Painting Fundamentals for Beginners


20 Feb to 10 Apr, 6pm to 9pm
Tonee Messiah

Learn practical methods to compose figurative, still life, landscape and abstract paintings using oil and acrylics and the importance of experimentation.

Sold Out


Term: Term 1 2019
Start Date: 20 Feb 2019
End Date: 10 April 2019
Time: Wednesdays, 6pm-9pm
Number of classes: 8
Teacher: Tonee Messiah

Level: Beginner
Age: 16 and over
Early Fee: $550.00
Early Concession Fee: $524.00
Location: National Art School
Availability: Available

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

course overview

Have you always wanted to paint but haven’t known where to start? Designed for complete beginners, this course will provide a solid and practical foundation in painting. Tonee Messiah explains and demonstrates the essential techniques of painting in a logical and simple way, providing an understanding of the properties and possibilities of the painted image. Through exercises that show the importance of experimentation and its ability to strengthen your creative problem-solving, you will gain confidence in doing the thinking behind painting. This is a hands-on techniques-based course which will give you the practical skills to create paintings ranging in style and content. You will also be taught about paint-handling, surface, textures, brushwork, colour theory and colour-mixing, all the time furthering your skills and building your confidence as a painter.

teacher profile

Tonee Messiah’s painting practice has evolved over 15 years from representational to abstract. She is motivated by the subtleties of the human condition, finding imagery that speaks of the tensions present in modern life and the undulations of human relationships. Having started her professional practice using acrylics, she now paints predominantly in oils, and her works on paper use a vast combination of water-based media. Tonee has been a finalist in the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award, the Paddington Art Prize and ABN Amro Art Award. She has exhibited throughout Australia and internationally, and her work is held in Artbank, the Monash University Museum of Art, and many corporate and private collections. She is represented by Gallery 9, Sydney.

materials list

In this painting course you will learn both acrylic and oil painting techniques.

If you already have some paints then bring them to the first class, and Tonee can tell you whether the colours you have are suitable alternatives to the list given below.

Acrylic paints, etc.

  • Titanium white
  • Ivory black
  • Ultramarine blue (warm blue)
  • Phthalo blue (cool blue)
  • Cadmium red (warm red)
  • Alizarin crimson (cool red)
  • Cadmium yellow medium/deep (warm yellow)
  • Cadmium yellow or light lemon (cool yellow)
  • Raw umber
  • 250ml bottle of clear painting medium.

Note: cadmium colours are ideal, but feel free to choose cheaper alternatives in cool and warm colours.

Oil paints, etc.

  • Titanium white
  • Ivory black
  • Raw umber
  • 100ml bottle of Archival fat medium (fast-drying)
  • 100ml bottle of odourless solvent
  • Glass jar and lid (small, to clean brushes in).

Additional oil paints (if needed)

All the acrylic and oil paints above will be used in the first three lessons. You will then be given a choice to continue working in either acrylic or oil paint for the remaining five lessons. Should you choose to continue to work in oil paint, you will need the following additional oil paint colours by Week 4:

  • Ultramarine blue (warm blue)
  • Phthalo blue (cool blue)
  • Scarlet red/Art Spectrum red (warm red)
  • Art Spectrum crimson/magenta (cool red)
  • Spectrum yellow/golden yellow (warm yellow)
  • Lemon yellow (cool yellow)
  • Raw sienna.


  • 5 x A1 size pieces of oil sketch paper (this is used for both oil and acrylic) OR A2 size pad of oil sketch paper.

Miscellaneous materials

  • Flat plastic palette or A4 disposable palette
  • Small neck palette knife with pointy tip (plastic or metal)
  • Lead 2B pencil
  • Sketchbook for notes and planning – A5 size or larger
  • 2–3 cm thick masking tape
  • 2 bulldog clips
  • Apron/protective clothing.


  • 3 FLAT brushes – approx. 15mm, 10mm and 5mm wide – these can be either synthetic or natural bristle, even if you are painting in oils
  • 3 FILBERT brushes – approx. 15mm, 10mm and 5mm – these can be either synthetic or natural bristle, even if you are painting in oils
  • 1 wide (3–4cm) cheap FLAT bristle brush
  • 1 ROUND fine-point synthetic brush – size 1 or 2.

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.



#Follow us on Instagram