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Beginners Painting (Online)

Course Times & Enrolment

Tuesdays from 19th January 2021 (Code DP211-201) Tuesdays from
19th January 2021 10:00am - 11:15am • (10 classes)
Online • Tutor: Elizabeth (Jessica) Bevan
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

This course offers a basic introduction and starting point to the language and grammar of painting from direct observation for students with little or no experience. Direction will be given toward preparing for painting from still life set ups created from found objects, references and from students’ own collected visual ideas. Students will be guided through approaches and processes of looking and recording using tone, texture, colour and composition in a range of painting techniques. Over the 10 weeks, students will build confidence in the uses of materials and techniques ‘step-by-step’ to begin to make more imaginative and distinctive images underpinned by a formal understanding of visual enquiry.

Short 1:1 sessions with the tutor will be offered to students once a week within the times outlined below:

Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:30pm

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

This is a Level 7 course and as such is seen as an introductory course and no previous knowledge is assumed.

Special Information

  • Computer with internet access

  • Range of equipment suitable for painting

  • Creative work space useful for wet materials, waterproof floor cover, waterproof table surface, sink for cleaning paint tools.Willow charcoal (medium)if desired

  • Putty rubber (Daler Rowney recommended)if using charcoal or soft pastel and/or eraser

  • Spray fixative (a cheap hairspray is a good alternative)if using charcoal or pastel

  • Sketch pad A2/3 

  • Pencils (HB, 2B, and /or 4B and/or 6B)

  • Soft colour pastels

  • Card (x 5 sheets A1 or A2)

  • Acrylic gesso primer

  • Basic acrylic paint set (could include - lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, yellow ochre, cadmium red, crimson red, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, burnt sienna, burnt umber, white, black)

  • Various paint brushes for acrylics (round paintbrush no. 6 size with smooth soft hair and good pointed tip and flat shape brushes)

  • Sponges, rags ,rollers

  • Paint pallet (and/or large box with lid to create a stay-wet-pallet)

  • Protective clothing

Content of Course

The course teaching is typically delivered over online weekly class sessions of around 1.25 hours with an additional 20 mins option per week to meet with your tutor, totalling approximately 16 hours of contact time. 

Over the class sessions the course will cover:

1. Familiarisation and exploration of paint media focusing on the representational and expressive qualities of application - brush work and colour mixing.

2. Achromatic and monochromatic painting - tonal value (light and shadow) and its relationship to three dimensions will be discussed and demonstrated. 'Negative' space and its relationship to 'positive' form will be explored.

3. Colour theory will be discussed and its use to create mood and dynamic compositions explored in full colour painting.

4. Familiarisation and exploration of painting techniques, media and creative research will be encouraged regarding subjects personal to the student with the intention to develop compositions.

Teaching method(s)

Ideally you should have;
  • An up-to-date web browser (Google Chrome recommended) 

  • Microphone (ideally headset) and Webcam 

  • Strong Internet connection

Teaching will be fully online and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration. Over the course, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor.  Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate basic painting skills with increased confidence;

  • Show a basic understanding of the materials and techniques of painting;

  • Apply a range of techniques and approaches for making original paintings.


Core Readings

  • Arikha, A. (1988) Avigdor Arikha: paintings, pastels, and drawings, 1986-1988. New York: Marlborough Gallery.

  • Crowe, V. (2009) Victoria Crowe: painted insight. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.