Develop your drawing and painting skills with this inviting, accessible course covering all the techniques needed to draw and paint successfully, including preparation and different media. Practically based and fully illustrated, this home study course is suitable for anyone wishing to learn the basics of art as well as those wishing to extend their skills. If you’re studying for an art qualification, the extra ground you’ll cover on this course should provide an excellent complement.
Duration of study
- Getting to know your materials
- Drawing from objects
- Tone and negative space
Section 2 - Still life
- Subjects and groupings
- Associations and symbols
- Light and perspective
- Painting from studies
Section 3 - The human figure
- Introducing the figure
- From experiment to practice
- Drawing the standing figure
- Drawing seated and reclining figures
- The 15-minute figure painting
- Painting from longer poses
Section 4 - Themes
- Working from a theme
- From drawing to painting
- Place and movement
- A theme of your own
- Abstraction and expressionism
- 10 assignments
Set texts and resources
You will need acrylic paints in the following colours:
- Cadmium red
- Cadmium yellow
- Raw umber
- Ultramarine blue
- Monestial, Phthalo or Jenkins green
- Yellow ochre
We recommend buying medium-size tubes for every colour except white, as these will contain around 38mil depending on the manufacturer. The exception is white as you will require more of this colour, so we recommend a 120mil-size tube. The above is a basic list to start you off; if you have particular preferences of your own, add them in.
- You will need some large hog-hair brushes and some fairly small ones. The particular sizes are not important so long as you have a range of different sizes.
- At least two soft, round sable or synthetic equivalent brushes, eg. sizes 4 and 6
- HB, 2B and 4B pencils
- Conté crayons in at least black and white colours
- A small bottle of black drawing ink and a drawing pen (experiment with different types of drawing ink, and other types of pen such as felt tips if possible)
- Fixative for pencil and/or charcoal drawings
- A soft eraser
Paper, boards and easels:
- Medium-weight white cartridge paper (about 120g/m² or 60lb) in at least sizes A4 and A2
- Smooth drawing board (eg. piece of plywood or block board around 15mm thick)
- Drawing pins, drawing-board clips, bulldog clips or masking tape
- An easel would be useful if you have one, but this is not required
- Metric ruler and a metal straight edge of about 60cm
- Stanley knife or sharp scissors
- Pencil sharpener
- Water pots
- Rags or kitchen paper for wiping and cleaning up
- Sketchbook of at least A3 size
- Smaller sketchbook that can fit in a pocket or bag
- Notebook for written notes which you will need to keep throughout your course
- Windows 7 or later
- Mac OSX 10.7 or later
- Google Chrome OS
- Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
- iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser
- Google Chrome (latest version)
- Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
- Safari 6 or later
- Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)
learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.
How to enrol
- Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
- Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
- Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.
Paying in instalments
Amount of credit:
Duration of agreement:
Rate of interest:
0% APR representative.
The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.
Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to www.dekopay.com/faq or visit www.dekopay.com.
Thank you for your interest in this course.
Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.
What our students say...
"The course I’m studying doesn’t lead to a qualification, but it is a subject I love, and it’s given me a chance to return to it after many years away. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to study this course; it’s meant a lot."
— Patricia Palmer