Intro to Impressionist Oil Painting - Part 1 - Still Life | Rachael Broadwell | Skillshare

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Intro to Impressionist Oil Painting - Part 1 - Still Life

teacher avatar Rachael Broadwell, Fine Arts Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (1h 39m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Still Life Objects

    • 4. Setting Up a Still Life

    • 5. Notes About My Setup

    • 6. Notes About Choosing Colors

    • 7. Sketching - Form & Value

    • 8. Part 1

    • 9. Part 2

    • 10. Part 3

    • 11. Part 4

    • 12. Part 5

    • 13. Part 6

    • 14. Part 7

    • 15. Part 8

    • 16. Conclusion

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About This Class

Welcome to this introductory course on oil painting in the Impressionist style!

In this first course, we will tackle still life painting. This course is meant to show my process for addressing still life painting in a style that is loose and painterly. For your project, you can apply this project to any still life subject you'd like to paint! The great thing about still life is that you can literally use anything around you as a subject. 

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Rachael Broadwell

Fine Arts Teacher


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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome. Teoh Impressionist Oil Pacing Part one. My name is Rachel. Do you admire paintings that once look realistic but also lose many armed struggle with realism, thinking that to achieve it one has to be a slave to details. However, I'm going to show you a process that simplifies painting any subjects and in this first course will do that by looking at Still life painting. Impressionism is appealing to a lot of people because it is at once realistic, while also leaving much to the imagination of the world. By simplifying the process of painting and looking at subjects in a different way, I hope to show you a process that will make painting not only easier but also much more enjoyable. I hope that you'll join this class, and I look forward to answering any questions that you have getting feedback and, of course, seeing your projects in the end 2. Supplies: Let's first talk a little bit about some of the supplies that you'll need to get started now. I'm a big advocate for starting in a way that's very economic so that you don't have any added pressure feeling like you need to come out with something perfect because you spent a lot of money. So the supplies that I'm going to show you today are going to be very inexpensive and easy to acquire. Of course, I'll also show you a few optional things that I work amend. But let's just get started with the basics for now. As you can see, I have a diesel set up, and this easel was really nice to get because I got it just had a local craft store. The original price was about $20 but as many crops stores dio have sales very often. This one was on sale for 50% off, so it was actually only $10 and it's really nice because it's very adjustable. You can adjust it to any house you want so that it's either sitting on a table like I haven't now or you could even extend it so that it could be on the floor, and you can even make it smaller than it is right now. It also folds up very nicely to fit into this bath that came with it. It's so if you need Teoh, take your easel on the go. That's very easy to do. And then I also have this box that I found just at a thrift store. And when you go to the craft store, you'll see that there's lots of months of art boxes that you can buy very expensive. But I recommend just any tool box or anything that you might have laying around just to easily transport your supplies. And then, instead of painting on a stretched canvas, you might want to consider starting how hazing on oil paper. I'll show you the brand, but I'm using right now, but basically you could cut it down to any size that you want and just tape it onto a rigid service. What I'm using this hardboard otherwise notice Masonite, and then this is a tablet of the oil paper. This is very inexpensive, and you can see that you can paint on it with, you know, oils or acrylics. There are some papers that are specifically primed for oil paints. But this one you can using our oil or acrylic paints. And as I said, this is 11 by 14 inch tablet, but they come in a variety of sizes, and the nice thing is that you can actually cut these down and that you could get a lot of value out of one of these tablets you can see here. I've actually cut in half one sheet. Now let's get into some of the other supplies that you'll need. Of course, you're going to want some brushes, and I found this inexpensive brush roll up. I think it was on Amazon. It was very inexpensive, and it holds tons and tons of brushes you actually do not need. Toe have this many brushes, and when I'm doing my demonstration, I'm actually going to stake with some of the larger brushes. So I'll use this brush here, and you can see the size approximate to my hands. Sometimes I use larger brushes than this if I'm doing a fairly large painting, but this is a good size to start out with, I believe let's see if this has ah OK, so this is a size 12 flat brush, and I do mostly use flat brushes. Then the next one that you'll see me using a lot is a six size six, and this is called a bright. It's like a flat, except the bristles are a little bit shorter, and that makes them just a little bit more stiff. And then any other brush smaller than that really is optional. To be quite honest, when you're doing Impressionist painting, you really don't want to use tiny brushes at any point. And I'll even show you that for a lot of the details. I'm not going to use anything very, very small. The other thing that you're going to need, of course, is a palette knife, and you can use the palette knife. Not only Teoh mixes great paint on your palate, but you can actually use palette knife's to apply paint to your surface, and we'll talk a little bit more about that as well. So I'll set this aside and then let's look and see what is in this box. This a little bit closer, all right, so of course you're going to need paints. You don't need to buy the most expensive paint that you confined. I do like to use Windsor and new and brand. This is their Winton line, which is not as expensive as their artists in line. And I want to show you to that rather than using a palette of, you know, up to 12 colors and sometimes even that's called a limited palate. I really encourage you to use an even more limited palette, So I'm gonna go through the colors that I have here. All right. 