Learn Oil Painting

"Charley On Striped Cushions"

Oil painting

By Lois DeWitt

Beginning Oil Painting

If you have never painted before, learning to paint with oils will be a fun and rewarding experience! This series of six online art classes will introduce you to all the materials you will need and start you painting right away. Soon, you'll be on your way to creating beautiful paintings!

Lesson 1: Introduction to oil paint and the materials: Four skill exercises: mixing colors, blending colors, brushwork and washes.

Lesson 2: Painting simple shapes: Practice blending and shading colors to produce volume and contrast in simple geometric shapes.

Lesson 3: Still life: Compose two or three simple-shaped, common objects. My observation method will help you accurately paint colors, shapes and details.

Lesson 4: Landscape: Paint outside or from a photo. Here we will study composition, lighting effects, perspective and effective use of color and linear elements.

Lesson 5: Self-portrait: Using a mirror, paint your likeness. How you depict yourself (sad, happy, pensive, dreamy, etc.) may lead you to your personal style

Lesson 6: You've had a great learning journey! Now you know how to paint with oils! You're last project will be a painting a subject of your choice and expressing the techniques and skills you've learned apart from content. Have fun!

Click here to read my Ezine article, "Painting Light."

Click here to start the free Beginning Painting With Oils lessons.

oil painting,painting with oils "My Two Poodles"

Oil painting

By Lois DeWitt

Intermediate Oil Painting

You've had some experience oil painting with oils, but want to know more about techniques and effects. Here, through six online art classes, you will hone your skills and examine your direction towards developing a personal style.

Lesson 1: So we are on the same page, the first class is a "refresher" on oil painting techniques of mixing colors, blending, shading, and brushwork.

Lesson 2: Still life: Arrange simple, common objects, including drapery and set up specific lighting. Work towards a realistic approach, looking closely at the objects, their local color, lighting and shading. Start considering a personal style--you ARE the artist!

Lesson 3: Black and white: Work from a photo of a landscape outside. This exercise is all about contrasts and composition, to help you see figure/ground relationships and establish a focal point and movement.

Lesson 4: Vibrant color: How to keep the colors fresh! This is important in oil painting! Your subject here is a room, an interior that you will fill with fresh color! Simplify the composition and stylize it towards the use of bright, contrasting colors.

Lesson 5: Muted color: Create a simple still life for your subject. The objects in the still life must be lit from one source, so that all the shadows are at one side. Work towards volume, light and shadow and soft passages of muted hues.

Lesson 6: By now you should have a sense of personal style. Through this online art class you are able to choose a personal way of working. To take you into advanced studies, choose a subject and paint the way you have the most fun! This will become your style.

Click here to start the free Intermediate Painting With Oils lessons.

oil painting, painting with oils, "Charley At Sunset"

Oil painting

By Lois DeWitt

Advanced Oil Painting

You have completed several paintings in oils and want to strengthen your personal skills and style. These six online art classes are focused on your development of a personal direction and I will guide you towards that goal!

Lesson 1: Self-examination in the painting process is key to strengthening your own personal style and way of painting. Choose your own preferred subject matter (or abstraction, if that is your style) and create a painting using a technique you are most comfortable with.

Lesson 2: At this point in your development, I will suggest certain historical artwork examples that relate to your work. By looking at these, you will begin to see your work in the broader context of the art world. This is a chance to study the area of your style of working and learn from artists who share a similar technique or vision.

Lesson 3: Are you thinking of showing your work in a gallery? Do you have a gallery already? Visit galleries in your area and online to see what is on the market. If you are not interested in showing your work, this is a good time to learn from other artists.

Lesson 4: By now you have a body of work -- six to ten paintings that you think are going in the direction you would like. What influences you and encourages you to work? What is your dialog with yourself when you are oil painting? Your project here will be to take one prime element of an inspirational resource and expand it towards your development (I will show you how!)

Lesson 5: Looking closely at your progress here is important. We will scan everything from your materials, use of color, composition, design elements, strength of image and technique. In other words, is everything aligned towards one direction in your work? I will help you answer that question.

Lesson 6: From the body of your work you will choose one that you think is especially good-- in that it embodies closely your own personal style and direction. We will examine why you have chosen this particular piece and will have a dialog about your direction. Through these six online art classes, you will be ready to launch your work into the art world, continue developing your body of work, and strengthen your creative abilities!

Click here to start the free Advanced Oil Painting lessons.

Check out Easy Oil Painting Techniques website. Lots of good ideas to help you get going in oil painting.

Oil Painting Techniques | Learn How to Oil Paint - OilPaintingTechniquesLessons.com

Real Feedback

I'm 50 and going to retire soon. I always wanted to be able to draw so now is the time. I saw your website and you sent me the classes link.What you said about my work I sent you was right on!

Much improved, I'm hummin'!

Mac B, Toledo, Ohio


Our Girl Scout Troop did the landscape drawing lesson at Camp, then we had a show of their work. Even the counselors were impressed!

Thanks, Lois!

Mrs. Ritter and daughter Jennifer


I never thought I enjoy so much abstract painting! The color, brushes, I love! Thanks!



So far the online lessons I have made it through have been extremely informative and helpful, not just the techniques, but general information on how to not ruin your brushes, waste paint, etc. I thank you soooo much for making this available for people like me who can't get out and go to art lessons often enough to count, :p I do these when I get off work and have time and it's not stressful trying to work around my already hectic schedule, so thank you again. Kayla M. Gray

----- Good Day Lois, I want to thank you for the clear instructions in your online oil painting classes. I have not yet had a chance to do all the exercises, but I have read (at work) them carefully and I think you are a wonderful teacher. Your havemade the instructions simple and yet comprehensive. I have recommended your site to another beginning artist to complement our class work. I am particularly interested in the intermediate class and I hope to incorporate your teaching into my next painting.

Thank you for your generosity of spirit in sharing your knowledge.


I am truly amazed by 1.- your response and 2.- your prompt response. There is so much BS on the net today that I wasn’t sure if you we’re legit or not. Now your comments on my work gave me a super-boost. Thanks a lot, merci beaucoup! As for the unfinished portion of the canvas, I took this as an exercise and didn’t see the point in “wasting” more paint.

This is my first try and don’t really think it will ever reach the Louvre. Again thank you very much, I really do appreciate, my donation is on it’s way. Oh and a little question: I skimmed over all your lessons and did not find any info on mediums (linseed oil etc.). I am truly in a fog as to the use of those different products. Do you know any place I can find info on these like what they do, when to use them etc. Thanks again.

Claude Thibault

Quotes from famous artists from Artquotes.net:

"It took me 40 years to find out that painting is not sculpture."Paul Cezanne

"I am out to introduce a psychic shock into my painting, one that is always motivated by pictorial reasoning: that is to say, a fourth dimension." Marc Chagall

"At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since." Salvador Dali

"One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.""Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master." Leonardo da Vinci

"Cezanne, you see, is a sort of God of painting." Henri Matisse

"Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment." Claude Monet

"Every good painter paints what he is." Jackson Pollock

"Practise what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know." Rembrandt van Rijn

"The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting." Vincent Van Gogh

"Why do people think artists are special? It's just another job."

"Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches." Andy Warhol

"I had reservations about making art a business, but I got over it."

"There are not only more people collecting, there are more people collecting for the wrong reasons, basically as the latest get rich quick scheme. They buy art like lottery tickets." Mary Boone (art collector and gallery owner)

"Warhol turned to photographs of stars, as the Renaissance turned to antiquities, to find images of gods." David Sylvester (art critic)