Learn to produce fresh impactful work in Acrylics through quick decision making

This course explores the advantages of acrylics as a medium to capture the light and colours of the subject while being outside, usually with just two to three hours to complete the painting.

You will see how working from nature encourages quick decisions on composition and brush strokes that encourage spontaneity, producing paintings that are fresh and impactful, something that would be very difficult to achieve in the studio.

Course Content

This course shows how to leverage the advantages of acrylic painting and will benefit artists interested in building confidence in observational painting especially in a plein air setting. This no-nonsense course covers hard won practical advice and tips on materials, colour mixing and setup, as well as in depth painting demos, both in the studio and ‘en plein air’. The course is delivered through the perspective of the personal painting journey of Steve Browning, who has achieved considerable acclaim as a plein air painter.

  • Materials and colour mixing

  • Picking a subject and framing the composition

  • Blocking in and adding life with figures and details

See below outline of course


  • Credits

  • Overview of course structure

  • Introduction to myself!

  • My plein air paintings


  • Materials I use

  • Materials list

  • Outdoor easel options

Still life demo

  • Blocking in the composition

  • Completing the still life study

  • Stages of still life demo

  • Send me your work

Studio seascape demo

  • Blocking in the composition

  • Adding figures pt. 1

  • Adding figures pt. 2

  • Simplify, add and subtract details

  • Send me your work!

Plein Air seascape demo

  • My plein air setup

  • Seascape block in demo

  • Stages of the block in

  • Send me your work

Plein Air seascape demo 2

  • Seascape block in demo

  • Painting the harbour

  • Composition tips

  • Adding figures and final touches

  • Speed paint

  • Send me your work

Book a call with me!

  • Book a call with me!

  • Book a call with me - set session goals

  • Confirmation page

More about this course

We answer some common questions about this course and who it is designed for

  • How much does this course cost?

    This course is part of the Big Look member subscription. For just €59 per month you will have access to the full library of Big Look content and have the ability to get personalised feedback from artists when you submit work. You can cancel or pause your subscription at any time. For more information about Big Look subscription check out our support centre content

  • Who is this course for?

    This course is for anyone who is interested in developing confidence in their painting by embracing the advantages of acrylics. It will suit anyone who has existing experience in painting and want to transition from painting in oils to acrylics, or for anyone who is interested in taking the leap to paint outdoors ‘en plein air’.

  • Is this course suitable for beginners?

    While this course will benefit artists of all levels, some prior experience of painting and drawing from observation will be a distinct advantage, as the focus of the course is developing confidence and developing existing skills, leveraging the advantages that acrylics brings to this type of work.

  • When does the course start and stop?

    There is no set schedule for this course. This is a self-paced course which allows you the flexibility to follow at your own speed and convenience.

  • Can I get feedback on my work from Steve?

    There are a number of opportunities to upload your own work to get an assessment from Steve. All student uploads are confidential and will not be seen by other students.

  • I want to paint from photo references, is this course for me?

    As you will see in this course, Steve recommends painting directly from nature. That said, in one of the demos, Steve does paint from a photo reference. While the camera can get in the way of the subject by ‘freezing’ a single moment, with practice an artist can learn to filter out distracting details from a photo reference to achieve a good result. Indeed, Steve does often combine photo references taken on the scene with his phone camera to paint details like figures who are constantly moving.