1st 2 pillars that I want to talk about raw umber and French Ultra Marine. You can use any other number. I usually just get raw number because I feel like I get the most rich value and tone out of it and French Ultra Marine. And you'll see I almost always start out with a mixture of these two, and this is the darkest value that I will use. I don't use any black paint. I know some people dio some people never dio. I tend to be one who doesn't use it very often. In fact, I have lots of tubes of black paint that came with sets that I've never even opened. But these are going to be very important, especially in the beginning, because we're going toe lay in our dark values. First, the red that I'll be using is cadmium red deep, and this is cadmium red deep hue. And what that means is it's not a true cadmium pigment. It's actually a mixture of two or more other pigments. Teoh replicate the cadmium red pigments, and when you see a hue on a paint tube that usually means that it's going to be a little bit less expensive. It's not going to be as true of a color Eso, if that's important to you, than you can look for paint tubes when they say cadmium red deep and exclude the word Hugh . That means that they're actually using cadmium pigments in there. Just for your information, the next color that I will be using is yellow Oakar. I may not end up using this one very, very much, but this is going to be more of a warm, earthy yellow in comparison to my other yellow, which I'll probably use more off. And this is cadmium yellow pale Hugh again, it says Hugh. So that means that there's not actually any cadmium pigments in this two, and one thing to know, too, about cadmium is toxic. And so, if you are using true cadmium pigments than you might consider wearing gloves to protect your skin because it is known as a toxic pigment. And last but definitely not least, I'll be using titanium white. And what you'll see is that I will actually do most of the painting without using any white in my mixes. But we'll talk a little bit more about that in the course. All right, the next thing that I haven't hear actually have another palette knife. I have a box cutter, and that's just because sometimes you might want to cut your paper down on the spot. And so I usually just have this with me because I need it for any reason. I use masking tape. Teoh, fix my paper on to a board. As you see, this is actually a little condiment dish. It's plastic. I got this on Amazon. Ah, whole set of I'm very inexpensive, and I really, really like these little condiment containers because they come with lids that fit really well. They're disposable, so you don't have to worry about you know if you need to end up throwing one away because it got ruined or whatever. But this is what I keep medium in, and right now all I have in here is just some linseed oil. This is actually just something to grip onto the lid scoops of my tubes because sometimes if the paint dries underneath, they can be a little bit difficult to open, so that might be handy to have. This is optional. This is mostly for painting. Outside is an insect repellent, and then I have this brush. It's you see that it doesn't have a handle any more, and I actually use this always to tone my canvas. And so I always have it handy, and that's most of the supplies. There's just a few things underneath, so I have this palette and it's very small. You can see how large it is compared to my hand. I'm very inexpensive, and I really like wooden pallets because it gives you a kind of a nice, neutral toned backgrounds. You can more accurately judge your colors in your mixes, so I really recommend that I believe that this probably costs three or $4 so the very inexpensive. And if you were, when it I'm gonna show you ways to avoid ruining Europe. Alex. I know that's been a struggle for me, but if you do ruin it, it's very inexpensive to replace. And it's also nice if you're standing painting or you're outside. Um, it very easily, uh, fits just right here in your hand and kind of rests on your wrist. Last but not least, is paint thinner, and I actually in this container. I have odorless mineral spirits. However, I do have a recommendation for a better way. Teoh use solvent that isn't toxic, even though it says that it's odorless, odorless mineral spirits is still toxic, and the fumes can really irritate you. I know that I will get a headache from this, and so if you are going to use odorless mineral spirits, What I recommend, of course, is to put it in an airtight container and to only open it while you're using it. So for the most part, while you're painting, you should have it closed. And, of course, I have just a few paper towels in here instead of the odorless mineral spirits. What I really recommend is this? This is a Citrus brush cleanser, and there's no carcinogenic fumes, no petroleum, no turpentine in this. It actually smells great. It smells like orange, and it's just lovely. So I actually have that in a container, and this is what I try to use most of the time. This way, your house doesn't end up smelling like paint thinner. You don't get headaches, actually, makes your house smell really nice. Another thing that I recommend is getting a special brush cleaner in addition to just your solvents. I only use this probably once a week just to give. My brushes are really good, deep, clean. It doesn't always get all the stains out of your brushes, but it will get some of the paint left behind, even when you thought that you did a really good job washing it out with your solvents. One medium that I really like to use is liquid. Impossible, because I like to apply my paint in a very thick, textured way, and that method is called impossible, and this is a medium that you can add to your paint. It doesn't necessarily make your paint thicker. It actually just helps maintain the consistency of your paint. It doesn't thing you're pains. It also helps your paint to dry a little bit quicker. Another thing that I recommend is this nifty little gadget. This is called a two bringer. And you can get these on Amazon there only about $10 it will save you a fortune of pain. And I'm gonna show you this is actually a tube of paint that I've used the to bring her on . What, you dio you, of course you would take the lid off if you were actually using it. But you put the tube of paint into the ringer, you clamp down, and then you roll it through and actually squeezes all of your pain up to the top so you don't have any pain at all. So it's really great. And I highly recommend that another thing that I work a man is a viewfinder, especially when you're just getting started. And you're having trouble fitting everything onto your canvas or your paper the way that you want these air. Nice. Because you can actually adjust it to any proportion that you want from square, you know, all the way. Teoh, you know a landscape like that so you can actually view your seen through that and kind of figure out how the composition is going to fit on your paper. And then the very last thing that I recommend, especially if you're out in the field. Working is just a sketchbook, so that you can kind of figure out your composition before you start painting. I always recommend kind of just giving some contemplation. Teoh your composition, figuring out some of the challenges, figuring out the value pattern and forms. And the best way to do that is just to do a quick little scribble in a sketchbook. In all you need is a pen. 3. Still Life Objects: All right, let's talk just a little bit about still life and setting up your composition. There is a reason why I chose still life as the subject for this introductory course on Impressionist painting. And that's because still lifes allow you to explore a variety of surfaces, textures, reflections, transparency and all from the comfort of your own home. And, of course, being a still life, it remains still, so you don't need to feel rushed. Teoh, get your composition painted. You can actually take your time, and you can be a little bit more contemplated with it. So you see here that I have a variety of objects and really any household object will dio. And if you look around you, you will see things that maybe have never really struck us particularly beautiful. But I promise that once you paint a still life, that object will become a little bit more special to you. So when you're thinking about your composition, especially if you're just beginning with painting and particularly with this style, I really encourage you to keep your composition very simple. You might limit yourself Teoh two, or maybe even just one object at first when I'm thinking about composing a still life. One thing that I think is really important and makes your painting just a little bit more interesting is to choose