Oil Painting CTS

Oil Course Topic Summary

Click on any link below to go directly to that topic. If you have not selected your paint, begin with Lesson 1. Otherwise, begin with Lesson 2.

Lesson 1: Choosing Your Paint

Making Your Decision

How We’ll Use The Decision Table

Decision Table Examples

Discussion Of The Seven Factors

Look Of Each Medium

Start Up Cost Of Paint And Supplies

Financial Support

Area To Paint In (“Studio”): Size And Serenity

Area To Store Paintings And Supplies

Set Up, Cleanup, And Painting Basics


Exercise 1: Importance of “Look”

Lesson 2: Safety In Oils






Lesson 3: Locating And Setting Up Your Work Space: Oils

Your Studio Work Space: Examples and Oil/WMO Paint Considerations


Internet Access


Exercise 1: Choose Your Oil Paint Type

Exercise 2: Choose Your Work Space

Exercise 3: Make This Space Yours


Lesson 4: Oil Supplies And What Do I Need?


Color To Buy; Student Versus Artist Grade Paint

Exercise 1: Scavenger Hunt

Exercise 2: Budget

Exercise 3: Our Recommendation List And Let’s Go Shopping


Lesson 5: Oil Palettes

What Is A Palette?

Different Types Of Palettes For Oil Painting

Palettes Of Famous Painters

Holding Your Palette

Color Palette

An Introduction To Laying Out Your Palette

Cleaning Your Palette And Keeping Paint

Exercise 1: Try Out Your Palette


Lesson 6: Oil Surfaces



Can I Reuse My Canvas?

Which Is Better: Canvas Or Panel?

Surface Size: Big Or Small?

Other Surfaces

Priming Your Surface

Exercise 1: Visit A Museum


Lesson 7: Oil Paintbrushes

Anatomy Of A Paintbrush

Brush Shapes

Brush Texture

Brush Size

How To Hold Your Paintbrush

Painting And Palette Knives

Brush Use, Care, And Storage

Exercise 1: Try Out Your Brushes

Bonus Exercise: Make Your Own Paintbrush Holder


Lesson 8: Oil Painting Methods And Techniques

Rule #1: Fat Over Lean

Rule #2: Thick Over Thin

Oil Painting Techniques

Alla Prima

Plein Air







How Do I Start?

Exercise: Experiment With Different Techniques


Lesson 9: Basic Color Theory

The Importance Of The Color Wheel

Mixing Paints To Create Colors

Further Definitions

The Temperature Of Colors

Utilizing Color Temperature In Painting

Hue And Saturation

Exercise 1: Make Secondary And Tertiary Colors

Exercise 2: Make Your Own Color Wheel

Exercise 3: Mixing Neutrals

Exercise 4: Mixing Values


Lesson 10: Color Illusions And Themes

Color Illusions

Color Schemes Based On The Color Wheel

Exercise 1: Paint A Simple Object Using Different Colors

Exercise 2: Feedback On Your Paintings


Lesson 11: Ready To Start Painting: Oils

Toning Your Canvas

Knowing When To Stop

Let’s Get Painting!


Lesson 12: Oil Painting Exercise One: Glass Heart

Part One: The Beginning Steps

Part Two: Shadows And Highlights

Part Three: Refining And Adding Background

Part Four: Finishing The Painting


Lesson 13: Oil Painting Exercise Two: Apple

Part One: Blocking In The Painting

Part Two: Paint And Refine

Part Three: Highlights And Finishing The Painting


Lesson 14: Oil Painting Exercise Three: Landscape

Part One: Basic Underpainting

Part Two: Pull Out Highlights And Finish Underpainting

Part Three: Paint The Tree

Part Four: Finish The Painting


Lesson 15: Painting En Plein Air With Oils

What “Plein Air” Means


Supplies For Painting En Plein Air

Where To Paint En Plein Air

How To Paint En Plein Air

Exercise 1: Gather Up Your Plein Air Pack

Exercise 2: Find A Group

Exercise 3: Paint En Plein Air

Bonus Exercise: Make Your Own Pochade Box

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