oil painting tutorials

11 Best Oil Painting Tutorials

Compiled from our favourite oil painting tutorials, pick and choose a guide to learn more. Alternatively, work your way through each article, to get an in-depth understanding of the medium and a thorough introduction to the world of oil painting.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate painter or you just want to relearn some of the basics, there will be a tutorial to help you improve your skills.

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Oil Painting Supplies

oil painting tutorials: supplies

Read the oil painting supplies tutorial

Before embarking on your oil painting journey, you’ll want to make sure you have all the essential supplies. This tutorial covers choosing the best paint, canvas, brushes, easels and other tools you’ll need to get started.

Oil painting techniques tutorial

Oil painting techniques

Read the techniques tutorial

In this oil painting tutorial, learn twelve oil painting techniques. From the more common, like blending and blocking-in, to the more obscure, like sgraffito. Some techniques are easy to master, but others require skill and practice. If you’ve ever wondered how to create an oil glaze, or how to paint ‘alla-prima’, then this is the tutorial for you.

Clean up after oil painting

How to Clean Up After Oil Painting tutorial

Read about how to clean your materials

The cleaning up process in oil painting is often something that puzzles and sometimes even puts beginners off learning the medium. 

Oil cannot be cleaned from materials with water alone. Luckily, you don’t need to get harsh solvents to wash oil paint from your brushes and other materials. Read our tutorial for an easy to follow, solvent-free cleaning method to keep your brushes in perfect condition and your space free from heady solvent fumes.

How to choose a colour palette

choose a colour palette oil painting tutorials

Read the colour palette tutorial

You may already know which brands of oil paint you like, but have you thought about which colours to add to your palette? If you’re on a budget, it’s possible to choose fewer colours that give a large chromatic range, as long as you know which tubes to look for. Read our guide to discover the essential colours for oil painting. 

How to mix colours

How to mix colour

Read the colour mixing tutorial

Mixing colour is arguably the most important skill in oil painting. In this tutorial, learn how different colours can be combined to make a range of hues and tones. It gives an outline of the fundamentals of colour theory and gives insight into a process you can use to accurately mix and match a colour from a reference.

Varnish an oil painting tutorial

varnishing an oil painting

Read the varnishing tutorial

Varnishing is the final step in the oil painting process. It’s beneficial to varnish a painting, as it not only protects the artwork, but also improves its appearance. Use this easy to follow tutorial to find the right kind of varnish and apply it correctly.

Learn two different approaches to painting

direct and indirect painting techniques

Read the painting methods tutorial

This tutorial is for more intermediate oil painters who want to put their knowledge of oil painting techniques to practice. Learn two different approaches to painting that can yield different styles and effects.

Create an underpainting

how to create an underpainting technique oil painting tutorial

Read the underpainting tutorial

An underpainting is an optional step that can bring benefits to your painting practice. Use an underpainting to establish your composition before you lay down colour.

Realism painting tutorial

realism oil painting tutorials

Read our realism painting tutorial

Many artists are attracted to the idea of realism painting. This tutorial will help even if you want your artworks to have an essence of realism, as opposed to looking exactly like a photograph. Learn about creating an accurate drawing, mixing realistic colour and the techniques that will help you paint realistically. 

Painting in a realistic style doesn’t have to be hard, if you break the process down into steps. However it does take time and often multiple layers of paint to achieve a realistic look.

Learn the ‘painterly’ style

painterly oil painting tutorials

Painterly style tutorial 

What do Monet, Van Gogh, Cézanne and Francis Bacon have in common? They all had a ‘painterly’ style. Think of loose, expressionist brush strokes, thick textural paint and often, surreal looking colours. If you like the idea of painting in this style, learn how to master the painterly approach in this tutorial.

Fat over lean tutorial

the fat over lean rule oil painting tutorials

Fat over lean rule tutorial

The most essential principle in oil painting. Artists follow this rule to create archival quality work that will stand the test of time. Learn what the rule is and why it’s important in this tutorial.

Oil painting tutorials: Pin it!

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