Self-Study Class Includes Lifetime Access, Online Community & More!

10 Lessons – $140.25 $165

In this 10-lesson class, Karine Swenson walks you through the fundamental building blocks of painting—Line, Shape, Form, Depth, Color, Value and Composition. Lessons are geared towards abstract painting, however, the topics will benefit any artist, even those pursuing more representational subject matter.

Now available as a self-study class.

TEACHER: Karine Swenson

Class Description

This course gives you a unique opportunity to build upon the fundamental building blocks of painting.

  • Have you ever wanted to take a course learn the basics of painting?
  • Are you curious, but don’t have a Studio Art background?
  • Do you need a refresher on how artists approach painting?
  • What are the elements that make a painting come to life?

Over the next five weeks Karine Swenson will walk you through the basics of:

Line, Shape, Form, Depth, Color, Value, & Composition

A professional artist for over 10 years, Karine has lots of experience using color and abstract expression to evoke light, movement and emotion. If you take the time to learn how to use these tools, and put them in your own tool belt, you’ll look at painting differently by the end of five weeks.

And if you’re interested in trying oils for the first time, this class is a fun way to begin! (And although Karine will be using her oil paint, you can absolutely use acrylics.)

Most importantly, you will get personal feedback: You can share your work in the class Facebook group, or if you’re feeling shy, you can email it to Karine directly for feedback.

The weeks will go like this:

Week 1: The Line (and all its variations!)

Week 2: The differences between Shape and Form

Week 3: Exploring Depth, Color and Value

Week 4: Value and Composition

Week 5: Composition

Lessons will be geared towards abstract painting; however, the topics will be beneficial to any artist – even those pursuing more representational subject matter. (This class is meant to be a continuation of Karine’s first abstract painting class, although you do not need to have taken Intro to Abstract Painting to benefit from this class.)

Class Itinerary

  • Lesson 1: Line
  • Lesson 2: Painting with Line
  • Lesson 3: Shape
  • Lesson 4: Shape & Form
  • Lesson 5: Color & Value Part 1
  • Lesson 6: Color & Value Part 2
  • Lesson 7: Color & Value Part 3
  • Lesson 8: Composition Part 1
  • Lesson 9: Composition Part 2
  • Lesson 10: Composition Part 3


“Mental Meanderings.” Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches.






The following supplies are recommended for this class.

  1. Sketchbook – if you are planning to work large, I suggest at least 12 x 18 inches or larger
  2. Charcoal or conte crayon
  3. Kneadable eraser
  4. Paint – you are welcome to use watercolor, gouache, acrylic, or oil paint
  5. Paint colors: cadmium red medium, cadmium yellow light, ultramarine blue, white, black or paynes grey. Optional colors: Alizarin crimson, viridian or permanent green, burnt umber, cerulean, cobalt blue, etc.
  6. Oil bar, oil pastel, colored pencil, etc. (something to make lines with)
  7. Brushes, palette knife, a palette or mixing surface. If you plan to work large, I suggest you buy some inexpensive brushes to use.
  8. Old rags, paper towels for cleanup and or to paint with
  9. Painting surfaces – At least 12. You can get 6 smaller ones and 6 larger ones. You can use paper, canvas, canvas panel, gessoed board, oil paper, gessoed paper, etc. I do suggest you buy at least four good quality surfaces. The sooner you start using good quality materials the better.
  10. Paper to cut and tear for collage. You can use just about anything – construction paper, craft paper with different colors, origami paper, security envelopes, old book pages, tissue paper, etc.
  11. Paint chips from the hardware store or paint store
  12. Liquitex matte medium or similar


  1. A brayer
  2. A stick
  3. A ruler
  4. Gesso
  5. Ink and brush
  6. Painter’s tape or masking tape
  7. Mixed media book
  8. Stencils
  9. Copic markers

About the Instructor

KarineKarine Swenson grew up just outside of a town called Rapid City, South Dakota in the Black Hills. The closest neighbor was a mile away. Reared in this environment, Swenson’s connection with the natural world was strong. After receiving her BA in painting from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, she moved to Colorado. She has spent most of her life in small towns that sit right next to the last remaining bits of wilderness. From the mountains of Colorado, the ocean surrounding Maui, Hawaii and now the desert near Joshua Tree, California, she feels the most at home out in nature. In the studio, her second home, she can explore her relationship with the natural world. Her oil paintings are reflections of this relationship. Swenson has been a full time artist for the past ten years.

See more wonderful art at Karine’s website: www.karineswenson.com.

Nuts & Bolts

  • This class is now available as a self-study class.
  • Immediately upon class signup, you will receive access to the class videos and corresponding materials.
  • A private Facebook group will be available for you to (optionally) share your artwork and enjoy and learn from the artwork of others. You may also email your teacher directly with questions or feedback.
  • You will have indefinite access to this class.
“Absolutely amazing course!” — Shena M.
“I've so enjoyed this class. It's pushed me in so many new directions that I've always been scared to try out.” — Daniela T.
“Thank you so much for a wonderful journey into painting elements Karine. I have learned so much.” — Patti S.