Beginning Painting

Have you always wanted to learn how to paint, but have struggled getting real skills out of that art class?

I think you will be relieved that learning how to paint doesn’t involve some secrets of the masters, or any other nonsense, it’s actually quite simple.

Staring at a blank canvas may induce anxiety, but we’ve got the solution. A step by step apporach where your skills will build steadily throughout the course, and you will be able to see your progress in no time. Stop being someone who just looks at art, and start learning the basics of painting, drawing, color theory, and composition and start creating!

It can be difficult when looking at the multitude of techniques and materials to even know where to start, but there is a system to this, and this class is going to teach it step by step.

I have had the free painting course up for a decade now, and in that time literally hundreds of thousands of people have signed up to take it. Instead of reworking this classic online painting course, I’ve decided to start from scratch and give you an inside look at what I’m teaching my students in the classroom at University of Colorado. That’s exactly what the beginning painting class is all about. No matter if you are a complete beginner, or someone looking to improve their skills, or someone who has been let down by teachers who would rather talk about your art than show you the basics, then this is the class for you. This class is simple, concise, with exercises and lessons which will have you improving your painting skills in no time. Stop practicing some bad advice that some hack teacher gave you, and get the real basics today! Make time to start painting and visualize your dreams!

Course By


Educator and creator of I look forward to watching your progress!


Week 1: Basic Materials to get started with oil painting

Author: Jer Painting Supplies Total: $106.31   Painting for Non-Majors -Scroll to the end for a condensed list- You have the option of using Oils or Acrylics based upon your preferences.  Oils have the luster generally associated with classical paintings and stay wet longer which allows them to blended more easily. Acrylics have the benefit [...]

Week 2: Seeing values and getting started with brush and ink

Author: Jer This lesson focuses on value and how to recognize it and begin to paint it. In addition to these exercises you also need to create a blog to track your progress. First you need to make a Tumblr.  Go to and sign up. Once you get used to the interface you'll see that [...]

Week 3: Nocturnes in Black and Red

Author: Jer

Today we'll start by looking at some inspirational works done in only red and black. Look at the diversity of value present in these paintings, and just how much can be done with only two colors. In this Rothko we can see how evocative these simple color combinations can be. Look at this Seurat charcoal [...]

Week 4: Getting to know yelloooooow and getting to know blue too!

Author: Jer So now that you've mastered using red and black you're going to move on to using yellow and blue! You've now suddenly got a full palette at your fingertips and will be able to make an unbelievable amount of colors just from these three. Much like how all of music is based off just [...]

Week 5: Accidental Still Lifes

Author: Jer

Today we will be working from the images of our accidental still lifes that you've brought to class.  This printed image is your ticket into the class, without it, you'll have nothing to do! We will begin the painting by lightly sketching with oil paint, and then we will mass in the darks, and finally [...]

Week 6: Figure in an interior/exterior

Author: Jer

Now, I understand at this point we're about half way through the semester and that many may still not be fully caught up. That's fine, just don't let this class snowball on you, because as you've probably noticed it's actually quite demanding considering we do so many different paintings.  The more you procrastinate, the more [...]

Week 7: Critique

Author: Jer

This week we will be meeting individually to look over your progress and ensure you're on the right track.  You should have all of your images from the entire course saved on your phone, or uploaded to your blog. You should also have all the images of your inspirational artists, as well as all of [...]

Week 8 : Color Theory

Author: Jer

Now that you've got a good grasp of color it's time to dig in a bit deeper and start looking at some theory. If we're talking about color theory there's one person who is often cited as being the most important color theorist in moder history, and that's Joseph Albers. Albers was a teacher who [...]

Week 9: Final Major Project

Author: Jer

In this project you will be looking at the work of an established artist (past or present), dissect the materials and techniques that they employ in the creation of their paintings, and emulate these techniques in the creation of your own work. There are a variety of elements to this assignment which will all be [...]