objects that kind of juxtapose one another. I thought a little bit about my composition, and I've decided that the most important feature of my painting, my focal point, is going to be light and specifically candlelight. So I have this candle, you see that it's a little bit more than halfway burned down. There's wax kind of stuck to the side of the glass. And what I really like is how the candlelight actually reflects against this glass kind of lights up some of this relief in wax so that it actually becomes a really vivid color. And what I think that I want to do is have that candlelight reflecting off of another object as well. And so that's going to be what I explore as I'm trying to put together my composition. And so even though I do not plan to include all of these things by any means, I do want to just keep an open mind as I kind of work with my composition to see what really strikes me. So I have son reflective objects such as this old kettle that I found at a thrift store. I have this bronze unicorn and I really like painting this bronze unicorn. Don't know if I'm gonna put it into this composition necessarily. But we'll see they have some organic material. Some lemons. I think throwing something organic like fruit or vegetable into your composition really can bring a lot of interest, especially if it's juxtaposed with things that are in organic, you know, like metal or a candle. So then over here, I have just the simple ceramic white tea pots, and I'm just interested to see how that might look with my candles. So we'll look at that. I have this plant over here. I I don't think that the plant is going to make it into my composition, But again, I want to be open minded, and so I'm just going to see how that looks. All right. And then I have my matches here just to light my candle. And I have some masking tape here. Not because I'm going to put it in my composition, but because I'm I might use it to set up a backdrop. And what I have here are just two black T shirts. You don't need anything fancy. You don't need any fancy drapes, but you do. We might want to consider keeping your background very dark and simple, and so I might use the masking tape. Teoh, prop up a T shirt and create a backdrop against my still life. And then back here I have a small box. And the reason for this is because I might explore elevating some items so that they are not all just on the same surface, and that can create some nice dimension and you're painting. And what I would do is I would cover this with one of my T shirts so that everything kind of comes together, and I can kind of keep those forms very simple. So we'll see about that. The other consideration that you want to think about in planning your still life painting is your overall lighting a situation now. Since I am going to be focusing on candlelight, I actually might turn off every other light in the room other than the light that's illuminating my surface that I'm painting on and my palate because I really want the light from the candle to be the only source of light and to just really illuminate the still life seen. And if you're not using any kind of lit object in your composition, then you want to think about the lighting around your room in my room. I have multiple lights, and I also have windows, and if I was utilizing all those sources of light, I may not get a very interesting lighting effect on my still life. So what I usually end up doing is turning off all of the artificial lights in the room because they tend to just not be as attractive. And I might open up just one window where some light is coming in. So I have just one single source of light. And, of course, you want to consider the fact that the sun is going to change throughout the day, and so you might want to limit yourself to painting for just a hour. But otherwise, as long as you just explore some different ideas, look through your viewfinder at your composition and just find something that really strikes you visually, and that's really the best way to get started in the next video. I'm actually going to have my lights turned off. I'm going to light my candle and then I'm just going to be exploring different ways to compose my still life and we'll find a composition that I like. 4. Setting Up a Still Life: Now I have the light in my room turned off, although there is still a light in the room behind me. I tried to turn it off to see how that would go, and it actually made the scene just a little bit too stark. And I thought that that actually might be difficult on my eyes. So I chose to keep that light behind me on the scene is still mostly dark, and the light from the candle is the primary source of light, hitting all of the other objects. The candle is going to be a constant in this composition, because I had already decided that I wanted that candlelight to be the feature where the focal point of my painting. So I'm just grabbing each other objects one by one, placing it in the composition with the candle and stepping back and looking at it through my viewfinder. I'm going Teoh have this composition be a vertical composition, otherwise known as a portrait composition rather than a horizontal or landscape composition . And so I'm keeping that in mind as I moved my objects around, and I don't necessarily plan Teoh paint the entire unicorn or even the entire candle when I'm looking through my viewfinder and actually cropping off either one or the other or both to find the best composition. I really like this here where the light is flooding around the horn and obscuring it. So that really caught my eye. So at this point, I've decided that the unicorn is going to be part of the composition. As I said, I really like painting the unicorn. I have another bronze unicorn as well. Um, so I didn't think that was gonna work for this composition, But actually, because it's a vertical composition and the unicorn is standing up, I actually think that it's going toe work very well. So right now I'm just subtly moving things just to find exactly the effect that I want to achieve. And as I said before, I really like how the light is obscuring the horn. And so I think that that's what I'm actually gonna go with. I think that I found a winning composition here 5. Notes About My Setup : Now, before I get started painting, I do want to talk just a little bit about my set up because it is a bit different than the set up that I showed you when I was talking about supplies earlier. The reason for that is primarily for the purpose of filming. So I'm going to step back my floors a little bit creaky. So forgive me for that. This is going to be May workstation for this painting. My still life is back there on a table. You really don't need your still life to be very close to you because we're not going to obsess over details. So, um, kind of zoom not zoom in on it, but focus in on it so you can see it a little bit better. It's a few feet away out in front of me, and then I have this desk diesel. I usually just use this for water color. Um, but I have my oil paper here, and you can see it's a vertical orientation, and then I'm going to just put my palate and this is a different palette, of course, over to the side. And I'm doing that mostly. So that my palate is in frame for you. Usually I do hold my palate on my arm but I couldn't figure any great way Teoh show you my mixing if I painted in the manner that I normally dio. And so then I have this which will hold my camera right above my painting as I go. So it's a little bit different, but for the sake of filming, I think that this is going to be the best set up. 6. Notes About Choosing Colors: before we start painting, I want to talk just a little bit more about color and using a limited