Oil Painting Instructions

The oil painting instructions that are on this page are my own steps that I take when I create a landscape painting. The steps are as follows:

1. Sketchbook drawings to decide where to place major subject at scene, and how large to make it. What is my center of interest? Is my composition ok?

2. Where is the "LIGHT" source direction? Establish my shadow first, squint to see these lights and darks more easily.

3. Transfer sketch to canvas and begin painting process. Usually I will 'paint' a brief drawing with my brush, not a lot of detail. (If you feel confident in doing this)

3. Lay in dark colors to establish a rolling pattern of darks that will lead the eye around the canvas.

5. Lay in my lightest light areas of paint - I will squint to see these color differences.

6. Medium value changes are painted next. Again, I will squint and compare my light areas and dark areas to establish these middle values.

Note: If painting on location, I will not use a sketchbook, but just draw directly with my brush on the canvas or panel as time is limited and I have to work rapidly.

7. Back in my studio I may add a few touch ups and sign my name, then wait one or two weeks for the painting to dry and spray a varnish protective coating on the finished painting. This will protect the painting and bring out the colors again and give the painting a shine.