How to Oil Paint: Must-see Beginner Oil Painting Techniques

If you have been in search of free instructions on oil painting techniques, Artist Daily has you covered! These expert oil painting tips will help you enhance your oil painting art, giving you the tools to express your oil art with taste without limiting your artistic expression. In this free eBook, we share the concepts we believe are behind every beautiful fine-art oil painting and also has a special bonus chapter, Oil Painting Tips from David Leffel, in which the artist discusses the pitfalls of being overly concerned with detail and emotional content, how to hold a brush, the important of massing, and how to start an oil painting.

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Oil Painting Techniques from Artist Daily: Get Expert Oil Painting Tips to Enhance Your Oil Painting Art

Every oil painter should have this free guide to stretching, sizing, grounding and priming a canvas

What’s inside?

The best oil-painting instruction lies in responding to the abstract qualities of a fine-art oil-painting composition—light, shadow, values, edges, color, texture, and space. But it also involves simple nuts-and-bolts methods on how to start an oil painting, how to simplify forms, and how to create a strong composition. In this free guide, all these bases are covered.

Oil painting technique free eBook from Artist Daily

Beginner Oil Painting
How to Prepare a Canvas for an Oil Painting by Naomi Ekperigin

The method for preparing a canvas varies from artist to artist. This is primarily because there are several options to choose from in every phase of preparation. Here, we outline the choices available so that you can confidently begin to work in oil.

Get tips and tools required for stretching your own canvas, followed by sizing, ground, and priming.


Oil Painting for Beginners
Determining the Focal Point of a Painting by Naomi Ekperigin

Deciding where to place the elements in a painting can be difficult, but the decisions are crucial to creating a successful piece.

When a composition is done well, it may go unnoticed; however, a poorly composed piece instantly strikes the viewer’s eye as awkward. The goal of composition is to direct the viewer’s eye through a painting and lead them toward what the artist thinks is important.

Although there is no single right way to do this, there are specific devices one can employ to draw a viewer’s eye to a point of interest, as well as to create the illusion of objects, people, and places existing in tangible space. Here, we list some of the tools at an artist’s disposal that will aid in influencing and directing the viewer.


Oil Painting Techniques
Simplifying Relationships by Stephen Doherty

Richard Baumann relies on two complementary colors to develop his landscapes and interior scenes, applying mixtures of them around the canvas so he can orchestrate the relationship between shapes and values. As a result, subtle color accents stand out against the balanced composition.

By adding a complementary color, smoothing an edge, or reducing the difference between values, the competing shapes become less important and the center of interest becomes more obvious.

Learn how to call attention to your painting with color and apply the concept of a limited color palette to emphasize complementary relationships.

Oil painting artist David A. Leffel

PLUS: Oil Painting Tips on Light and Shadow
Behind a Beautiful Painting by David Leffel

David A. Leffel teaches artists to respond to light and shadow, values, edges, color, space, and texture—the abstract qualities of a picture, rather than the identity of the subject matter or the tedious formality of rendering.

This is Just the Beginning…

Learn how to oil paint