palate. I think that using a limited palate is really good for both beginners and more experienced painters. When you limit your colors, you have to mix a lot more, and you really get familiar with the qualities of the paints that you're using. So what I haven't frame right now is the actual palette that I'm going to use for this demonstration. So again we have raw number. This is a really earthy color. It's very dark. I almost never use this by itself. And in fact, I pretty much only used this in the context of creating my darkest values. So when you see me using this in the painting, I'm going to be mixing it with my ultra marine blue in order to create my darkest value. And I'm going to talk a little bit about warm and cool tones in paint pigments and a little bit more about what that means. And also before you go on, I just want to say that you do not need to use the exact pillars that I'm using what you want to do is you want to pick out primary colors, and you just want to make sure that you have a mixture of cool tones and warm tones. So I'm gonna talk a little bit more about that now. So the next color I will be using in this painting is the French ultra Marine blue. And like I said, I use this to create my darkest value. And then, of course, I also use it in other mixes. Now French, ultra Marine, blue or just ultra Marine blue is considered a cool tone in the way that you can tell that a blue is a cool tone versus a warm tone is that if you compare it Teoh, violet or green, if it's closer to Violet than it's going to be a cool tone. And just to contrast this, the most common warm blue is fellow blue and fellow Blue has a slightly green tint, and when you're looking at the color spectrum, that green tint is a little bit more on the warm side of the scale, and so any blue that even hints toward green is going to be considered a warm blue. But I'm not going to be using this in this painting. The next color that I will be using is the cadmium red deep. Hugh already talked a little bit about what the word Hugh indicates. A Sfar Aziz. The pigment goes, however, when I look at this and I'm trying to decide if it is a warm red or a cool red, what I compare it. Teoh is magenta, So if you're looking at a red and it's a little bit closer to magenta, then it would be considered a cool red if it leans more toward orange than it's a warm red . Now this one happens to be pretty neutral in tone. Actually, I'd say maybe it leans a little bit toward warm, but it's actually pretty neutral, so this will be a slightly warm read. Next color that I am using is this cadmium yellow pale Hugh, and this would be considered a cool yellow, and you can tell if a yellow is cool if it's a little bit closer to what you would think of as a lemon. Yellow versus an orange, yellow and orange yellow would be considered a warm yellow. For example, this cadmium yellow medium if we compare, you can see that is just ever so slightly more orange in tone. So it has. Maybe you know, some warmer values in it, so this would be considered a warm yellow and going back to my reds. As I said, this is kind of neutral in tone and might lean a little bit toward being warm. In contrast, I will show you. This is It's hard to read, but it's permanent. Rose. Another common cool red would be a lizard in crimson. So if we compare these, it's a little bit hard to tell on the tubes. But they're all open this so you can see it. This is a little bit more magenta. Okay, so this would be a cool red. And then, in contrast, a warm red would be this cadmium red medium. It leans just a little bit more toward orange. What? Open that up. You know, it's it's a little bit difficult to tell, and I know that warm vs cool colors is a little bit difficult to grasp, but you eventually will get it. And basically you want to have a color palette that isn't comprised just of cool tones or just of warm tones. You want a really good mix, so the raw number is going to be a warm tone. Really, Any earthy pigment is going to be considered warm. French Ultra Marine is going to be considered a cool tone. This is maybe a medium warm tone, and then this would be considered a cool tone. And then titanium white, of course, is neutral and will be using it sparingly. And you always want to have at least a little bit of white on your palate, for the most part, so you don't need to have these exact colors to get started. You just want to have a limited palate comprised of both warm and cool colors, and try just to stick to the primary blue, red, yellow, plus an earthy tone like raw number or burnt number. And then, of course, your standard titanium white. All right, I think we're ready to get started 7. Sketching - Form & Value : Also, before I jump into painting, I'm actually going todo a quick sketch. And the sketch is primarily just to start thinking about the composition and to map out values. That's the primary purpose. So it's gonna be a very quick and loose sketch and also very small. So look, see, Hold it up here so that it's in view for you going. Teoh just roughly estimate the proportions of the paper that I'll be painting on. So it's a very much a vertical composition. And this is where I'll start thinking about, you know, cropping out the scene to make it more interesting, because obviously I don't want to put everything straight down the middle. So I think what I'll start out with is I think I'll actually work on having the candle cut off on the right hand side, and the unicorn is going to be cut off more on the bottom. So this is definitely not going to be anything more than a very loose sketch. Um, you know what? I think that I really want the legs of the uniforms on the scene, so actually gonna work on my placement of the unicorn first. I think that the unicorn's head will be a little bit more in the center. Maybe Maybe that might be a little too large because most of the body is going to be cut off. But I do want to keep some of these diagonal lines because they add a lot of energy to the composition. So actually the candle is going to be taking up a great deal of the background. And actually really the bottom of the candle is going to be a lost edge because it just becomes obscure with the dark T shirts that I used around it. So we have the light source originating from right here. What's going through the widest part. And then it is illuminating some of this wax rate under it and also here around it. And then everything becomes very start and this edge right here is going to be lost. Most of the unicorn is actually going to be very dark. You'll see that most of this is really just scribbles. And I'm really just mapping out my values for the most part. Edged down here gets completely lost. This is gonna be a really dark composition overall, and that's really the way to go, especially if you're focuses light. You might think that if your focus is light, then you would have more of it that actually it's the opposite. So to really create an effect of illumination, you're going tohave mostly darkness around it, and there's even some darkness closer to the flame, and then part of this horn is going to be obscured. A lot of the unicorn is going to be in shadow, okay? And this is very similar to how will start my painting to I'm going to put my dark values and first and I'm going toe lose a lot of edges. And I think that that can make some people nervous because they'll spend a lot of time drawing out their forms and getting their forms rate, and then they're afraid to lose the edges of those forms. But I do want to encourage you to just let go of that and allow yourself to explore. All right, so you see, it's a very, very loose sketch that I did really quickly, and basically what I want to do is figure out my composition and then I want to create a very rough map of where my values are going to be. And that is all that you really need to do for your sketch. And it just gets your mind thinking about things and prepares you for the painting process . So I really encourage you to take just a few minutes and do a quick, rough sketch. 