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Mixed Media Painting Short Course

Course description

Methods & Materials of Contemporary Painting

What differentiates this course from other painting courses is the wide range of materials and techniques that are used. A variety of contemporary Mixed Media Painting materials are introduced and practiced. Practical work is supported by demonstrations, introducing students to the methods and materials of contemporary painting. The practical demonstrations will help students work within a framework whilst encouraging freedom to generate individual ideas. Works produced can also go towards your portfolio if applying for further study.

You will begin by preparing a support for your work, which could be made from MDF, aluminium or canvas. These surfaces will be developed further by using collage or photo montages, which will be the starting point for a series of mixed media paintings.

Visual presentation

Alongside practical demonstrations, the tutor will give a number of visual presentation on contemporary painting methods and ideas, which will give you a broader understanding of contemporary painting practice.

Course outcomes

The course provides an opportunity for you to:

  • Learn how to prepare a support for your mixed media pieces.
  • Learn how to explore your ideas as you build up materials through layers.
  • Practice a range of contemporary mixed media painting techniques
  • Experiment with specialist materials.
  • Explore the work of other mixed media Artists.
  • A variety of materials are provided for demonstrations and experimentation purposes

Who should take this course?

  • The course is open to anyone interested in developing their mixed media techniques.
  • It will be particularly beneficial if you wish to develop a body of work for your portfolio or apply for further studies.
  • Students on Fine Art BA/MA courses have attended this course in order to expand their knowledge of materials and technical painting approaches.

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.

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:

You will explore a range of new techniques and materials, experimenting with colour, dripping, pouring, glazing, collage, surface texture, photo transfer, wax, resin and more creating contemporary artworks which are built up through layers. 
Techniques and materials explored during the course will include:

  • Use of acrylic paints and mediums
  • Masking techniques
  • Photo transfer and collage on canvas & board
  • Mixing your own pigments
  • Oil paints & wax impasto mediums
  • Use of impasto gels and high gloss alkyd resins.
  • Priming & stretching canvas
  • Demonstrations and practical sessions on the chromatic value of colour through opacity, transparency and surface 


Please bring the following with you to the first session:

Paint - acrylic paint is provided upon the course, however you will be expected to bring along the following colours yourself.

  • White Acrylic Paint, Titanium Opaque
  • White Acrylic Paint, Zinc White or Tint White Transparent

Recommended brands: Golden Fluid or Lascaux

Brushes - bring a variety of synthetic and hog brushes. Hog brushes are used for texture and visible brush work, synthetic brittles are for smoother applications of paint.

  • Flat 60mm or 80mm Lascaux synthetic priming or glazing brush 
  • Flat 2" wide from hog bristle
  • Flat 2" wide from nylon
  • Soft hake brushes for blending and soft brush work
  • Fan brush for blending, approximately 1" wide

Good quality brushes, and other art supplies can be purchased from Cowling and Wilcox ( or Stuart Stevenson (

Recommended brands: Lascaux, Pro Art Synthetic, Windsor & Newton or Da-Vinci Brushes 

Painting equipment

  • Tessa yellow masking tape, the best tape for clean hard edged
  • 4” mini paint roller and tray for priming micro fibre rollers or smooth sponge rollers, for priming
  • Pallet knifes, a variety of sizes
  • Rags, for cleaning
  • Empty plastic pots with lids, for mixing paints
  • A plastic or paper palette book
  • Olive oil soap, for washing brushes and keeping brushes soft

Source material - it is essential you bring your source material for the first painting project. ‘Deconstruction Collage & Abstract Painting Formulations’. This may include photographs, postcards, magazine cuttings and other visual imagery which focus on an area of interest and can be incorporated into your collages. These compositional ideas will be the spring board for a series of mixed media paintings.

Photo transfer images - please bring images focused on a theme or area of interest. Black and white and colour photocopies/laser copies (A3 and A4). The photocopies should not cost any more than 50p for black and white or £1.50 for colour (use your local copy bureau or Rymans). Do not buy really expensive shiny photocopies, matt quality laser not ink jet; basic paper prints work better for photo transfer. Please make sure your photocopies have a good variety contrasting tones from, mid, dark to light tones. Photocopies can also be made on the course.

A range of materials will be supplied by Central Saint Martins upon your course, including:

  • Acrylic paints
  • Canvas
  • Mediums
  • Mixed media materials
  • Primers
  • Wax
  • Pigments
  • Boards
  • Timber
  • Acrylics

You may be required to buy additional materials for specific projects. Whilst acrylic paint is provided if you would rather use oils you will be expected to provide your own, the tutor can advise you what you will need during the course.

Meet the Tutor:

Expand your knowledge of contemporary painting, materials, concepts and techniques. Explore a range of new techniques and materials, creating contemporary artworks which are built up through layers.

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