Oil Paint is the easiest to use of the paint family. Its’ lustrous nature takes longer to dry, allowing the artist to manipulate and change almost at will. The biggest hurdle to overcome in oil paint (all paints) are overworking and over blending. There are many techniques: underpainting (planning), alla-prima (direct), impasto (thick), glazing (layering), wet-on-wet, washing, palette knife and mixed media practices making oils extremely versatile. I believe it is best to sample all the techniques, so I have created short easy projects for each that is also small in size. At the same time, you will explore subject matter like landscape, object painting and still life, figurative and portrait elementals, but you will also have options for each technique. Thereafter you can start your own art work with your choice of medium and subject.

·        You need to complete the How to Use Colour Lessons first (in Oils).

·        You also need to be able to draw competently.

You need access to a freezer for storing mixed paints.  All imagery passed on to you are original from me, you can use them and even sell your paintings.  These lessons can also be completed using water based oils.

Basic Oil Paints Course 

Lesson 1

Purpose: To teach you the importance of preparation for an art work.

Materials: A complete run-down, explanation and check list of everything you need including paint colours, palette, diluents, brushes, supports (canvas or canvas panel) and so one. A complete list will be sent to you beforehand. This lesson will follow Colour Lessons, so you would have a good idea about your materials and some basic workings.

Basic Techniques explained and demonstrated (Live)

Discussion of projects and forwarding of photographs and images. These you will need to

draw onto your canvas for your next session.

 Lesson 2

Purpose: Learning to underpaint your canvas

Colour Mixing (Live): Mixing your colours needs to be precise. It can take up to an hour just to get all the correct tones and hues onto your palette. I regard the palette as a learning platform, and it is a brilliant accessory for proper planning.

You will receive a file displaying all the correct colours. Underpainting (Live): Learn to underpaint.

Applying colours (Live): Learn HOW to apply paint, what thickness and direction to use.

Blending (Live): The Nemesis of many will be dealt with.

Finishing Touches (Live) 

Lesson 3

Purpose: Learn to paint and add values through underpainting. Drawing

Preparation and underpainting values of the image. Colour Mixing (Live)

Painting (Live): You need to learn to top coat the whole painting as to leave some important underpainting exposed for an optimal effect. This will involve some practice and different brush holding techniques.

Blending (Live): Only where necessary.

Finishing Touches (Live) 

Lesson 4

Purpose: Painting directly onto canvas without an undercoat. More advanced but very enjoyable to simply lay colour onto your canvas.


Colour Mixing (Live): Of course, you need much more experience to mix paints on your canvas, and even then, it usually isn’t the best choice, so colour planning is essential.

Painting (Live)

Blending and finishing touches. 

Lesson 5

Purpose: Learn to work with texture an Impasto (thick paint)

Materials: Added Materials like gesso, papers and ingredients can be added to create a lively and interesting surface quality for an art work.

Canvas Preparation (Live): Oil needs to be applied in certain ways with other mediums, that you can learn from me.

Colour Mixing: (Live) Painting (Live)

Finishing Touches (Live) 

Lesson 6

Purpose: Oil can be placed onto an oil based wet surface for quick effective results. Materials: Certain diluents will be added

Drawing (Live) Colour Mixing (Live):

Preparation of canvas (Live): The support is wetted with an oil mix, that allows oils to be

‘smeared’ onto the canvas. Painting and blending(Live)

Finishing Touches (Live) 

Lesson 7

Purpose: Learn to use a layered effect of thinned-out paint to create an artwork that reveals the layers underneath.

Drawing (Live) Preparation of support Paint in stages (Live)

Finishing (Live) 

Lesson 8

Purpose: To paint with a palette knife. Drawing and Colour Mixing (Live)

Painting (Live): Palette knife allows for almost no mistakes, and besides its’ chocolate box reputation it can actually deliver some spectacular effects. But you need to learn not to overwork it. A base layer is sometimes required for easier application.

Corrections and Finishing Touches 

Lesson 9

Purpose: Teaching you to play with oils. Different wet on wet and wet on dry methods are used in this lesson.

Colour mixing (Live):

Materials: Additional materials are required like charcoal or soft pastels. Drawing (Live): A different looser and intuitive drawing style is required. Painting (Live)

Corrections and finishing touches.

that concludes most oil paint techniques. By now you will have a grand understanding of methodology, process, technique and knowledge of colour, colour combinations and general construction of oil paints. Out of these lessons you will also have a good idea of what you like most and then we can follow your preferred techniques with our own source materials.