Sep 03

Learn How To Paint

How To Oil Paint Part I (courtesy of

Hi, I’m Michael Thompson, and it’s a great day to paint, and I’m glad that you’re with me! We’ll go up to the canvas here, and let me explain something. This is a 16 x 20 primed canvas, and we have a thin, white oil medium on this. And the colors I use – we’ll put them on the screen for you as we go.

Alright, I’ve got my 2-inch brush. Let’s go up to the canvas, and remember, paint can make it happen!

Cadmium Yellow
Yellow Ochre
Indian Yellow
Cobalt Blue
Vandyke Brown
Alizarin Crimson
Ivory White
Titanium White

Let’s go on to the cobalt blue…I’m using my 2-inch brush and just loading it up. I’m tapping, because it loads it evenly, OK? Just like this. Now, we go up to the top of the canvas, and, if you’ll look, I’m doing “X” strokes, just like this, right across through there, see that? Work my way down…work my way down. Let me re-load right quick…I don’t have quite enough. There we go – it’s doing good, now! Let’s get this sky really blended good. This’ll kinda give you a good work out…that’s good for you! If you get some dark spots, just simply stay in that spot and work them out.

Let’s bring this on down…just like that. See, I’m going back and forth to remove my brush strokes so it will be nice and smooth…nice and smooth. But, you can already see how the sky has got dimension. Let’s take care of this little spot right here before we stop…ok!

Alright, I’m gonna reach down here and get a fan brush – let’s go put some clouds in the sky! Using the titanium white, I’m gonna load this brush up really good. I don’t wanna…I don’t want the paint…let me say this. I don’t want the paint to come up into the ferrules, back up here in the back part. As you can see, I have a lot of paint in there, but, if it cakes up in the back, then that will cause your brush not to perform correctly and your brush won’t last as long.

Let’s go up here to the top. Let’s make one, big cloud today…right up in here. I’m doing circles, using the corner of that brush, flip it over. If you run out of paint, you’ve got a whole other side, there. Let me reload right quick. Let’s go right up here…see there? Free sample! Let’s just do some of this…see there? That will make that cloud look like it’s coming rushing up to you to meet you! Good things happen…it’s always good. Alright, we’ll stop right there – I believe that’s enough. Let me get a uh…I’m using a 1-inch brush, here – a clean one. And I’m gonna use just the top corner to blend this, so, I just gently blend, like this. See there? And remember that the paint we’re using…we use oil paints. Not acrylics or not water-based…they’re oil paints.

Alright, let’s fan some of this out, here. And you gently hold the brush down, like this, I’m gonna pull up, but I’m gonna pull up at an angle, either that way or this way. So, let’s go this way…seems like you can see that a little better. Very gentle – I mean, no pressure. No pressure at all, see that? Then, gently go back and forth…you gotta talk quiet – it helps! I need everything to help, sometimes! But, it makes it nice…nice little effect. See there? I’ll bet you can do that pretty easy. You’re probably sitting back waiting on me! That’s ok…alright, I think we’ve got our cloud done…

OK, I’m gonna use a 2-inch brush, and let’s put in some background trees right here. We can do that by simply tapping. Let’s go into the van dyke brown, and tap straight down, like this, and let’s add just a little bit of the ivory black – just a little. Adding a little bit of the titanium white kind of lightens up the mixture. Gotta get that tonal value right, ’cause things in the distance are lighter, and they gradually get dark as they come to you.

OK, tapping just like that…let’s start right here. Just tap in some shapes and designs out of our little cloud back there. OK…just like this. Reload a few colors, there. Let’s go right over here. Alright, just a few little trees of all different sorts. You want them to be kind of dark – you don’t want them to have a lot of these open spots in here, so let’s take care of that right quick. See all that? Looky there – it happens automatically! OK, we’re finished with that…let’s go ahead and put some tree trunks in.

I’m using my liner brush, and some linseed oil that I dipped in to, and a little bit of this ivory black…mix a little bit more of that black in here and get it real thin. If you’ll twist through the brush like this right here – twist the paint. K, go right here. I’m gonna stick right here in the center. Look how good that paint flow, see that? It’s really nice…really, really nice. Reload. A lot of these will disappear when we put our highlights on, but it’s fun to practice a little when you put them in. It’s always fun! Give it a little twist, bring them down just a little bit, make it closer. A little up in here – just everywhere! Just everywhere – a few here and there. That’s always nice. Alright – I think that will work!

OK, then! We’re going to some highlights. I’m gonna get a 1-inch brush. I’m gonna use just a little bit of the linseed oil to tap in to on my 1-inch brush. Let’s go into some of the white…maybe some of that indian yellow. Some of that yellow and just a little bit of the cobalt. Let’s make our own green. Remember, yellow and blue make what? They make green! I like to make my own green. Tap down.

Let’s go to this tree right over here. Go slightly above and just tap. See that? It’s already got some dark behind it to make some shadow. It makes a nice shadow. These colors work really well together. Skip around – you notice I didn’t just keep going in order. Let’s skip around with these colors…