Masters School of Art

Dedicated to Excellence in the Fine Arts

Painting - Class Descriptions
Level 1 – Basic Landscape Painting


We begin with simple landscape paintings because students do not have to focus on fixed placement or structure as with complex objects or forms. In the beginning, it is our desire to develop confidence and to make painting a fun experience. Students become familiar with basic brushes, the palette knife, composition, contrast and blending colors.


The instructor will initially give hands on instruction the first and second painting to illustrate technique. Hopefully, by the third painting the student can independently paint a landscape with a minimal guidance. Before the student can move to the next level, they must paint a simple landscape without help.


 Level 2 – Still Life and Intermediate Landscape


Students may choose a picture with objects such as flowers, teapots, wagons or landscapes with barns, boats or other architecture. We ask the student to purchase a canvas rather than use canvas paper. The student will become familiar with mixing paint from a limited palette and building simple dimensional forms with depth through layering and sometimes washes.


Before students advance to the next level, they must complete one still life that displays they are comfortable rendering simple rounded forms. Students must also demonstrate general confidence and purpose of stroke, rendering what they see with minimal guidance.


Level 3 – People and Animals


Students are now ready to paint the complex form. They learn how to under-paint, use washes and mix paint for flesh tones. They will also learn how to paint hair.


The student must independently and successfully be able to complete a project before being invited to the Master Level Painting class.


Masters Painting


Students will be introduced to various methods of old master painting. They will copy masters, and learn to compose their own compositions from life as they progress. Students will learn to paint Alla Prima and more tedious techniques from still lives, models and Plein Air painting outdoors.


College Level Students


College level students taking the painting classes are expected to complete 40 hours of outside lab painting per term for the class to count toward their MSOA Certification.




Paints and Brushes required: A basic paint and brush kit can be ordered through the School for $50. We will be supplying all canvas paper for beginners, but students are responsible to buy canvases as they progress. 
If you will be purchasing the brushes on your own (not through the school), you need to find a large bristle flat brush, fan brush, medium round brush, small round brush/detail brush, and a blending/fluff brush. 
Required acrylic paints include: white, black, cadmium red, yellow (preferably cadmium, not lemon), ochre, blue, purple, and green. Highly suggested: Primary (bright) red paint. Students, (particularly advanced students) might consider investing in a wrigger brush, and a metal palette knife.
There are smocks in the classroom, but we suggest bringing your own apron or large shirt.
We strongly suggest marking your supplies with with some sort of identifier unique to you: such as your name in permanent marker or on a paper covered by clear tape, or color tape, stripes of color at the end of handles, painted handles, or colored rubberbands. This will help prevent loss or confusion of paints and brushes.

Tackle boxes and bags make great containers for paints. Consider a separate container or area for paints and brushes. Put brushes somewhere they will not get crunched into odd shapes (by a plastic ziplock bag, or by other paints, for instance).

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