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Beginners Painting Short Course

Course description

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.


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 for anyone with previous experience wishing to refresh their painting skills.



Entry requirements


Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain things in easy to understand, accessible English. If they need to use any special terminology they will make sure they explain what they mean.
  • New methods will be shown to students through live demonstrations, in a way thats crystal clear and easy to understand.
  • Experience life on campus
  • Network and share ideas with students from across the globe
  • Access the technology and materials relevant to your discipline
  • Shop in our college shops for any materials you might need
  • Ask questions of your tutor in real time
  • Receive feedback and critique on your assignments
  • Experience the many sights of London on your down time

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • We always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are great to compliment your cv.

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

IMPORTANT Information: There is currently no lift access at this site. Access to your classroom is only via stairs-

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


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


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. 

Meet the Tutor:

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.

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