Acrylic Painting: An Introduction

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. Cost of life model included in course fee.


  • 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.

First Lesson
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: 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 Art Scene on campus at UNSW Art & Design (formerly UNSW COFA), Ph: 02 8815 1569. Cnr Oxford St. and Greens Rd Darlinghurst.
  • Oxford Art Supplies 221-223 Oxford Streets, Darlinghurst, Ph: 02 9360 4066.
  • Bondi Road Art Supplies 179 Bondi Road Bondi. Ph: 9387 3746.
  • Eckersley’s Art and Craft Store 93 York Street Sydney, Ph: 02 9299 4151. Also at North Sydney, St Leonards, Chatswood, Caringbah, Parramatta & more.

Enquire at your art shop for a Student’s Discount with your WEA course receipt.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.