More Painting with Acrylics



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More Painting with Acrylics


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“We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.” — Bob Ross

One of the best lessons an artist, or anyone, can learn is how to turn mistakes into something beautiful. By learning how to be more comfortable with acrylic paints, brushes, and mediums we hope to make acrylics a fun outlet for creativity. Learn how to mix paints, work with different brushes, mediums, palette knives and surfaces. We will touch on color theory, talk about some famous painters and styles of painting. We will be working on small canvases to focus on different areas of painting in class. Homework will be finishing those paintings when necessary and we’ll do 3-4 larger paintings that will be done outside of class as assignments that incorporate the individual techniques we’ll be learning in class.

Painting with Acrylics (fall) is not a required course.

Please view prerequisites and required supplies below. Painting with Acrylics (fall) is not a prerequisite.

Course Details

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In general these are the supplies that will be used, but the teacher will provide a specific and complete supply list prior to class.

Painting Surfaces: acrylic paper, stretched canvas, canvas board, cut MDF/masonite/wood panels at 5”x5” up to 8×10 for daily work (possibly 2-3 per day), 11×14 or larger for our bigger projects (3-4)

Paints: minimum-student grade beginner set titanium white, alizarin crimson, primary yellow, ultramarine blue, mars black, unbleached titanium, burnt sienna, yellow ochre OR similar set

Mediums: small container of a glazing medium

Brushes: A student or starter set will suffice. I recommend synthetic bristles and plastic or metal handles. If buying separately think about a largish brush…maybe 1 inch, a fan brush, a flat, round, filbert, liner and a palette knife to start. You can add as you go and start discovering how you like to paint.

Palette: small, circular palettes work fine to start or palette paper. 

Misc: water container or two, paper towels or old washcloths/towels, apron, spray bottle for water, surface coverings, easel or hard painting surface, pencil, eraser, ruler, other mediums and brushes to experiment with.

The teacher would also highly recommend a plastic table cloth for your work surface and maybe something for the floor if it’s not washable. Acrylics clean up pretty well if you wipe them up right away, even on fabric, but they can stain.


Carissa Sheehan is a big fan of creating life-long critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. Learning how to approach problems in a visual way adds an amazing dimension to those skills. The bulk of her career has been spent working in graphic design for Christian ministries and nonprofits.

Carissa graduated with a Bachelors in Art from John Brown University and later with her Masters in Applied Linguistics from the University of Colorado at Denver. She has taught outdoor education classes, coached volleyball, and tutored adults in ESL.

In the field of graphic design she has worked as a designer as well as a Creative Director and Art Director. Much of her experience has been in small departments where she has learned the process of design from concept to delivery. This enables her to offer real world examples and advice to students who are either interested in making graphic design their collegiate field of study or who would like to use it as a way to earn money as a freelancer right away. 

After studying watercolor and oil painting in college, she discovered the joys of painting with acrylic paint. She runs a small paint party business as well as sells some of her work online. She loves the laid back approach to painting exemplified in people like Bob Ross and strives to pass on an enjoyment and mastery of painting to her students.

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