Painting Basics TRACK

The Painting Basics Track will help you develop a foundation for painting, covering basic skills like color theory, brush technique composition, transparent vs. opaque paint, and more. You’ll get to jump around between figurative, abstract, and still life topics to expand your personal repertoire in painting. See our Painting Curriculum for a broader view of painting skills.

Paint Media

Visit these pages for supply lists: watercolorgouacheacryl gouacheoilswater mixable oilsacrylics.

Part 1 of our Painting curriculum explains different types of paint. We recommend using the same paint media for the entire track to provide consistency and depth of practice.

Get ambitious and do each week’s assignment in 2 contrasting paint media! For example, do the mastercopy assignment from week 1 in gouache, and again in acrylic.

Consider using 2 paint media together for the entire track. Some good combinations are gouache over watercolor, oil over acrylic, acrylic over watercolor, and more!


We have suggested below a week by week schedule, but feel free to take more time and do the track at your own pace! Taking the time to process the content is important, and so we don’t advise putting pressure on yourself to finish the track quickly. Remember to have fun and enjoy the process of drawing and learning!

Note that this track does not have an ongoing assignment.


Join us in our Discord in the #artprof-tracks channel, where you can post images of your progress as you do the track. We will provide support and feedback, and answer your questions!

Finishing the track

When you finish the track, submit your work to us and you’ll receive:

  • A hard copy certificate via snail mail.
  • An Art Prof Share feature on live stream on YouTube.
  • Your name + link listed here on this page.

Week 1

Velazquez Portrait Painting

Choose a painting from history or contemporary art and create a mastercopy of that painting.

Week 2

Emil Nolde

Create a painting based on the sky to experiment with brush technique and color.

Week 3

Still Life Set up, Cindy Qiao

Set up a still life with white object. Paint the still life, focusing mixing to achieve subtle shifts of white tones.

Week 4

Abstract acrylic painting, Clara Lieu

Listen to a sound effect, and create an abstract painting as a reaction to that sound effect.

Week 5

Rose Reference Photo

Paint a rose by investigating the forms and spaces inside the rose and the gesture of the rose as if it were a figure.

Week 6

Lobster Oil Pastel Drawing, Clara Lieu

Choose a an underwater creature: fish, crabs, lobsters, etc. and aim to capture the wide range of textures and forms.


  1. Submit your images + info via this upload form.
  2. You\’ll receive a hard copy certificate from us via snail mail! (this includes international people)
  3. We will post your name + one link here on this page.
  4. Your work from the track will be featured in an Art Prof Share segment in one of our live streams on YouTube.