An Introduction to Acrylics WEA Sydney

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Available Classes

Acrylic painting has some of the features of both oil painting and watercolours. It is therefore an ideal medium for those people wishing to explore traditional painting or more modern mixed-media techniques. The course covers a number of genres including still life, landscape and the human figure. Please note that while this is a beginners' class it is advisable that you have some previous drawing or art experience. Advanced students also welcomed.


  • Online


  • Introduction to acrylics, texture and colour mixing exercises
  • Still life
  • Tonal Study
  • Landscape – part 1
  • Landscape – part 2
  • Free choice
  • Life painting – part 1
  • Life painting – part 2


  • Student’s own project
  • Student’s own project
  • Still life – colour exercises
  • Landscape – perspective
  • Landscape – students choose their own landscape
  • Old master exercise
  • Life painting – part 1
  • Life painting – part 2


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Develop a critical appreciation of artworks.
  2. Creatively express their ideas in paint.
  3. Produce a still life, a landscape and a figure study.


New students who have never painted before and have NO equipment, bring the following:

  • Pencils (HB)
  • A4 size cartridge paper (or larger)
  • Eraser

Current students who have equipment, bring in the following if you have it. Also bring in any colours that you may have, there is no need to purchase anything new.

  • Pencils (HB)
  • A4 size cartridge paper (or larger)
  • Eraser
  • Three canvas boards or three sheets of oil painting paper (only bring one per lesson)
  • Eight tubes of student quality acrylic paint (115ml). It doesn’t really matter which brand you get, but it is important that all your tubes are the same brand. Matisse, Derivan (which is also made by Matisse), Reeves and Chromacryl are some well known brands.


  • Warm red, eg: cadmium red, scarlet
  • Cool red, eg: alizarin crimson, rose madder
  • Warm blue eg: cobalt blue, Prussian blue, ultramarine
  • Cool blue eg: cerulean
  • Warm yellow, eg: yellow ochre
  • Cool yellow, eg: cadmium yellow or lemon yellow (note: do not get cadmium yellow hue, this is a different colour from cadmium yellow)
  • Purple or Magenta
  • White; Black


  • 5 flat-shaped brushes, sizes 10, 8, 6, 4, 2.
  • 1 fake sable brush, size 2
  • 1 palette (this can be a plastic palette, or a large white plate, or even a white board).
  • 1 palette knife (you can use an old kitchen bread knife).
  • Rags, paper towels.

IMPORTANT: Please arrive to the first class with all the relevant materials. A lack of materials is not just a handicap to you but to the ability to teach. Materials cost is not included in a course fee. In the event of a course being cancelled WEA cannot be held responsible for the purchase of any course materials. We therefore suggest you purchase your materials closer to the time of the course commencing.


The following stockists below are examples of places you can buy art materials from:

  • Art on King: 199-201 King Street, Newtown. Ph: 9516 2342
  • Eckersley's Art and Craft Store: 93 York Street, Sydney. Ph: 9299 4151. Also located in various locations throughout Greater Sydney.
  • Parkers Art Supplies: 3 Cambridge Street, The Rocks. Ph: 9247 9979
  • The Art Scene: 914 Victoria Road, West Ryde. Ph: 9807 6900
  • The Sydney Art Store: 11 Salisbury Street, Botany. Ph: 9699 2162

You can also purchase materials from places such as Dymocks, Officeworks, Spotlight, Lincraft or online art suppliers such as Art Shed Online.

Fiona O'Beirne

B. Visual Arts
Fiona O'Beirne, B. Visual Arts, a Post-Grad Dip in Professional Arts Studies and has worked and taught in the field of Art for nearly 40 years, and has taught at WEA for the last thirty years....

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