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Acrylics Now

  • Level(s) of Study: Short course
  • Course Fee:


  • Start Date(s): 13 April 2024
  • Duration: Saturdays 10 am - 12.30 pm, ten weeks
  • Study Mode(s): Short course
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


This course is ideal for those people new to acrylics and those with some experience.

It will cover the basic tenets of acrylics; the materiality of the paint, the support (board, canvas, paper or other) and the tools required to create different effects.

Throughout the course there will be a range of practical activities and inspiring projects for you to engage with, supported by demonstrations of specific materials and techniques, and supportive group critiques.

  • By the end of the course you will have created a portfolio of new, innovative work.
  • The course could also be a means to progress within fine art into different materials or approaches.

Here's what our previous attendees said:

'The instruction from the tutor was excellent! You can tell that the tutor was very experienced as both a professional artist and tutor. We were a group with very mixed ability, and everyone was supported and developed.' ES

'I particularly enjoyed gaining an understanding of different acrylics techniques and a curiosity to explore acrylics further. I loved learning in a group and seeing other students work.' SA

'I wanted to reinvigorate my passion for art, I've now got a springboard to continue with a project. I've been able to use different materials that I would not normally have had the chance to use.' HO

'Excellent course, so much information learnt and skills that I have developed. Inspirational tutor, magic!' JR

'This course has increased my confidence and I have gained loads of new ideas, especially in regards to colour theory. Very enjoyable class and the tutor was very helpful'

What you’ll study

On this course, you will:

  • complete colour mixing exercises
  • apply paint through traditional methods using a range of brushes
  • move on to more inventive mark-making with palette knives (to create impasto effects), as well as dripping and pouring diluted paint.

You will be encouraged to assemble images and identify your own potential subject matter, and reflect on your approach to acrylics.

You will have the opportunity to engage with the basic handling of materials and processes through a selection of tried and tested exercises, and you will be encouraged to look closely and respond to your own environment and cultural experience when realising a project.

This is a practical course, and the subject is underpinned by theory and art historical references.

The course introduction will include a brief overview of the relatively new tradition of acrylic.

However, the focus will soon shift to contemporary uses of acrylic and artists using this medium will be explored and researched.

The course is anchored in the stuff of acrylic painting; whilst the focus is on acrylic paint as a specialised medium, there will be opportunities to experiment – e.g. using it as mixed media and/or with collage techniques.

Introduction to Acrylics
Support/ground - canvas, board, paper
Paints, brushes, palette knives

Subject Matter / Source Material
Materiality, subject matter
Introduce individual project

Colour and Texture
Colour, application of colour
Impasto techniques

Colour and Texture explored
Colour and Impasto techniques continued with further exploration

Experimental Acrylics
Experimental techniques
Mixed media approaches

Mixed Media and Collage
Experimental approaches to acrylics
Working with collage

Individual Project Work
Concentrating on your individual project brief
Developing your ideas
Discuss thoughts and development of work
Explore your ideas

Review and Critique
Evaluation and Progression

How you’re taught

This is a hands on, practical course taught in our professional paining and drawing studios.

Tutor Profile:

Margot Shores has taught drawing and painting at the Royal Academy as well as schools and various universities and colleges.

In addition to her BA and MA in Fine Art she has a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and Training.

Margot’s expertise lies in providing a studio situation in which everyone can achieve their individual goals.

She specialises in experiential learning and questioning to enhance students creativity, offering a platform from which students own art can be launched.

As a practising fine artist, Margot focuses on drawing and painting and undertakes commissions.

Please bring with you to the first session:

  • Acrylics - a basic set of tubes (10 or 12 colours)
  • Brushes, palette knife, palette, cotton rags, 2 x water pots (for mixing paints and washing brushes), newspaper
  • Drawing tools – pencils, charcoal, eraser, sharpener, ruler
  • Your tutor has basic brushes in varying sizes and shapes to sample. You will need to provide your own, but don’t worry about the first session.
  • Your tutor will also provide cartridge and watercolour paper at the start of the course, to get you going.
  • You will need to provide paper, canvas or canvas board based on the direction of your project as the course progresses.

Campus and facilities

Where you'll learn: You will be based in the School of Art and Design on the City Campus.

You'll find bright drawing and painting studio and workshop spaces to develop your ideas and create exciting work.

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Entry requirements

Level: Open to all

Entry requirement: Beginners as well as those with some painting experience are welcome.

You must be over the age of 18 to attend this course.

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is £435.

Payment is due at the time of booking.

The fee for this course is £435.

Payment is due at the time of booking.

How to apply

You can book your place via the NTU online store:

Saturday course (13 April - 15 June 2024)

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