Discover our Oil and Acrylic Courses

Let your creativity be inspired by the natural world

Discover our range of oil and acrylic courses inspired by nature.

Painting can open a world of possibilities, it gives you the opportunity to really be creative, expressive and gives you the ability to experiment with colour. You can create texture, depth, definition, lightness, darkness, and movement in your paintings by using oils or acrylics, but which is the right medium for you?

Oil Paints

Oil paints are made from dry powdered pigments mixed with linseed oil which is most commonly used. The paint should be smooth and buttery and can be used in this form to create texture and depth in a painting.

They are quite a thick substance, so this affects the drying time and malleability of the paint. Some artists then mix their paint using pure gum turpentine, which makes it easier to manipulate and blend and reduces drying time.

These paints have been used by artists for centuries including some of the greats. The famous Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo Da Vinci was created using oil. Britain’s very own John Constable, known for his expressive landscape paintings of the Suffolk countryside was well know for using oil. Our oil and acrylic courses at Flatford Mill in suffolk take influence from his paintings.

oil painting by Trevor Osbourne from one of our oil and acrylic courses.
Oil Painting by Trevor Osbourne


Acrylic paints were first developed in the 20th century to combine the properties of watercolour and oil paints. Acrylics are synthetic and are water soluble just like watercolour, but once dried, the paint is water resistant.

These paints are fantastic for blending and layering yet keeping the vibrancy of the colour on the canvas. They are a great paint to experiment with and a popular choice for beginners before moving on to oils.

The tools of choice are brushes and palette knives, but you can create a variety of different textures by using techniques such as washing, stippling, pouring and splattering. If you’re looking for amazing results, experiment with acrylic paints. Our oil and acrylic painting holidays offer you the perfect opportunity to experiment.

Acrylic paint used on one of our oil and acrylic courses

Take part in our Oils and Acrylic painting courses with Field Studies Council.

Explore the world of oils and acrylics under the guidance of our expert tutors.

Our oil and acrylic painting courses take inspiration from the beautiful natural surroundings of our centres, and local wildlife. The landscape is abundant with flora and fauna, so let the UK’s nature and wildlife inspire your creativity.

Oil painting of the seaside by Rob Dudley from one of our oil and acrylic courses.

Field Studies Council’s creative courses range from day art courses to longer Craft weekends and even week long painting holidays.

Our oil and acrylic painting workshops do feature some studio time, but getting outdoors and immersing yourself in the natural landscape can have a whole host of benefits, creatively, mentally and fantastic for all-round well-being.

Our craft courses are more than just a learning experience, they are a chance to meet like-minded people, a chance to unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience the UK’s glorious countryside, offering a relaxing backdrop to your time away.

Our courses studying oil and acrylic painting techniques take place at two of our most inspiring locations, Flatford Mill in Suffolk and Slapton Ley in Devon.