Enjoy a week jumping your skill set to the next level, whatever your level is – novice to professional. Acrylic is the easiest medium to paint with.

In Mernie’s high energy sessions you’ll discover and advance your own signature style with a quicker brush, a deeper understanding of color and innovative techniques to achieve spectacular gradations. We’ll cover every aspect of acrylics in representational and impressionistic styles… individually personalized for how you want to develop as a painter.

Be prepared to love what you paint by finding and building on your greatest strengths and talent.

Materials & Supplies

Reference images printed from a several favorite photos. Instructor will also supply optional photos.


Whatever and however many you’d like from 8×10” up to 30×40” primed canvas, canvas board or panel – primed with an additional coat of gesso (either tinted or white). You may also bring unfinished acrylic paintings you weren’t happy with and stuck in a closet long ago. I can show you how different layering techniques can improve any painting. (They HAVE to be acrylic)

Bring your acrylics and include:

  • 8 jar Golden Polymer Medium (Gloss)
  • 8 jar Golden Fluid Matte Medium
  • Titanium white
  • (optional) Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid (Satin)
    Acrylic Colors: I mostly use Golden fluid professional grade acrylic, but tubes or jars in any brand work fine, too. If budget is a concern, a good student grade paint is Grumbacher Academy. Unsatisfactory results can come from using lower grade paints made in China.


  • a warm red (cadmium red light, pyrol, etc)
  • a cool red (alizarin crimson, quinacridone red or crimson)
  • a warm blue (thalo, cobalt or cerulean)
  • a cool blue (ultramarine)
  • a warm yellow (cadmium yellow medium)
  • a cool yellow (hansa or cad yellow light)
  • optional greens (sap, Jenkins, Hookers)
  • suggest selection of neutral, deep & earth colors (paynes grey, raw & burnt umbers, siennas, ochres + bone or Mars black)


Selection of quality synthetic acrylic brushes: small round and medium & large brights and filberts. I have good luck with Grumbacher Bristelette. Also a 2-3” flat brush for glazing layers (Purdy house painting brushes work fine and are less expensive). Larger canvases require larger brushes.


  • tabletop water jar and a three or five gallon plastic bucket.
  • palette paper, plastic cake plates OR a large, round tupperware picnic antipasto server with a sealing lid to mix & save larger quantities of paint.
  • a clean, empty 8-16 oz jar or paint tub with a sealing lid
  • an old funky face cloth/rag
  • spritzer bottle to keep palette moistened

There will be a $5 materials fee payable to instructor in the first meeting.

Mernie teaches beginning and advanced acrylic classes at Michaels in Pleasant Hill, at and Arts Benicia.Mernie took her first adult painting class at six, earned a BA in Art at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1977 and has been a full time, free-lance artist & designer for over 30 years. Mernie Buchanan Studio & Gallery has been in business in downtown Benicia since 1987; specializing in studio art and commissions for portraits & murals (CA Lic #824618).

INSTRUCTOR WEBSITE: Instructor Facebook page