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Studio: Painting – Tempera and Acrylic

Discover the best practices for using tempera and acrylic in the K-12 art room in this course designed specifically for art teachers. Throughout this course, you will simultaneously experiment with color theory, mixing mediums, and advanced techniques as you learn strategies for translating those skills to your students. Additionally, you’ll learn methods for managing brush selection, supply storage, and materials organization for your art room. You will try out new techniques firsthand as your learning culminates into a teacher showcase series and final portfolio.

For the official course description, see the course syllabus or Graduate Catalog.

Required Materials

Painting Materials List

Additional Materials

  • Computer with basic audio and video output equipment
  • Internet access (broadband recommended)
  • Basic computing skills (see AOEU’s Technology Requirements)
  • Access to AOEU’s online learning platform, Brightspace, to view course content, submit assignments, and engage in discussion (provided)
  • Word-processing platform (Microsoft Office, Pages, Google Docs)
Graduate Credits
All courses will now close at 11 PM Central time on the 27th of each month. Graduate Credits 3 Graduate Credits
Price Graduate Credit $1197.00
Mon 8 Sun
Feb 7 Weeks Apr 3
Upcoming Course Run Dates
Feb 7 Apr 3
Mar 7 May 1
Apr 4 May 29
May 2 Jun 26
Jun 6 Jul 31
Only 3 days remaining to enroll in the next section of this course.
AOEU Course Code
Morningside Course Code
EDUC500 AOE028

Course Objectives

  • Research best practices for tempera and acrylic painting in the classroom setting.
  • Analyze the work of art educators who are successfully taking risks with each medium.
  • Create various pieces of artwork while experimenting with new techniques.
  • Create resources and hands-on examples to use directly in the classroom.
  • Push personal practice to the next level while revamping the current painting curriculum.

Course Breakdown

Week 1
History and Process
  1. Review a history of painting, supplies, vocabulary, and techniques.
  2. Examine your own painting curriculum for holes or gaps.
Week 2
Tempera for the Classroom
  1. Experiment with a variety of tempera techniques and materials and document your process.
  2. Create one larger painting based on your smaller experiments.
Week 3
Color Theory and Color Mixing
  1. Examine engaging ways to teach color theory and mixing, including the science of color.
  2. Design a hands-on lesson, game, or instructional tool to take directly into the classroom.
Week 4
Basic Acrylic Techniques
  1. Explore the basics of acrylic painting with a variety of techniques and applications.
  2. Document the process of experimentation with new techniques and materials.
Week 5
Special Effects With Acrylics
  1. Explore advanced topics and special effects using acrylic mediums.
  2. Create an instructional tool to help students find success with acrylics.
Week 6
Management and Organization
  1. Explore ways to manage all of the materials for both tempera and acrylic in the classroom.
  2. Craft an action plan and create tools to help you better manage painting processes.
Week 7
Teacher Showcase Series
  1. Create a body of personal work using the new techniques and processes you learned in the course.
  2. Give meaningful feedback to peers.
Week 8
  1. Reflect on your own work as you refine and improve your painting curriculum. Compile a final portfolio of work from the course.

A sample assignment from Week 4 of the class Studio: Painting - Tempera and Acrylic

1. Research

Watch a hands-on demonstration showcasing various acrylic techniques, including glazing, scumbling, impasto, mixed media, and more!

2. Discussion

Discuss your experience with basic acrylic techniques. Work with a group of peers to problem-solve and troubleshoot any lingering questions or issues with the techniques presented.

3. Creation

Experiment with each of the techniques presented. Choose one experiment to expand upon, creating one final larger work of art. Document your painting process through the creation of a process board.
"I love how AOEU courses are 100% relevant to art teachers! I like the social component as well. I enjoy the choice that is offered with the assignments."
Tanis K., CN

What do past course participants think?

Hundreds of art teachers have taken the course Studio: Painting – Tempera & Acrylic. Here’s what they actually think — without cherry-picking.
(12-month rolling average from all post-course survey respondents – Updated 1/28/2021)


Course content was relevant and current.


Instructor was knowledgeable and provided value-added contributions.


I achieved the goals I set at the beginning of the course. 

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