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Learn Oil Painting

Wednesday Apr 21, 2010

Learn Oil PaintingThis is a one session oil painting

Oil Painting Materials Needed:

  1. A photo to reference for your painting.
  2. Canvas panel.
  3. Canvas mount or easel.
  4. Oil paints, using colors from your photo.
  5. Mineral spirits.
  6. Brushes

To start the process, lets work on a canvas panel mounted on a board. Then take your photo reference for the oil painting and have it next to your canvas.

First dip your brush into mineral spirits so you can start out with thin paint.  Mix your colors to start with your background. Start with a lighter color first.  As you paint your background use the thin light paint to also block out the shapes of your painting. You can squint at your photo reference to isolate the shapes in the photo. Keep the paint thin and light during this process. The goal of this first step is to create all the shapes of the painting.

As you continue use your dark colors but paint your canvas with a focus on contrast. Then carefully blend your shadows with your highlights. Make sure you are aware of how your paints blend on canvas. Continue to fill in your bigger shapes first. Do not focus on detail at this point.

Once you paint your big shapes and your contrast of shadows to highlights then start to bring out your color. First identify the colors in your photo reference and then mix your colors for the canvas. Use color tones to create space and define the separation of objects to background. Put more attention and time on the focal points of the art work.

To finish your painting it is best to take a break. I recommend that you get some food and take a walk. You need to come back with some more energy and fresh eyes. Remember contents is in a glimpse. Now take a finer brush and start to paint in the details like small objects that will bring the painting to life. Continue be aware of your light source and paint highlights on all objects to create a 3rd dimension.

That is it! You can now clean your brushes with the mineral spirits and hopefully you have a beautiful masterpiece to show your friends.

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