Learn how to use oil paints while painting a brilliant Baltimore Oriole with Dogwood flowers.
Oil paintings have been a preferred painting medium for centuries. They last for years. Your grandchildren will enjoy your paintings years later.
Oils display an unsurpassed richness. They can be painted with a variety of techniques, from smooth portraits to highly textured landscapes.
The paints will be laid out on a palette for painting. A paper palette works well. In a pinch you can use a glass or styrofoam plate.
In this painting I used Winsor & Newton synthetic Galeria brushes, #4, #8 and #12 flats. Any bristle brushes of comparable sizes would be just fine.
Gamsol, odorless mineral spirits is recommended for studio use. Store the solvent in a container with a lid.
Oil painting for beginners includes cleaning your brushes.
Wipe the excess paint off with a paper towel. Then swish the brush in the solvent and wipe it on a paper towel. If you see color on the towel, repeat.
The next best option is using daylight light bulbs to light your painting area. Florescent bulbs will skew your painting colors so they don't look good in natural daylight.
Artists may paint out of their memory, imagination, life or photos.
This painting used two photographs, Dogwood flowers and an Oriole hanging on the bird feeder.
You may do the drawing on paper first and transfer it to the canvas with graphite paper.
Lay out your colors on a palette. Disposable paper palettes are very handy for oil painting for beginners.
This painting uses an analogous discord color scheme.
Use a #12 flat brush to paint the background.
Mix your colors lightly on the palette. More mixing occurs on the canvas while you are painting.
Gallery-wrap canvas is stapled onto the back, so the sides of the canvas can be painted. Carry the colors from the face of the canvas over the sides of the canvas.
The finished painting may then be displayed without a frame.
Use a variation of greens and blues throughout the background.
The orange and yellow help warm up the cool background. That ties it together with the warm colored bird.
The various background colors suggest things in the distance without having to paint any details. This makes oil painting for beginners easier.
Use a #8 flat brush to paint the bird's body. Make the colors brighter and warmer on the sunlight side.
We will let the paint set a bit before doing the left leg and eye.
Use the #4 brush to paint the beak and toenails black.
Always mix your dark colors with the colors used in the rest of your painting. When you mix your own black, it will harmonize with the rest of the painting. Learn more about mixing paint colors
Oil painting for beginners is fun when we don't stress out by trying to be perfect.
Use the #8 brush for the flower centers.
Mix a brown from Ultramarine Blue and orange for the centers.
Casually dab on the flower centers. They are not round circles.
Then highlight the centers with yellow. (Next photo)
Vary the centers, some are more yellow, others are darker or a mixture of dark and light.
Mix the grey by adding white to the brown you used for the flower centers.
Add more blue if necessary to keep the grey on the cool side.
Mix yellow or orange with white to make a warm white.
Mix some green and paint a few leaves with light and dark areas.
Spot out where you will paint the branches and leaf stems.
Use the old trick of how to do oil painting for beginners, look at your painting upside down.
It will give you a fresh look to see any mistakes.
The background was a bit light, so I darkened it for more value contrast.
Mix light and dark greys with Ultramarine Blue and orange plus white.
Give the branches a light and a dark side to make them look rounded.
Have both cool and warm white on the flower petals.
This helps to help separate the petals and shows the direction of the sun.
The sun is coming from the top right.
Use a warm white mixed with a bit of yellow or orange for warm sunny side.
The shadow side of the petals will have a bit of blue or light grey mixed with white.
Get your oil painting supplies and start painting.
When you are learning how to paint, relax and enjoy yourself. You don't have to paint like a photograph. Paint from your heart and express yourself.
That is a lot more fun!