8. Part 1 : Okay, So as we get started, um, just a couple of notes about what's going on here. You'll see in the upper left hand corner. I have an image of my still life, and I've tried to constrain it as close as I could to the proportions of my oil paper, so that you can get an idea of what I'm looking at. As I paint, however, you should note that photographs are going to be a little bit different from the way that we see things with our eyes. So a camera lens tends to constrain values quite a bit, and so this is helpful to know if you are actually painting from a photograph, and I plan to make a course addressing that issue because it is different from painting from life. Notably, you'll see in the area of the candle flame that it's very washed out. It just looks like in almost white mass. However, when I'm actually looking with my eyes at my still life, that flame isn't quite that washed out. So that's one thing to notice, and then also the dark areas, especially the background, looks almost just completely flat black and of course, our eyes just pick up a lot more nuanced than that. But I still think having the photograph in the corner just kind of gives you an idea of what I'm looking at as I make decisions. Okay, so I am going ahead and mixing up another dark value. And if you were paying attention, Teoh me mixing. I borrowed some of that dark value with the raw number and the ultra marine blue. And then I started mixing in more blue and then more read into it. And I work from dark values progressively up to the lighter values. And so you may not actually notice Ah, lot of difference between this new mix and the darker mix. But that's intentional because I don't want Teoh make leaps in my values, and I'm actually going Teoh work with dark values as long as I can. I also work with color very intuitively. But the best way that I can describe it is that I'm looking at value, and then I'm looking at tone, so whether the color is warm or cool, and you can see me doing that right here, where I started mixing up a green and then I added some red to it to tone it down, and I almost never work with mixtures that are just two colors or even just one pure color . Usually, I reserve those kinds of colors for accents and for the last part of the painting. So if you look at my photograph and the unicorn and this unicorn, of course, is bronze, and so you might think that the colors are all going to be bronze, gold, brown yellow that actually, if you look at those shiny areas toward the bottom of the unicorn, what I'm seeing is closer to a muted green. So it's a little bit of a cooler tone, and then I'm also going. Teoh very often used the same colors in multiple parts of my paintings, so that same muted green that I used on the Unicorn I can actually begin Teoh, build the wax on the candle 9. Part 2: I try not to think about colors in a literal sense. For example, I'm not trying to mix any kind of precise color to match what I'm seeing in front of me rather again, and I'll probably emphasize this a few more times because I think it's one of those things that can be a little bit difficult to understand until you see it over and over on and also as you do it. But I'm really just looking at the value, which is the lightness or darkness and then the tone. So how warm or cool it is. So, although for the sake of narrating, I may describe things as you know, a muted green, for example, what I'm doing right now, Um, I'm not really thinking about mixing up a green. I'm really thinking about mixing up a value that's a little bit lighter, and so it has a little bit more yellow in it, and it's a little bit warmer than the previous color, which is why it has some red in it, and typically when I paint, I'll actually just have one mix on my palate. You can see right now there's actually four mixes that I've created the each time I've moved on to a new mix. I have reused some of the previous mix because I tend to also achieve color harmony by using the same mix throughout the painting and letting it just naturally evolve. And I'm trying to be mindful of the video. So I want to keep all of my mixes within view and so you'll see in a little bit that I'll actually take these mixes and move them off camera so that I can create some new ones. And you'll see also that as my value has gotten lighter and lighter. I have not used any white yet, and I actually will not use any white for quite a while again. My composition is very dark. The light source is candlelight. Candlelight doesn't travel very far, so it's not fully illuminating the scene. And so most of this composition is going to be done without white. And I won't meet Teoh. Use even as much white as I have on my palette, although I will have to replenish a couple of the other colors, specifically blue and yellow. - And another thing that you're going to see me doing is wiping off my brush. But throughout this entire painting, I never cleaned out my brush with solvents at all because at no point do I needed a completely clean brush. However, before I'm moving on to a mix that I anticipate will be dramatically different from the previous mix in some way that I might want Teoh just wipe off some of that excess paint from my brush in order, Teoh not pollute the new mix with an older one, and now you can see that I'm taking some of these piles and I'm actually just setting them aside. I'm keeping them because I may find a purpose for them in subsequent mixes, and this is kind of a way that I try to avoid wasting any pain, so I try to reuse all my piles as much as possible. And as I said, I typically just have one mixed pile on my palette, and I just let that evolve throughout the painting. But it it definitely can be nice. Teoh. Keep at least a little bit of old mixes, just in case you do need to come back to it. 10. Part 3: - And as I mixed my paints, you'll see me mix a couple of colors and kind of look at it. And what I'm doing is I am just taking a little bit of time to think about whether or not there's anything that I can do to that mix, too. Get the value and tone that I'm really looking for. - And one thing that I also like to remind students of is that throughout most of the painting process, your painting isn't going to look court unquote good. And I think that this is difficult for a lot of students because they see the painting and it's not looking the way that they wanted toe look soon enough, and that makes them feel like they're off on the wrong track. But what I would say and try to remind yourself of is that paintings go through a really lengthy, awkward period, and the only way to overcome that is to continue working on it. And don't let this awkward phase deter Yeo, and it might take some time. You may have to really get practiced. I know that I did. I had to do a lot of paintings where I just I forced myself to work through them even when I felt like it was already too far gone and that it wasn't going to turn out. So one thing that you might notice about my strokes is that I'm not making any large marks . I'm picking up just a little bit of pain, just enough so that it will easily come off my brush and onto the paper, and I'm making typically pretty small marks. But I'm also really trying hard to avoid blending each subsequent stroke in with the paint that's underneath it. And I know that with oil paint. One of the things that a lot of people like most about