from Reyburn House Gallery.

All workshops in this series are conducted by Elena Nikolaeva. Contact her directly to enrol or to make enquiries: enikonzealand@gmail.com or phone (09) 431 4741, mob: 021 157 1730

When your enrolment is confirmed, please mark the date in your calendar so you don’t forget. If, later, you find you cannot attend, please contact Elena well in advance of the course so someone on the waiting list can be invited to come.


One Day Workshop.   Sunday, October 16th, 10.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.

Fee: $55 

It’s the right way to start a new term: revisiting the “classical” approach to painting.

 Old masters used back light in their paintings because of its dramatic contrast of values. A number of contemporary artists like to play with back light as well.

BACK LIGHT is a certain state and position of light in nature when the source of light positioned behind the objects, creating a “halo” or a glow of light around them.

In this workshop you will learn how to paint this attractive effect on canvas using acrylics or oils, creating the illusion of a glow of light, emphasizing the contrast of values of your painting.

During this workshop you will paint a picture on a medium size canvas mastering your blending technique, making a soft transition from light to dark and from one colour to another. You will explore a richness of dark colours, avoiding pure black. You will learn how to achieve visual harmony between dark and light

In this workshop you will use bristle brushes to achieve desirable effects.


  • acrylics/oils
  • medium to big size canvas
  • brushes, including hog hair (bristle) brushes
  • your usual painting gear


One-Day Workshop – Sunday, October 23rd, 10.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.

Fee $55

Composition.. Composition! At the heart of every painting!

 Again, we will address this important subject, this time bringing awareness of what is necessary and what is not always necessary in composition of your painting.

This workshop will be devoted to a hierarchy of the elements of a visual composition. You will learn how to emphasize the most important parts or elements simplifying the edges of your canvas.

In this workshop you’ll explore how to make the beautifully balanced composition on your canvas ignoring unimportant areas around the edges. It’s an easy way which saves you lots of time, hard thinking and it allows you to concentrate to the important visual centre of your painting.


  • acrylics/ oils
  • medium to big size canvas
  • all your favourite artistic gear
  • Paper and pencil for sketching.


One-Day Workshop – Sunday, October 30th, 10.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.

 Fee $55

Christian Nicolson is experienced, internationally acclaimed NZ artist. He is well known by his paintings, sculptures, installations. His works are full of energy, joy, freedom of expression.

This workshop gives you an opportunity to explore Christian’s acrylic painting techniques – his loose big brushstrokes, collage elements, expressive, spontaneous character of his art.

During this workshop you will paint several small to medium paintings using big brushes, bright colours and combining acrylic painting with elements of collage in some of your pieces. 

You will be able to loosen you painting style avoiding small unnecessary details, emphasizing on dynamic, joy and atmosphere of a landscape.


– Several canvases or boards of various sizes.

– Acrylics/oils,

-PVA glue

– Photographs for collage

– Your favourite brushes including BIG brushes

 All your favourite painting gear

– Paper and a pencil for sketching,

– Cleaning materials.


One-Day Workshop – Sunday, November 6th, 10.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.

 Fee $55

 It always pays to explore what’s going on in the artistic world – what materials artists use, what kinds of tools ant tricks they apply for making their paintings. And based on this knowledge we may add a new element to our artistic library of creative tricks and inventions.

In this workshop you will explore how to sharpen the focal point in your painting and how to use blurry effect on the secondary elements of your composition.

 It’s an easy and effective way to emphasize the most important part of your canvas. It’s widely known in photography but why don’t we apply it to a painting? 

A number of visual artists already used this idea – each of them did it in their own way. Art of J.M.W Turner is the best example of this approach.

During this workshop you will paint a picture on a middle size canvas, creating blurry secondary elements with soft edges and sharpen the most important elements of your painting.


– A medium size canvas

– Acrylics/ oils,

– Your favourite brushes including hog hair (bristle) brushes

– All your usual painting gear.


One-Day Workshop – Sunday, November 13th, 10.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.

Fee $55

This workshop offers you another look at versatile mixed media art. There is no end to exploring its styles and techniques. Being an artist, you need to explore the boundaries of contemporary art trying new techniques, tricks and materials.

This workshop offers you an opportunity to experiment with a combination of acrylic painting and raised elements of hard board broken pieces.

These 3D hardboard elements help you to create visual depth of your composition. There the broken edges make interesting effect of natural uneven lines.

This technique is versatile. Each artist who is interested in exploring it may use it according their own style, scale and colour palette

In this workshop you will create one big or several small 3D paintings on boards using recycled pieces of hardboards, painting them with acrylics and then building several layers of these pieces creating 3D compositions.

***If you have unused frames (even the recycled ones), you may cut the boards for your paintings (MDF, hardboard) to fit your frames. And in the workshop, you will work on the certain sizes of your future paintings

You will need boards for this workshop. Stretched canvases are too flexible for this technique.


  • medium to big size board or several small boards (not smaller than 40 cm)
  • pieces of hardboard various sizes
  • acrylics
  • brushes, including hog hair (bristle) brushes
  • PVA glue
  • paper and pencil for sketching
  • All your usual painting gear.

All workshops in this series are conducted by Elena Nikolaeva.   Contact her directly to enroll or make enquiries: enikonzealand@gmail.com 

or phone: (09) 431 4741, mob: 021 157 1730


 All workshops are held in the Society’s Studio, Reyburn House Lane, Whangarei

– just across the lawn from Reyburn House Gallery.


All images contained within this site are the property of the Northland Society of Arts or the original artist and as such are protected by copyright laws.

Reproduction without the written permission of the Society or the artist is illegal.

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