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Essential Elements of Painting

Essential Elements of Painting

Regular price $661.50
Regular price $735.00 Sale price $661.50
GST included where applicable.

On Campus
22 Jul - 9 Sep 2024 (Mon)
6:00pm - 9:00pm

Have you always wanted to paint but haven’t known where to start? Designed for complete beginners, this course will give you a solid and practical foundation in painting using acrylics and oil paints. Learn simple processes for colour mixing, composition, and perspective, to produce a suite of finished paintings.
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Course Details

Course Program: Term 3 2024

Start Date: 22 July 2024

End Date: 9 September 2024

Day: Monday

Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Number of classes: 8

Discipline: Painting

Lecturer: Kevin McKay

Age: 16 years and over

Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Location: National Art School

Course Overview

Have you always wanted to paint but haven’t known where to start? Designed for complete beginners this course will give you a solid and practical foundation in painting using acrylics and oil paints. Kevin McKay will lead you step-by-step through the basic techniques, showing you how to prepare a ground, compose a painting with correct proportion and perspective, and how to build tonal relationships that brings surprising 3-dimensional illusion to your works.

You will learn how to paint directly from life with still-life settings in the studio. Kevin shows you how to structure the composition of a painting, and reference the techniques used by traditional and modern masters. He introduces you to the magical world of colour theory with simple processes for colour mixing, to produce a suite of finished paintings; all the time furthering your skills and building your confidence as a painter.

*NAS Short Courses are open to students of ages 16 years and over. The NAS Art Club is open to students from ages 15 years and over.

*Drawing and painting short courses may be held in upstairs studios. If access to stairs is not suitable, please contact NAS Short Courses Administration at

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

Students must supply their own art materials, please refer to the list below.

For Week 1 of the course, students should only bring basic materials as listed below. Kevin will discuss more specific needs with everyone on the first night. Experienced students may bring along their paints and an assortment of brushes and tools.

Basic materials:

  • A4 Visual Diary
  • HB - 4B pencil
  • Rubber eraser
  • A3 pad of canvas paper
  • White acrylic gesso
  • Raw umber acrylic paint
  • A range of bristle brushes

Enclosed footwear is essential


    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:

    Phone: +61 2 9247 9979


    Parkers Fine Art Supplies Website 

    In line with NAS Covid Safety Guidelines, all students and visitors must be fully vaccinated or have a medical contraindication form completed by a health professional.

    Protective clothing and covered footwear essential