it is that you can blend it because it stays wet for such a long time. But in order to reach retain my brush strokes, I actually don't want to dio any bonding. So you can see here that I've wiped my brush clean and then I've come back in with a very dark value. It's actually the dark mix that I had moved off screen just because there were some parts of the unicorns legs that were even more obscured by shadow than I had initially estimated . So I'm coming back in and kind of redefining those areas and letting those dark edges, even though they are actually technically part of the unicorn figure. They're lost in shadow. And so I came back in and just redefined those areas. Let those edges become lost. And even though my strokes air not blended together and for a good deal of this painting, you'll see that the patches of strokes are very apparent. But as I continue to build my values, those will begin to create the optical illusion of actually creating a cohesive form. But again, for a good portion of the painting process, things were just going toe look a little bit, Uh, but I'm just going to let them be. I am not going. Teoh become preoccupied with any one part of the painting that looks a little bit funny. I'm just gonna let it be and trust in the process that as I continue Teoh, add my values, colors and tones. Things will come together 11. Part 4: And even though I've spent up until now a lot of time working in almost ah greenish brown tone for the unicorn, you can see now that I am finding areas that I can use warmer tones in. And that's why I have mixes that are almost orange, except that I did use some of that green mix as the base to build up that orange color. I often hear people talking about wanting to avoid mixing muddy colors. However, you'll notice that all of my colors are fairly muddy, and the reason for that is that I want to. I want to create, in effect, where the light from the candle looks like it's actually shining, and the way to achieve that is actually to use predominantly neutral tones in every other part of the painting, so that when I get to painting the flame and I use colors that are a little bit more pure and a little bit more bright, they're going to create a really dramatic contrast between the really pure bright color and the surroundings that are all a little bit more subdued and dark. So I say, don't be afraid of mixing money colors in fact, to achieve a more natural look. That's really what you need, and a good exercise is actually to take your viewfinder and just look through one of the small holes. And that's actually a color picker like what you might see in photo shop. But hold it up against things that you see around you in your environment, and you'll see that almost nothing is a pure color. Everything is a very neutral or subdued color and try to think about how you might mix that with a very limited color palette. What colors would you mix together? Teoh. Achieve what you see through that color picker. Another thing that you want to keep in mind any time you are trying to create the effect of an illuminating source, for example, a candlelight or any other light source that you're going tohave in your composition is that no other part of the painting can be as light as your light source. So even the highlights that I paint on the unicorn are not going to be as light a value as I will make the source of light in the candle flame, and you'll actually see that I'm achieving most of the highlights on the unicorn figurine without using any white at all. So as I again, as I am creating lighter values, I'm achieving that by using an increasing amount of yellow in my Knicks. And again you'll see that I'm using that same mix that I've used on my unicorn to create some highlights I'm actually using by in the candle a swell and again that helps with creating continuity of color throughout the composition. And it's just a really good way to use your colors subjectively. So even though I may not literally see those colors in the still life, I can still find enough similarity in value and tone between parts of the unicorn figurine and then in that illuminated wax of the candle. For the most part, the dark areas of the composition are complete. At this point, I may be going back into add some thicker paint, some bolder brushstrokes, just to add some interests of that area, because I don't want it to be too flat. But for the most part, I don't have to worry about the dark areas of the composition. And as I mentioned in the introduction of this course, one of the key features of Impressionist painting is not being a slave to the details, and one way to achieve that is to intentionally reuse colors throughout your composition that you don't think literally belong there. But it does add a lot of visual interest to your composition. 12. Part 5 : And even though I spend quite a bit of time on my mixes, all put some colors together and then I'll just kind of evaluate how close that is or what I might need to do. Teoh improve the quality of that color. I'm still not trying. Teoh mimic any literal colors that I'm seeing just again trying to match the value and then whether it's a warmer color, a cooler color or somewhere in the middle. And also just another reminder that I have been using the same brush so far. I've used this brush exclusively. Teoh. Lay down the colors of this painting, and it won't be until I'm just about finished that I will grab a smaller brush. And if you actually limit yourself to working with one single brush, preferably a larger brush, you'll actually find that there's lots of different ways to utilize that brush. For example, sometimes when I need to make a really small, precise mark all load paint on Lee onto the corner of the bristles rather than throughout the entire width of the brush. And again, I'm just wiping off excess paint from the brush as I move on to different colors, sometimes previous mixes. If I don't use them all up from the brush, then they'll start to build up on the brush. And so every once in a while you will need to just wipe it clean. But you shouldn't need Teoh get your solvent out at all, or at least not much while you're actually painting. So now you'll see I'm coming back in with a very dark value. This one has a lot more blue in it just because I'm noticing that the background has, ah lot of warm tone in it from the raw number. And there's some areas that I want to deepen and to create a really deep tone for your shadow areas. You will want to till that mix toward blue rather than toward Thea number. And that creates the illusion of really deep shadows that are not receiving any light, especially when your light source is very warm, as it is in this case with the candlelight. So my shadows air going to be very cool, so I'll use more boil, and I don't have to do a lot to these shadows. I'm really just adding some variations and brush, stroke and kind of redefining some of those highlights by coming in with a little bit more thick paint. So it doesnt look completely flat and you will notice, too. And I haven't found a good solution for this, for the purposes of filming and even photographing my work that as my paint gets thicker, some of the light that I'm using is reflecting off of my brush strokes. And you can see that most clearly in the dark areas of the painting, so that value is still extremely dark. But just because the bristles create texture in the painting and the light reflects off of the brushstrokes, it looks a little bit lighter. There's really no precise way to determine how much of each color of paint you're going. Teoh Using a painting. I probably could have estimated that I would be using a lot of yellow in this painting because so much of it