top of page



Instructor: Karen Milnes 

Date: June 22, 2023

Time: 5 - 8 PM

Fee: $50

Participants: 12

Location: Arts Council Room at the Highland Center 

Materials Cost: Materials list provided below

Workshop Summary: This is a beginners course in painting, using acrylics. Students will learn what goes into setting up a quality composition, prepping the canvas, and planning their paintings—and other techniques that can be used across various paint mediums. It’s a great way to kick off the Artist’s Weekend and get a jump start on planning your painting, or learn some basics if you’ve ever been intimidated by acrylic paints.  Contrary to popular belief, many modern artists are creating beautiful archival quality paintings using high quality artist’s acrylics and they are now considered equal or even superior to oil-based paints by galleries and collectors. The three hour class will include information on priming a canvas, and carry students through the underpainting process, followed by instruction on how to complete the painting, but leaving the process open-ended should you wish to join the other artists' around the county for the weekend to complete your painting. No experience is necessary, and the class is open to adult students of all levels.

Materials List:  Set of acrylic painting brushes. If you’re going for economy, get synthetic brushes vs. hog hair, which are too stiff. Other natural fiber brushes work. Karen recommends having a few flat brushes and a few round brushes of varying sizes from 2 to 8, which should cover most needs. You can bring a 1” flat brush as well, but it’s not necessary.


Stretched & primed canvas, whatever size you choose. Think about what is realistic to accomplish in a weekend, if that is your goal. Karen will be working from a size somewhere around 11”x14” or 16”x 20”.


Acrylic gesso--Liquitex is a fine brand. Please apply a layer of gesso the night before the class. If you are purchasing supplies from Karen, and she will gesso them the night before. 


If you have, bring an easel. We will have them available, as well.


A jar for cleaning brushes—Karen uses a wide mouth quart-sized mason jar most of the time.




Smooth rag, like a piece of an old cotton sheet


Pallette or pallette-paper



Most necessary:

Ultramarine Blue

Titanium White (heavy body, if possible—Golden or Liquitex brands are good)

Burnt Umber

Cadmium Yellow Medium (heavy body, if possible—Golden or Liquitex brands are good)

Crimson or Alizarin  Red, Grumbacher Red is also nice from their Academy series

Highly Suggested:

Cobalt Blue

Yellow Ochre or Raw Sienna


Feel free to bring whatever other colors you have--we will talk about the various pigments and hues, as well as palette selection in regards to composition, but these are the basic must-haves.


If you would like help with the materials list please contact Karen at



About Karen Milnes

Karen Milnes lives in Monterey, VA and studied Studio Art at the University of Virginia, and has a concentration in printmaking. She has been painting in various mediums for many years, but generally gravitates toward acrylics and watercolors. Always in observation-mode, she is constantly peeping the world around her for subject matter, and natural objects and animal wildlife make up the majority of her content. See her list of gallery shows and portfolio of works at or follow her business @CabinCritter on Facebook & Instagram.

DE43E021-6966-409E-959F-67EDDAE248B9 (1).jpeg
bottom of page