Playful Garden: The Acrylic Techniques of Fred Lisaius

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

6 Lessons – $49.00

Fred Lisaius is well known for his magical acrylic paintings of nature but he is also an incredible teacher with decades of experience. His demonstrations are the best! They are filled with technique and insight…it’s inspiring (and entertaining) just to watch him work.  This is a class for all levels.

Now available as a self-study class.


TEACHER: Fred Lisaius

Class Description

Playful Garden: The Acrylic Painting Techniques of Fred Lisaius
Instructor: Fred Lisaius
6 Lessons • $49

I’m excited to be painting with you! In this class will create a single large, gold-leafed and acrylic painting from start to finish.

I love painting nature and In this class we are going to create an imaginary garden. We’ll be thinking about the seasons and putting elements  of all four into one painting… birds of  Spring and the seed pods of Fall. This way of working allows us to combine the things we see around us with our own imagination without being held back by pure realism.

I’ll show you my techniques from planning and sketching to mixing color and creating dimension and movement. I will also demonstrate how to  add gold leaf using two different methods that you can choose from.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or advanced; painting for me is about being happy, making paintings that are fun to look at and especially fun to make!

Class Itinerary

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Now available as a self-study class; you have instant access to all of the lessons!

Lesson 1
Apply a coat of gesso over the surface of your wood panel and let it dry.Paint an imprimatura background that has the four colors of the seasons: Green for Spring, yellow for Summer, orange for Autumn, and light blue for Winter.

Lesson 2
I’ll give a quick composition lesson with examples and then you’ll choose which composition works best for you. Using tracing paper, do a sketch the size of your painting that represents all four seasons in a single painting.

Lesson 3
Today you will transfer your sketch to your panel.

Lesson 4
First decide where the sun is in your painting. Paint the basic shapes of each object in your painting. Use lighter colors where the sun is on your subject and darker colors where the subject is in shadow. This is an under painting that will be refined in the next step.

Lesson 5
After the paint has dried from Lesson 4, refine the colors, shadows, and details of the shapes.

Lesson 6|
Finally, add gold or silver leaf to your painting in two different ways; as a full background or as little details. Seal the gold leaf with gold leaf sealer and, once dry, varnish your finished painting!

Supplies Needed

• Wood panel. I’ll be working on an 18” x 24” panel.

• Acrylic gesso

• Acrylic paints. I like Golden Acrylics, heavy body (in tubes).

• Acrylic brushes in a variety of sizes.

• Pencil 4B or 6B.

• Tracing paper. My tracing paper is in a 14” x 17” pad.
I taped 2 pieces together.

• Gold metal leaf. This looks like gold leaf but is much less expensive.
I like the SEPP 5.5” x 5.5” Imitation Gold Leaf. 25 sheets.

• Gold metal leaf Sizing. 2 fluid oz. This is the glue that holds the Goldleaf to your painting.
I like the Speedball brand.

• A plastic spoon for pressing the metal onto the painting.

Gold metal leaf sealer. 2 fluid oz.

• Wax paper. 1 roll.

• Varnish for acrylics. I like a satin finish. I’ve been using Liquitex Satin Varnish.

Fred Lisaius


Fred Lisaius is a painter, sculptor, and a popular art teacher at Bellevue College, WA  (“Fred is perfect!”). Fred is represented by the Patricia Rovzar Gallery in Seattle, and his work is in many private and corporate collections.

From his statement:

The deeper I go into the forest the closer I feel to the truth. Off of the trail, there is a quiet calm where ideas can be contemplated and refined. In my paintings and my sculptures, I utilize the forum of nature to explore our relationship to the natural world and to each other.


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.