Decorative Painting with Acrylics

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

You will be surprised how easy it is to learn basic brush techniques and paint stunning designs. Become a confident artist as you progress from basics to painting any subject of your choice, guided by a tutor with 26 years teaching experience. You will also learn how to enhance your designs with special effects by clever use of various painting mediums.

This course will provide you with the skills to confidently branch into other painting mediums in the future. Sessions are conducted in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Complete beginners and experienced artists are all welcome. If you have previously experimented with acrylics, expand your expertise and enjoy painting a range of subjects including scenes, buildings, flora and fauna or any other subject of your choice.


Beginners will learn basic stroke work and correct loading of the brush using round and flat brush techniques, including comma, s-stroke, pivot-stroke, double-loading, fine liner-work, stippling, tinting, floating and using washes. These skills will be practised by completing a series of floral decorative designs. Students who have mastered the basics may select any subject or create any design of their choice and be guided by the tutor in how to achieve the best results for their project.

Topics that will be covered, including those for more advanced students:

  • Safety precautions when using paint products
  • Preparation of canvas, metal, wood and terra cotta for painting
  • Different brushes and the effects they can create
  • Basic principles of design and colour
  • How to achieve correct perspective
  • Use of shadows and highlights to create a three dimensional effect
  • Background treatments such as wood staining, marbling and sponging techniques
  • Using mediums for specific effects, including flow medium/extender, stroke and blending medium or crackle medium
  • Pen and wash technique


On completion of your first term you will be confident in the use of acrylic paints and brushes and be able to paint a variety of decorative designs. On continuation of this course you will build on these practical skills and increase your knowledge of design and colour as you complete various projects that interest you.

What to Bring

Paints – If a colour is not available in one brand you can exchange for a similar colour in the other.

  • Matisse Artists Acrylics Flow Formula:

Do not buy Matisse Structure paints
antique white, Venetian red, paynes grey, hookers green, burnt umber, yellow oxide.
Optional extras: cobalt teal, phthalocyanine blue, yellow mid (Azo), magenta (Quin Violet), carbon black.

  • Jo Sonja’s Artists Colours:
warm white, Norwegian orange, paynes grey, teal green, brown earth, yellow oxide, jade green. Optional extras: pthalo blue, cadmium yellow mid, transparent magenta, carbon black.
  • Flow Medium or Extender
  • Brushes: synthetic round No. 0 or 1, round No 3, Script Liner No 00 or 000
  • white transfer paper
  • mid-grey chalk pencil e.g. othello
  • black cardboard for practise painting
  • palette: ice cream container lid, plate or tile
  • water jar

Other items can be added later as needed.
Students with intermediate or advanced skills
Any unfinished artworks you would like to complete, ideas, photos or drawings you would like to use for inspiration and any relevant materials and brushes you already have. If you would like to brush up on the basics please bring items listed for beginners.

Please Note

If you have supplied us with a mobile phone number, we may contact you via SMS if there are any last minute course changes or class cancellations. Please check your phone during the few days prior to the class start date in case there are any changes to your class. If you are sent an SMS please do not reply as these are sent via our computer system and we are unable to receive replies. Please contact one of our offices to confirm you have received any SMS messages.
Thank you.