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Painting Fundamentals for Beginners

Anwen Keeling
  • Term: Term Four 2017
  • Start Date: 11 Oct 2017
  • End Date: 29 Nov 2017
  • Time: Wednesdays 6pm–9pm
  • Number of Classes: 8
  • Teacher: Anwen Keeling
  • Level: Beginner
  • Age: All Ages
  • Location: The National Art School
  • Availability: Unavailable

Have you always wanted to paint but don’t know where to begin? This course will provide a solid and practical foundation in painting for complete beginners. Anwen Keeling explains and demonstrates the essential techniques of painting in a logical and simple way, providing an understanding of the properties and possibilities of the painted image. This is a hands-on, techniques-based course which will give you the practical skills to create paintings ranging from textural abstraction through to classical realism. You will also be taught about paint-handling, surface, textures, brushwork, colour theory and mixing, all the time furthering your skills and building your confidence as a painter. You can choose to work in either acrylic or oil paints.

Anwen Keeling

A lecturer in the Painting Department at the National Art School, Anwen Keeling is renowned for her detailed figurative paintings, strong technical expertise and enthusiastic teaching approach. Her latest body of large-scale, painterly landscapes was developed after a six-month artist residency in Iceland. Anwen has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Australian National University and a Masters of Art from Southampton University. Her works are held in numerous corporate collections and regional galleries, as well as private collections in Australia, the USA, Hong Kong and the UK, and she is represented by Liverpool Street and Anthea Polson Galleries.

In this painting course you will learn both acrylic and oil painting techniques.

If you already have some paints bring them to the first class, and your teacher tell you whether the colours you have are suitable alternatives to the list given below.

Acrylic Paints

  • Titanium White
  • Ivory Black
  • Ultramarine Blue (warm blue)
  • Pthalo Blue (cool blue)
  • Cadmium Red (warm red)
  • Alizarin Crimson (cool red)
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium/Deep (warm yellow)
  • Cadmium Yellow or Light Lemon (cool yellow)
  • 250ml bottle of Clear painting medium

Oil Paints

  • Titanium White
  • Ivory black
  • Raw umber
  • 1 100ml bottle of archival fat medium
  • 1 glass jar and lid

All of the acrylic and oil paints above will be used in the first 3 lessons. You will be given a choice to continue working in either acrylic or oil paint for the remaining 5 lessons. Should you choose to continue to work in oil paint you will need the following additional oil paint colours by week 4:

  • Ultramarine Blue (warm blue)
  • Pthalo Blue (cool blue)
  • Scarlet red / Spectrum red (warm red)
  • Spectrum Crimson / Magenta (cool red)
  • Spectrum yellow / Golden yellow (warm yellow)
  • Cadmium Yellow or Light Lemon (cool yellow)
  • Raw Sienna
  • 1 small bottle of Windsor Newton Liquin Original
  • 1 bottle of odourless solvent


  • 5 medium size pieces of oil sketch paper (about A2 size)
  • 1 stretched canvas about 16’ x 20’ or 50cm x 40cm (this item will not be needed until week 4)

Miscellaneous Materials

  • 1 small neck palette knife with pointy tip (plastic or metal)
  • 1 lead 2B pencil
  • Sketchbook A4 size or larger
  • 2-3 cm thick Masking tape
  • Bulldog clips
  • Apron/protective clothing
  • 2 glass jars with lids
  • A small tool/fishing tackle box to store materials (this item is optional)


  • 3 short flat brushes in sizes that are approximately 15mm, 10mm and 5mm wide.
  • These brushes can be either synthetic or natural bristle, even if you are painting in oils.
  • 3 filbert brushes in sizes that are approximately 15mm, 10mm and 5mm.
  • These brushes can be either synthetic or natural bristle, even if you are painting in oils.
  • 1 wide 3-4 cm cheap bristle brush

Protective clothing and covered footwear essential