Student at an easel

Introduction to Painting Intensive

This in person course introduces students to a range of painting techniques, including different application methods to develop an awareness of line, volume, form and colour. Students will complete a variety of projects using acrylic paint in this foundation-level course. Taught by an AGO Artist Instructor, this course draws upon the AGO’s painting collections as inspiration.

Every season, we offer new projects inspired by artworks in the AGO Collection, including new acquisitions as well as special exhibitions. Instructors also develop personalized approaches to their teaching techniques focused on student interests and needs. This course is suitable for new and returning students. 

This course meets in-person in the Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School.

For the 2022 summer season, classes held in the Gallery School are limited to a maximum of 38 people at any given time (2 classes simultaneously, maximum of 15 students per class, plus staff). 

Terms and Conditions of Participation 

Please review the Terms and Conditions for course experience optimization. 

Participants must be 18 or older.


Day 1: Value and form. Introduction to materials with black and white paint, and shape and form, through still life.

Day 2: Colour and form. Introduction to colour concepts, mixing, the creation of a colour wheel and colour still life.

Day 3: Applying colour to the subject. Exercises and studies with complimentary colours, mark making, colour function and colour palette choice. Start Landscape Painting.

Day 4: Exploring the medium through experimentation and abstraction. More mark making, alternative tools, masking, glazing, pushing and breaking down the medium.


Acrylic paints, brand of your choice, one tube of each colour, approximately 120 ml/5oz: 

  • Primary blue
  • Primary red 
  • Primary yellow 
  • Black
  • Raw umber 
  • Dioxazine purple 
  • A green of some sort (Hooker’s good for landscape)
  • A larger tube of titanium white 240ml
  • Acrylic matte medium (not gel) 250 ml 

Brushes and Other Materials:

  • A large flat 2 inch chip/utility/house painters brush
  • 3 medium sized filbert brushes (¼” - ¾ inch hog bristle), 
  • 1 round brush that makes a nice point 
  • Any other brushes you would like use
  • Palette Knives: 2-3 or more various plastic or metal palette knives, trowel and any other shape.
  • A Palette: foam or plastic plates or trays. White is ideal. Painting rag: cotton cloth, or paper towel
  • Water container: 450ml-750ml vessel that you will not use to drink from.
  • Pencil 
  • Ruler or a straight edge
  • Masking tape


  • 6 primed canvas boards/panels (preferable) or primed stretched canvases: 16 x 20 inch or similar.
  • A pad of paper that can take acrylic paint, approximately 12 x 16 inch ( Alternatively, 6 or more individual sheets about 18 x 24 inch. Cougar cover stock 200m or similar from Aboveground Art Supplies works well.

These are the recommended materials for this course. Your instructor may recommend additional optional materials on additional days. All sizes are approximate. Our Instructors will do their best to accommodate alternative materials whenever possible. 

Some suggested retailers for purchasing your art materials.


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- | 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm (1 week)


- | 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm (1 week)

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