Acrylic Painting I: Basic Techniques and Fundamentals

Instructor: Athanasia Perdikaris
Mondays 5:30-8:30pm
10 weeks: September 18 to November 27, no class October 9
Location: In-person Williams Building room 118
$375 (supplies not included)
Prerequisite: None

The goal of this course is to provide an environment of exploration for first time painters to learn about the foundations and techniques of painting through guided projects, demonstrations and small discussions. This class will spend time with fundamentals of colour theory with colour mixture and how this can be applied and incorporated into one’s own work in unique ways. Students will also be introduced to types of mark making, glazing, types of paint (though materials will be exclusively acrylic) and support materials. This will be an opportunity for students explore facets of art history through painting motifs and style, as well brief introduction of current trends and work of contemporary painters. All materials created from discussions, demonstrations and guided projects are encouraged to be seen and used as reference of experimentation for a self-directed project at the end of the course.


  • Roots of acrylic painting, and materials
  • Grisaille and underpainting
  • Colour mixing and glazes 
  • Realism: observation, landscapes, introduction to portraits
  • Abstraction and surrealism 
  • Exploration of historical and contemporary painters 
  • Independent work


Acrylic paint: 

  • Mars Black
  • Titanium White
  • Cadmium Red (medium)
  • Pthalo Or Ultramarine Blue
  • Cadmium Yellow (medium)
  • Burnt Umber  
  • Optional colours (not necessary to buy but are colours found in a basic set. Students may bring any colours that they wish to purchase or have):
    • Payne's Grey
    • Titanium Buff
    • Yellow Ochre
    • Pthalo Greem 
    • Dioxide Purple

Brush Set:

You can bring more than this and a value pack usually supplies all the brushes you will need. 

  • Wide bristle brush
  • Round
  • Flat head brushes (large-med)
  • Detail brushes 


  • Painter's tape
  • Palette knife
  • Drawing pencil and eraser
  • Rag/cloth 
  • Pallet: this can range from Tupperware container with a lid to a pallet (preference of the student)
  • Carbon paper/transfer paper 
  • Mixed media sketch pad, 18" x 24"
  • A smaller sketch book for colour study or for pre-painting plans (optional)

Supports (what students will be painting on):

Athanasia will bring different examples of supports that can be painted on as part of demonstrations, such as wood, canvas, masonite board to types of paper  in which students can get small samples to try out for their own exploration as to what they may want to use for their final projects. 

  • For guided projects: students will use paper from their mixed media pad for projects
  • Finals projects: students will have choice in size and what material they wish to use for their final project