has a bit of a greenish tone. And then, obviously the flame is very orange and yellow, but it's always better to not squeeze out enough pain and then to need to replenish it than to squeeze out too much and have a lot of leftover paint, and since I do use very thick brush strokes, I do tend to run out of colors. However, if you dio put too much color on your palate and then you have a lot left over after you're finished painting one thing that you can dio. Of course, you can leave it on your palate and use it the next day, especially if you haven't mixed any mediums into it. But if you're not sure, you'll get back to it the next day. One way to preserve it is actually Teoh. Use one of those little condiment cups like I showed you when we talked about supplies. You can actually put your pain in one of those, put it in the freezer, and it will actually last a very, very long time. That way you don't have to feel like you're ever wasting any pains 13. Part 6: - At this point, I just want to draw your attention to the fact that you can still see some of my toned paper through the painting. So these are areas that are still looking, read or a little bit pink because I have not applied any additional paint to those areas and those areas. I'm leaving untouched for now, although I am getting closer to them because those are the areas that will have the lightest value in the painting. And so I don't want to have a lot of paints in those areas and then try to add more paint on top of several layers of paint. So I'm opting just Teoh. Leave those alone. But as my values become lighter, I can start adding a couple of brushstrokes to those areas. And then when I add the lightest values on top, just the act of applying a brushstroke on top of other paint, there's going to be a little bit of mixing that occurs naturally, and that will create the optical effect of a great Asian, although you'll still be able to clearly see the different brush strokes. One of the judgments that I'm making right here in this process is that at the base of the candle, it's very dark. Yet the candle wax has a little bit of a green hue to it, and so I'm coming back in with a very dark value. But I've mixed it so that it edges a little bit closer. Teoh, a green color than the color red initially mixed for the shadows. And that's just a way Teoh add a little bit of interest, even within the shadows, so it's less flat. But again, I'm not worrying about finding the edge where the candle ends and the dark backdrop begins . I'm just letting that edge be lost and creating the subtle effect of a dark green value in the shadow area of the candle. And then that more bluish or almost more violent tone that I've used to create the dark backdrop and you'll probably see me cleaning off my brush a little bit more frequently as I edged toward those lighter values and again, that's just because I have allowed my colors up to this point to be a pretty money. But as my values get lighter, my colors will also get a little bit more pure and So I want to make sure you don't contaminate my mixes with the prior mixes. And here's an example of where I applied just a little bit of paint to the corner of my brush so that I could make a pretty small stroke. And now that I'm getting a little bit closer to my lighter values as well, it can kind of move some of these previous mixtures aside to make room for the lighter mixes. And also, you'll see that as I am creating lighter mixes, I'll actually start out with my yellow rather than starting out with one of the colors that has a darker value. And that's just so I can establish the base value of that color. For example, if I and mixing a color that has more of a medium value than I may start with the base of red or even all, mix up a green reading green tend to be middle values. If I need a dark value, will start with blue or the wrong number, and if I need a lighter value, will start with a base of yellow and you can see that I'm quickly running out of yellow, even though I've already replenished at once, so I will have to get more of that because it tends, not Teoh. Go is far just because it is a little bit of a lighter value. Right now, I'm looking at the area around the flame because what I'm noticing, as I look at the actual still life is that there's a little bit too much contrast right now between that yellow area that's closer to where the center of the flame is going to be and the surrounding wax. And so what I'm doing is mixing up a bit of a neutral orange and applying some strokes just to create a little bit of a softer transition between the flame and then the illuminated wax. But you'll see as I progress and as my value is getting lighter here and I'm working a little bit closer to the center of the flame, which again is my focal point, and so that will be the area with the purest colors. And so now I'm actually adding white for the first time into a mix, and this color, definitely compared to previous mixes, is a lot more pure, so there's a lot more just yellow and red, so it's a little bit closer to what we think of as a yellowish orange. But I'm still gonna use this very sparingly because again, the brightest, most illuminated parts of the painting are actually going to also be the most restrained. And that's just a good way Teoh approach, creating the effect of light because the more dark that you have in your composition, the more the light areas are going to stand out and read as actual light. And there's just a few parts on the unicorn that warrant using this mix. There's just a few edges that are really catching a reflection of light, but you'll see as I progress. I won't need Teoh. Add much at all to the unicorn, and as my values get lighter, I'll be focusing more on the flame, and the figure of the unicorn won't be receiving that much light. And so I won't be using my lightest mixes anywhere on the unicorn 14. Part 7: all right, so now I'm finally switching over to my number eight bright brush. And again, it's called a bright and not a flat, because the bristles are a little bit shorter there, a little bit more brisk, and so they create a really bold and defined brushstroke. You definitely will not get a smooth for a stroke from a course bright brush. And at this point that I'm moving on to the smaller brush. I basically have all of my values in place that I want, and I'm only using this brush to come back in and re emphasize certain edges. Right now, I'm coming back in with my darkest value, and I'm not necessarily using this. Teoh cover up lighter values, but to redefine some shadow areas that maybe have become a little bit too lost. And so, as I'm applying this pain, I'm allowing the paint on the bristles to be extremely thick, and when you have really thick paint on your brush, you really don't even need to touch your bristles directly to your surface. You should just allow enough contact so that the paint on your brush transfers from the brush to your surface and As I said, I already have my values in place. And so using this brush is something that I do very sparingly and only at the end of the paintings. Justus away too further defined some areas that maybe have become a little bit too lost, and so you might call this phase of the painting the details phase. But I don't really like to think of it like that, because again, I think that if you think in terms of adding details, you contend Teoh, overwork your painting and almost obsessively scrutinize your painting against reality into . If you have your still life set up, set it up far enough away from you that you can't pick out every single detail of the subject and you'll see that I am frequently adding more and more paint to this mixture. And that is really because