Early Fee

Paint the National Art School


ON-CAMPUS: 13-14 May 2023, Saturday and Sunday 9.30am-4.30pm each day. Early Fee ends 3 April 2023
Kevin McKay

Soak up the ambience of Australia’s oldest art school by drawing and painting this unique site. Capture plein-air sketches and transform them into paintings; learn the principles of composition and perspective, to complete a finished tonal painting, using a limited earth palette.

Full details below: course overview, course delivery, lecturer profile and art materials

14 Available

Full Details

Term: Autumn Weekend Workshops 2023
Start Date: 13 May 2023
End Date: 14 May 2023
Day: Saturday-Sunday
Time: 9:30-4:30pm each day
Number of classes: 2

Teacher: Kevin McKay
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Full fee: $445.00
Early Fee: $400.00
Concession Fee: $425.00
Location: National Art School

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

Course Overview

Would you like to create your own paintings of the beautiful National Art School? Enrol and enjoy a unique opportunity to draw and paint one of Sydney’s oldest and best-preserved examples of colonial sandstone architecture. Learn how to capture quick plein-air sketches with artist Kevin McKay, who guides you through the principles of composition and perspective, to complete a finished painting, using a limited earth palette. Kevin references the methods of historical and contemporary masters and gives demonstrations on tonal painting and colour mixing.  He gives you practical tips on how to bring atmosphere and drama into your paintings, which may be aided by the legend of the restless ghosts who haunt the halls and walls of NAS, the former Darlinghurst Gaol! Soak up the ambience of Australia’s oldest art school, whilst making it the subject of your artworks.

*Short courses and weekend workshops are open to students of ages 16 years and over. For students under 16 years of age there are School Holiday Workshops, Art Club and other youth art programs.

Lecturer Profile

Kevin McKay was born in the USA and migrated to Australia with his family at age two. An alumnus of the National Art School and the Southern Sydney Art School, McKay is a suburban landscape painter who composes his work in the studio and en plein air. Plein air studies greatly inform McKay’s practice, with paintings that typically depict eerily empty architectural spaces, where the stillness of classical form and the drama of light is found in the everyday and in the midst of urban transience.

McKay has exhibited extensively around Australia, including holding 15 solo exhibitions since 2010. He was the winner in the Bayside Art Award’s Visual Art Prize in 2018, the Alan Gamble Memorial Award for the Built Environment in 2015, and Waverley Art Prize’s Oil Painting Prize in 2013. He was also the recipient of the inaugural William Fletcher Travelling Fellowship and Rome Residency winner in 2011. Alongside his many awards and prizes, McKay was also the recipient of the Broken Hill Art Exchange residency program in 2019, the inaugural William Fletcher Foundation’s Scholarship to The British School at Rome in 2011, and the Basil & Muriel Hooper Scholarship from the AGNSW in 2006.

Kevin’s work is represented in several public and private collections, including, the Elliott Eyes Collection, Waverley Library, BHP, Kogarah Municipal Council, Toohey’s Brewery and Sydney Institute of TAFE.

Art Materials


Your choice of oils OR acrylics. Art Spectrum (oil) and Atelier (acrylic) are recommended brands
Colours: Titanium White,  Raw Umber, Payne’s Grey, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienn
Oil painting medium and solvent will be supplied in class
A range of cheap bristle brushes (flat) size 2 – 12 and a synthetic fine-point
A3 Pad of canvas paper
Small lidded jars

Palette (i.e. disposable plastic plates with no ridges)

A4 Visual diary
Pencil – selection of pencils
Rubber eraser

Important: ALL solvent containers must be clearly labelled, DO NOT keep solvent in a water bottle
Covered footwear is essential in all studio spaces on campus.


Parkers Fine Art Supplies have a location of the NAS campus and offer a discount for NAS short courses students. To discuss and order art materials please contact Parkers on +61 2 9247 9979 or email [email protected]
Website https://www.parkersartsupplies.com/

COVID-19 Policy

Whilst NAS strongly encourages vaccination, students are not required to be vaccinated as a condition of their enrolment at NAS.

Protective clothing and covered footwear essential


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