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Painting in Oil and Acrylics Short Course

Please contact us for future course dates.

Course information

Why do this course?

Acrylic and oil painting classes for beginners, and learners with experience, who wish to broaden their knowledge and painting techniques. Please note we also offer a full one-week Painting in Oils and Acrylic Summer Short Course.

Course description

This course will cover the basic painting techniques and range from colour, line, tone and the application of paint.

We will explore how the subject of personal identity can be reflected within a still life or landscape and participants will be encouraged to develop their own creative style. Still life set-ups, photographs and found images will provide reference material and the latter half of the course will focus on a personal art project culminating in a finished painting on canvas.

Both acrylic and oil techniques will be covered, but participants will be encouraged to use acrylics as the quick-drying nature of this medium lends itself more effectively for transportation.

Course structure

  • Characteristics of acrylic paint – looking at the tools of the trade from brushes, painting knives, painting surfaces, paper canvas and board.
  • Mixing colours – experience mixing with primary and complimentary colour pairs. Build up tones using a dark to light technique.
  • Different techniques – learn different effects such as stippling and palette knife work.
  • Composition and design – seeing a painting as an arrangement of shapes and colours. Learn how to create a visual pathway in a composition.
  • Acrylic mediums – a basic guide to available mediums and how surface texture can be created.

What will you take away?

  • An understanding of different materials and surfaces for oil painting.
  • Techniques ranging from alla prima, impasto, knife painting, underpainting, layers, glazing, textures, scumbling and drybrush.
  • An understanding of colour and organising colour ranges on your palette.
  • Developed visual observation skills.
  • Creative visual ideas.

What to bring

For the first session, bring with you a selection of personal objects (minimum of three) to create your very own still life.

Medium: Acrylic medium

  • Surfaces to paint on: medium-sized A3 or A2 heavy acrylic, cartridge paper, or mount board, small canvas or canvas board.  
  • Brushes: Set of bristle brushes, small palette knife, pencils for drawing.  
  • Palette/jars: simple palette (plastic plates are ideal), water pot (glass jar), kitchen paper roll, tissues or cloth.
  • Colours: basic acrylic colours to include: cadmium red, dark red (crimson), medium blue (cobalt), dark blue (Prussian), lemon yellow, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, raw umber, paynes grey and white.

Medium: white spirit and or turpentine, fast drying oil painting medium or liquin

  • Surfaces to paint on: pre-stretched canvas, canvas boards and oil paper or mounting card.
  • Brushes: a selection of flat and round brushes sizes 6–10 and a palette knife.
  • Palette/jars: Wooden palette or white old ceramic plates maybe used as a simple palette. Small selection of old jars. Rags and kitchen paper roll.
  • Colours: titanium white, cobalt blue, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, Payne's grey.

Course tutor

Stuart Simler

Booking information

Dates for open courses currently available will be listed in the table at the top of this page with a "Book now" link that will direct you to our payment website. If no dates are shown and you would like to register your interest for future dates for this course please contact us.

View the terms and conditions for booking a short course.


The standard course fee is indicated at the top of this page. If a course has any discounted fees available (eg for early-bird booking, alumni or students) these will be clearly outlined on the booking website.

As an educational institution fees for our open short courses do not attract VAT.


Directions to Kingston School of Art at Knights Park, Grange Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2QJ:


Contact us

Short courses team
Kingston School of Art

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4066
Contact us

Contact us

Short courses team
Kingston School of Art

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4066
Contact us

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