• Absolute Beginners
  • Painting

This 6 week ONLINE course for beginners aims to give the participants an understanding of some of the fundamental elements of painting an image - whether a person, landscape or still life. In this course we will focus on Still Life and Landscape.

Demonstrations by the instructor will be given at the beginning of each class to show a step by step approach to the process of making a painting. Focus will be placed on tonal scale in the creation of 3D form, composition structure for creating a sense of depth, atmosphere and focal points. Colour procedures will be explained and demonstrated, first in the old master palette and then using the impressionist warm and cool palette. The paintings we make will be quite small (approx.9 x12”) to enable easy completion within one or two classes.

The photographic subjects of landscape and still life will be emailed to participants before each class begins. This will enable more choice for you and ensures that you do not have to rush to complete your work, but can work at your own pace and enjoy yourself.  Examples of other artists paintings both old and new will also be shown for inspiration.

Note: It is recommended that students have taken an Introduction to Drawing course, or have some drawing experience. 

There are two sessions of this course offered in Winter 2021.  Either can be taken as stand alone, or the second session can be a continuation of the first session to further develop skills.

Winter 2021: 6 Weeks: $275 

TSA will deliver this course using ZOOM. Prior to the course session, you will receive an invitation for the session(s) via email. You'll need a laptop, desktop or tablet, internet connection with good bandwidth and headset (either wired or wireless). We recommend that you set up a free ZOOM account and be familiar with ZOOM prior to the class beginning.  Here is a link to help you get started: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697

Notes: Tom Campbell, a Toronto-based painter (now based in Stratford, ON), has been an instructor at the Toronto School of Art since 1989, with teaching stints at Sanford Fleming College, Sheridan College and the ROM. Since 2000, he has also travelled to the Aegean island of Ikaria every other spring to teach at the Ikarian Cultural Centre. Campbell had his first major one-man show at Gallery Stratford in 1985, won the Kitchener-Waterloo Gallery prize for painting and joined the stable of artists at the Bau-Xi Gallery (Toronto and Vancouver). More recently, other projects of interest have included painting the giant shipwreck mural for John Greyson’s feature film Zero Patience and painting a CD cover for alternative pop band Stars. On television, he was featured in “Artists in the Urban Environment” for Spectrum and Star Portraits, which aired on Bravo. His most recent exhibitions have been in Ottawa at the Galleria St Laurent + HilI and in C Word (Craft in the Fine Arts) curated by Richard Mongiat at The Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto.

Upcoming Sections

CodeInstructorDates & TimeDaysLengthRegister
037Tom CampbellJan. 13, 2021 to Feb. 17, 2021
TERM - ONLINE Winter 2021
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
6-week courses

Please log in to join wait list
037Tom CampbellFeb. 24, 2021 to March 31, 2021
TERM - ONLINE Winter 2021
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
6-week courses$275.00

What you will learn

  • Hands-on fundamentals of painting from a beginners perspective
  • Learning how to paint still life and landscapes
  • Tonal scale, composition principles, focal points and colour procedures

Materials to Bring

Please keep your receipts to all purchases in case you need to return any materials

Oil or Acrylic Paint Colour List: This list tries to limit the colours that need to be purchased. It consists of two of each of the primary colours so that all other colours can be mixed from them. There are many brands of paint that may have different names. Artist quality paints are more expensive than student quality paints, because student quality paint has less pigment in it, but is fine for getting started. Most brands will have a selection of both.


  • Cadmium Yellow Light ( greenish yellow)
  • Cadmium Yellow Deep (orangish yellow)


  • Ultramarine Blue (purplish blue)
  • Cerulean or Phallo or Turquoise blue ( greenish blue)


  • Cadmium Red Light ( orangish red)
  • Alizarin Crimson (purplish red)

Then you will need some earth colours:

  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Raw Umber

And a large tube of Titanium White

Paint mediums:
For Oil Paint : Odourless Mineral Spirit, Gamblin Brand is the best, and Linseed Oil
Acrylic Paint: Matt Medium

Brushes are more personal and their size varies according to the size of painting being made.
Think of 3 sizes,  small, medium and large. The large being a brush that can easily cover the surface you are painting without much effort,but without being cumbersome.

  • Palette and Palette knife
  • Rags for clean up
  • Sketchbook and pencil

Canvas to paint on: This can be a stretched canvas, canvas panel, wood panel (which may need to be primed with white Gesso), Canvas Paper.