Course Outline - Improvers Acrylics Painting Course: Still Life

On this painting course to improve your experience with acrylic paint we are going to cover these topics.

  1. How to set up a suitable Still Life. What qualities are you looking for? Will there be harmonious colours or contrasting? What will provide the point of interest? How are you going to introduce a variety of texture? 
  2. How to analyse the composition of a still life suitable for painting.
    • Do you like it? What is it that is appealing to you?
    • What would you change and why?
    • What works/ doesn’t work? 
    • Where is the focal point? Are there more than one? 
    • What is the mood of the painting? How is it achieved? 
    • Which components would you like to keep in your version,and what do you plan to change? How?
    • Which direction does the light come from? Is It Consistent?
    • How will you, the artist, make the front objects come forward?
  1. How to draw out your design and composition.  How to use  underpainting to bring parts of the painting forward or make it recede. 
  2. Learn different paint techniques, using two brushes with different colours on to blend together on something like leaves that change colour. Use of the spatula to spread paint on, or stippling with the brush. Building up from general painting to putting in details or highlights last.

Week 1:

Starter: Arrange your objects in the Still Life.

Main: Analyse the subject painting. Discuss the question above.

Plan the composition with focal point/s. Draw out the objects as three dimensionally as you can, using ellipses, cuboids. Consider where the Iight source is. Make sure it’s consistent in your painting.

Start painting the under painting or first layer.

Homework: consider the overall mood you want your painting to achieve. Which colours will you use to do that?

Week 2:

Starter: Analyse the painting so’s it going? What do you think needs to change?

Main: Paint in the main object. Look at reflected light, shadows and textures. Try to get the shadows consistent and the nature of the objects accurate and looking three dimensional. Move onto the less important objects. Will you be using the same colours and texture techniques? If they are further away, soften the contrast and details. Leave out highlights. They can be added at the end.

Homework: Adjust the colour, details or shading as necessary.

Week 3:

Starter: Analyse the painting so’s it going? What do you think needs to change?

Main: Build up the layers of paint on all the objects to unify the still life. Use reflected colour. Where is your eye down to? Is that correct? Consider how the light falls and the shadows...are they consistent in the entire Still Life?

Homework: Use a fine brush to add warm colours, highlights or details where necessary.


Starter: Analyse the painting so’s it going? What do you think needs to change? Look at the overall it the mood/ colour scheme you decided on initially? Do you wish to leave it or change it?

Main: Finalise any detaisor focal points. Complete a second layer in the background if necessary to bring the whole painting together in the mood you initially chose. 

Review course: Which part of the painting did you like best and why?

Homework: write a review or give me feedback ….please.

Thank you! 🌹