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Painting Fundamentals for Beginners

Tonee Messiah
  • Term: Summer School Week One 2018
  • Start Date: 8 Jan 2018
  • End Date: 12 Jan 2018
  • Time: Mon-Fri, 9:30AM - 4:30PM
  • Number of Classes: 5
  • Teacher: Tonee Messiah
  • 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. Tonee Messiah 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 you need to create paintings ranging from textural abstraction to classical realism. You will also be taught about paint-handling, surface, texture, 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.

Tonee Messiah

Tonee Messiah’s painting practice has evolved over 15 years from representational to abstract. She is motivated by the subtleties of the human condition, finding imagery that speaks of the tensions present in modern life and the undulations of human relationships. Having started her professional practice using acrylics, she now paints predominantly in oils, and her works on paper use a vast combination of water-based media. Tonee has been a finalist in the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award, the Paddington Art Prize and the ABN AMRO Art Award. She has exhibited throughout Australia and internationally, and her work is held in the collections of Artbank and the Monash University Museum of Art, as well as numerous corporate and private collections. She is represented by Gallery 9, Sydney.

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 can 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)
  • Raw Umber
  • 250ml bottle of Clear painting medium

NB: Cadmium colours are ideal but feel free to choose cheaper alternatives in cool and warm colours

Oil Paints

  • Titanium White
  • Ivory black
  • Raw umber
  • 1 100ml bottle of Archival Brand (fast drying) fat medium OPTIONAL
  • 1 bottle of odourless solvent 100ml
  • 1 glass jar and lid (small, so clean brushes in)

NB: For those who wish to paint in oils predominantly, the following extra colours will be required.

  • 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)
  • Lemon Yellow (cool yellow)
  • Raw Sienna


  • 4 Large A1 pieces of oil sketch paper (this is suitable for oils and acrylic paint)
  • OR an A3 pad with Oil Sketch Paper

Miscellaneous Materials

  • 1 small neck palette knife with pointy tip (plastic or metal)
  • 1 lead 2B pencil
  • Sketchbook A5 size or larger for notes and planning
  • 2-3 cm thick Masking tape
  • 2 x Bulldog clips
  • Apron/protective clothing


  • 3 FLAT brushes in sizes that are approximately 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 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 FLAT bristle brush
  • 1 ROUND fine point synthetic brush size 1 or 2