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Essential coronavirus info
We can’t wait to welcome our new and returning students from 19 October 2020. Your safety is our first priority.

Beginners Painting

Beginners Painting

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Alice White


Designed for absolute beginners as well as those who wish to re-invigorate their existing skills, this course will show you how to manipulate acrylic and oil paint with confidence and precision.

Structured around the life model, this focused exploration of painting methods and materials will allow you to indulge in your creativity with confidence.  Through a series of highly informative and clearly explained studies, you will learn the fundamental technical skills required for effective painterly expression.

A combination of practical exercises and short lectures will encourage students to develop a critical understanding of form, texture, colour and art theory.

Emphasising individual development and experimentation at all times, this course is ideal for those looking to develop a personal approach to painting.

The course culminates with the study of combined practice, in which you will bring together all acquired techniques to create a completed painting on canvas. This, we hope, will be the first of many to come!

It is essential that you attend the first session for an introduction to the course and an in-depth lecture on materials and practice.

Topics covered include:
•    Mark-making techniques
•    Chiaroscuro
•    Human body proportion
•    Painting composition
•    Colour theory and its place in contemporary art and art history.

This course is an opportunity for you to:
•    Gain a solid understanding of the key skills required to manipulate both acrylic and oil paint
•    Develop the confidence to employ a variety of painting methods and materials
•    Produce a number of figure paintings in both oil and acrylic paint that can be used in portfolios
•    Get advice on the potential next steps in your artistic journey.

Who should take this course?

Absolute beginners are welcome, as are those who wish to strengthen their portfolio application to further studies.
The course is also suitable to anyone with previous experience wishing to refresh their painting skills.



Entry requirements


"Alice White was brilliant at conveying a lot of information in a clear and compelling way. She was highly engaging and enthusiastic and clearly loves her subject and her practice. One of the best teachers I have had in any subject, ever! "(M Howard-Hope, August 2016).

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Alice White is a professional oil painter based in London. She has many years of experience teaching painting at Central Saint Martins. Courses that she teaches include Beginners Painting, Painting the Nude, Still Life and Contemporary Oil Painting.


Please bring with you to the first session:
•    An A3 portfolio or tube to carry work home with you
•    A3 Paper Pad - suitable for acrylic paint
•    A3 Pad of Canvas Paper - suitable for oil paint
•    Palette
•    Willow Charcoal
•    Masking Tape
•    Synthetic brushes. Various sizes and shapes, for use with acrylic paint. (If you are in doubt about which size to buy, you are advised that the smallest brush should be about the size of your little finger, and the largest brush about the size of your thumb.)
•    Acrylic Paint (Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Alizerin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Raw Umber, Black and White)
•    Hogs Hair brushes. Various sizes and shapes, for use with oil paint. (please follow the guide for acrylic brush types above.)
•    Oil Paint (Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Alizerin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Raw Umber, Black and White)
•    Water Pots
•    Oil rag/ kitchen cloth
•    Small sketch/note book

For Health and Safety reasons students are not allowed to bring any solvents to the studio. We will provide low odour mineral spirits.

Any kind of spray products, turpentine or white spirits are banned from the building and the internal courtyard.

Later on in the course you will need a stretched and primed canvas. It should be larger than A3 size but the actual dimensions are up to you. Your tutor will discuss this with you during the course. 

Available dates