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Painting for Expression with Lisa McKimmie

In this exciting and wide-ranging painting class, students will work on several paintings across the term (in either oil, gouache or acrylic). You will explore various approaches to express yourself and your subject. 

What to expect

Students will:

  • Explore methods used by artists from our past and recent history.
  • Have fun with warm-up exercises and collaborative drawing while experimenting with expressive marks and meaning.
  • Discover both figurative and abstract ways of working. 
  • Look at, compare and discuss artists from the Golden Age and Renaissance through the twentieth century and to the present.

Lisa says “I like to establish conversations and free association as we explore how to push and pull our art practice towards ways of expression that resonate both intellectually and in the way we use media to leave us hungry to keep making art.”

Is this course right for me?

This course is suitable for both the experienced painter, painters wanting to consolidate skills or break new ground and the beginner. You may work in oils, gouache or acrylics. More experienced students may like to explore mixed media. This course also picks up where Juliet Holmes a Court left off and will continue to expand on the many different languages of painting you may have explored with Juliet.

Materials list

If you are unsure just bring what you have along to the first class and we will discuss how to build your collection of materials within your budget.

  • Apron or paint shirt/overall
  • A variety of cheap bristle brushes. House or glue paintbrush approx 6cm. If you’d like to add variation to your bristle brushes try synthetic brushes, small ones with a square head and point, a Filbert with a curved tip, a larger soft rounded brush for washes, perhaps a fan shaped blending brush. (Brush types and care will be discussed in the first lesson so you may choose to purchase them as you go along.)
  • Paints: Oils, gouache or acrylics depending on your preference.
  • The following is a good basic palette for either oils or acrylics but bring whatever colours you have. Cadmium Yellow light (warm) OR a Diarylide Yellow and Lemon Yellow (cool); Ultramarine Blue (warm) and Pthalo blue (cool); Cadmium Red (warm) and Alizarin Red OR Quinacridone Red (cool); Viridian Green; Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Raw Sienna; Titanium White and Zinc White; Paynes Grey; Black and whatever else you already have.
  • Some paints contain toxins such as Cadmium, Cobalt and Lead. You can check the back of the tubes (on most brands) for a Health Label. If you would like to avoid these we can talk about alternatives in class or you could try a colour that is an approximation (these are often labelled ‘Hue’).
  • Please use reasonable quality paints. Cheap paints are often a false economy because they may contain fillers and less pigment or are blended with cheaper pigments however we will explore how to get the most out of cheaper paints and how to get value for your arts store $$.
  • We recommend buying ‘artist quality’ paints (Matisse Derivan Acrylics, Langridge, Schminke, Old Holland, Sennelier or Art Spectrum oils are good, reasonably priced brands) or brands that have a ‘student quality’ (Winsor & Newton - their student brand is called Winton)
  • A sketchbook A4 or A5 or an assorted folio of papers.
  • Graphite pencils from HB to 2B/6B and charcoal.
  • Substrates: stretched canvas or canvas board (approx A3 size). You may also work on plywood and cardboard. If unprimed you will need to purchase Gesso or an acrylic primer to prepare the surface. You will need at least three surfaces for the term.
  • 2 large bulldog clips.
  • A palette knife with a metal blade.
  • Flat painting palette, ceramic, glass, timber or plastic.
  • Paint rags.
  • Packet of wet sanitising wipes to clean your work space.

If using acrylic paints, bring:

  • Gel Medium. Perhaps an impasto medium and flow medium according to your preference.

If using oil paints, bring:

  • Odourless solvent for clean up and diluting mediums. Solvents MUST be odourless. Oil painting solvents and mediums must not be tipped down the sinks. You will need to bring jars with lids to take away spent solvents/mediums. Spent solvents/mediums must be taken with you and not left in the studios. Your tutor will give you information on reusing and disposing of spent solvents and mediums.
  • A small bottle of linseed oil or a fatter medium.
  • Screw top jar for the purpose of taking away all used solvents (oil painters)
  • Small tin, glass, bowl or lid of a jar for oil medium or ‘dippers’ from the art shop (metal cups to clip onto palette)

About studio classes

Our class sizes are small, ensuring you receive the individual tuition you need. We have a maximum of 12 students per class.

Unless otherwise noted, prices *exclude* art materials. Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

To learn about our studios, kitchen facilities and how to get there, click here.


Use Vouchers and Save

Art Est accepts the NSW Creative Kids Voucher, Parents NSW Voucher, and Australian Partners of Defence member discounts. You must use your voucher or membership at the time of booking. To book with a Service NSW voucher, you will need to book over the phone or with our voucher booking form. Please note: we cannot accept the Service NSW vouchers via our online checkout. 

To find out what vouchers or discounts you can use on your class and how to book with these, visit our special offers page:

Special Offers  

More Information

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$520 $364 Limited inc GST
Painting for Expression with Lisa McKimmie

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Mid-term enrolments available at a discounted rate. (Subject to available places)

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This course will be taught by Lisa McKimmie. Click on the tutor name for more information about Lisa.
Price *excludes* materials | Suitable for enthusiastic beginners and those with prior experience | Suitable for new and continuing students.

If there isn't a class to suit you, please the waiting list.