Drawing and Painting for Beginners


COURSE DATES: Sundays, 21st April – 9th June 2024

TUTOR: Helen Stone, Kinga Markus (21st April & 9th June)


TIMES: 2:00pm – 4:30pm


FEE: £255

LOCATION: Art Academy London, 165A Mermaid Court, SE1 1HR

This beginners course is an accessible and well-structured introduction to the basic skills of drawing and painting.
You will experiment with mark-making and learn a wide range of techniques relating to tone, shape, colour and composition. This course aims to enhance visual awareness, increase self-confidence, and provide a stimulating and relaxed environment for drawing and painting. There will be a life model in some sessions and you are encouraged to express yourself freely with guidance from the tutor.

The course will cover topics and skills, including:

  • Observational drawing
  • Composition
  • Shadow and tone
  • Creating texture through mark making
  • Gesture and portraiture from a life model
  • Colour theory and mixing

You will have the opportunity to try various media, including charcoal, acrylic paints and other materials of your choice.
After completing this course, we recommend signing up for one of our Drawing or Painting Stage 2 courses, to take your skills to the next level.

Recommend booking by: April 7, 2024


All attendees must be aged 18 and over.

Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Students spend time learning the very basics of the taught medium, for example, how to mix colours, use different tools, set up an easel. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience, they tend to follow a more structured path than our other courses, ensuring each student receives the guidance they need from the tutor.

If you do not have your own materials, we recommend you order one of our Painting Packs when booking. You can purchase this at the checkout. Once ordered, packs will be available when you arrive for your first class. There is also a mini shop in the Academy that supplies the basics such as canvas boards, paints, Zest-it etc. (card purchases only)

The Academy is a white spirit and turpentine free environment and only odourless spirits, such as Zest-it or Sansodor, are permitted on the premises. These can also be recycled on site. If you are using oil paints you must bring 1 small jar with a lid to hold your solvent as this should be reused each week. If you want to dispose of your solvent please speak to your tutor as these cannot be poured down the sink and must be disposed of correctly.

Please also bring an apron or old clothing to wear.

    The Acrylic Pack contains:
  • A set of acrylic brushes, both flat and round
  • One tear off palette (9”x12”)
  • One palette knife
  • One 10″x12″ canvas board
  • One 10″x14″ canvas board
  • Two 12″x16″ canvas boards
  • Eight Daler Rowney (system 3) tubes of Black, White, Cadmium Red, Sap Green, Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Yellow

      Please note that pack contents are subject to change at the discretion of the Academy at any time.

      Please be aware that depending on the course structure, you might need to purchase extra canvas boards, on top of the ones provided in the pack.


Usva Inei is a queer, non-binary visual artist, mainly working with topics of lived experiences of immigration and queerness. They primarily work through mixed media installations, with painting and printmaking being central elements of their practice. Usva’s work is critical, political, and feminist, exploring such themes, as identity politics, acculturation, normative structures, and the role of physical space in directing behaviour. In addition to exhibiting their artwork, Usva regularly teaches both on academic and artistic courses, runs various art-based workshops with museums and charities, and is engaged in academic, art-based research. Usva is a Finnish-born Russian immigrant, currently based in London, UK.




Helen Stone originally trained as a designer and illustrator before studying contemporary portraiture at The Art Academy. Her practice is concerned with the state we’re in as we move away from the rituals, crafts and practices that have sustained us for so long towards an increasingly digital and unknowable future. She is a painter who also takes a multimedia approach, telling stories through small installations and series which allow an idea or theme to unfold. She frequently exhibits in London and the south east and was winner of the Liberty Specialty Markets Art Award Expert Panel Vote in 2018. Her work is held in private collections in the UK and Europe. 

Students are welcome to use our Common Room/ The Barn during break times, where you can prepare hot drinks and/or food.

You are also welcome to make tea or coffee.

Terms and Conditions

  • By booking onto one of our courses you agree to our Short Courses Terms and Conditions.
  • You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment. Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.

Materials & Equipment

  • If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be booked on our Materials Page or on this page when you book the course
  • Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
  • All artwork at the Academy MUST be taken home at the end of the course or it will be disposed of.
  • Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silent during the class.
  • Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you a week before the start of your course.

Concessions and Discounts

We offer a number of concessions and discounts, please find more information on what we offer here.

Gift Vouchers

If you would like to purchase a gift voucher to be used on our courses then you can purchase these here.