I just need that paint Teoh be very, very thick, And so as the mixture pile wears down, I have to just add a little bit more to it so that I can have a thick enough amount of paint on my brush so that it comes off easily. So I have used that dark value just to again redefined some areas, especially within the figure of the unicorn, and then a little bit within the illuminated wax of a candle just to read. Redefine some of those areas, but now I'm moving on a little bit more to some highlights, and you'll see in this mix that I'm adding a few more highlights onto the unicorn. However, I don't want any white in this mixture because again, no part of the unicorn should be as light a value as the source of light the candle flame. But I essentially mixed a pure orange just yellow and red, just to add some very, very small highlights on two with the unicorn, where some light is reflecting off the eye of the unicorn. And then there's some ambient light's hitting the horn just a little bit. And then this part on the top of the unicorn's head will be the lightest part of the reflected light on the unicorn. But you can see that white mixture that I have on my palate was just a little bit too white , and so I brought some of that back into a mixture that wasn't quite Aziz light in value to achieve that. And you can see here if you look right at the base of the horn. I placed a little bit of paint outside the former of the unicorn that happens sometimes, especially if you are using a brush that's just a little bit too big. But don't worry about that, because you can just come back in with some thick, dark paint and correct that. 15. Part 8: one thing you'll notice, especially in the legs of the Unicorn, is that because the light sources behind the unicorn, the unicorn is technically backlit. And so some of that light is just wrapping around the edges of the unicorn, and then the center part that's receiving the least light will actually remain dark. - One part of this painting that so far have not given much of any attention is the main. And if you look at the photograph in the upper left hand corner, you almost can't see it because it's just not getting, ah lot of light hitting it. There's just a little bit of ambiance and reflected light that's coming back and illuminating it very slightly. And so that's why I'm using a little bit darker tone to address this part of the unicorn, and I will come back into it as well with some of my darker tone, because at this point, even using more of ah, medium dark tone is almost a little bit too light for that. So I'm coming back in with this dark tone. I added some red to it just to warm it up a little bit, because those shadows are not gonna be my deepest shadows, not my darkest shadows. So I don't want that mixture to be to cool in tone, and then I'll just come back in with some very small strokes just to further define that feature on the figurine. And as we're coming, Teoh the end of this painting. Just want to draw your attention, Teoh the form of the unicorn especially. And just to take no of the fact that through the accumulation of many, many brushstrokes and many colors, values and tones, it's all come together to create the optical illusion of a form. But at no point did I do any blending. I've just allowed the process Teoh create the illusion of that form, and it's really the eyes of the viewer that brings it together so that I actually reads as a form. And to me, that's kind of the essence of Impressionist painting. It's an interaction between the painter and the viewer, So now I'm taking that lightest mix that I have, and I added even more white to it, and even a little bit more, because this is going to be the very center of my flame, and it's really basically just going to be one small stroke, but it's really going to bring out the illumination, that effect of light in the painting. 16. Conclusion: All right, So we are all finished with our painting, and I just want to include a couple of notes about cleaning up in order to maintain your palate and to avoid having paint get built up on it, which makes it increasingly difficult to mix. I recommend that after every time you paint you clean up your palate as best you can. So you see, I've already cleaned up a lot of these. There wasn't much left of these colors. What I mostly have left is some blue so going to take this little condiment cup again? I bought a whole bunch of these on Amazon. Very, very cheap. It comes in a set. I think I got like, 100 of them in a set. They come with lids that fit airtight, and you can just use your palette knife to scrape up any excess paint. You see, I don't have much. And actually, what I would normally do is probably just try Teoh, um, paint the next day and just use this up the next day. But just for the sake of showing you and then I'll just go ahead and put a lid on it and these lids very tight. They're airtight, which is good, but they could be a little tricky to put on. And then I can just put this in the freezer and that paint will be usable for quite a while , right? So even though I've scraped up my palettes, um, I still don't want to leave this much paint on there. So what I'll dio is I will get my solvent out and again. I always leave the lid on my solvent any time that I'm not actually using it. And this is actually my orange non toxic solvent. So I leave the lid on just to avoid it evaporating, because it is a little bit pricey. But it smells great and I really recommend, especially if you want to really dive into oil painting and you're concerned about fumes. This is more expensive than the odorless mineral spirits, but really, it's very, very much worth it. And a little bit goes quite a long way. So I just wipe down my palate. You see, there's, you know, some staining that occurs that's normal. But what I'm most concerned about is not so much how it looks, because I actually I place my paint in the same spot each time, so I don't really care that it's stained a little bit. What I want is it to be smooth, because as the paint builds up and dries on there, you you get a surface that's not smooth. Just makes it a little bit more difficulty. Teoh. Mix your paint and so I think, just for the purpose of maintaining your equipment, you should always clean off your palate. All right. And then the last thing I'm going to do since we use this oil paper and I used masking tape Teoh fix it onto my surface. Um, I'm gonna very gently peel this, and you can see that I am keeping this angle at about 45 degrees and I'm gently pulling away from my paint. And that's because you don't want if it does get snagged onto this paper, which it is rare that it will with this kind of paper, it's pretty durable, but this is kind of a habit. That I have from watercolors is that paper is a lot more susceptible to tearing. Let me get this on screen. So again, just gently pulling it away so that I don't snag it and tear up into my painting. And then, of course, since this was covered with tape, it will be dry down here. Then you can see my painting a little bit better. You can see how much glare catches all my paint strokes. And so, you know, that's kind of my style and technique. I I like to use really thick and pasta paint, but that's definitely up to your own personal preference. And there it is. So I really hope that you enjoyed this course. I'd love to get feedback from you, and I'd really like to see your projects. And just remember, this isn't a tutorial to show you how to paint a specific subject. This is to show you how I tackle the challenge of doing an Impressionist style painting with a still life subject. So it's really a problem solving technique more than it is a how to paint, you know, a candle in a unicorn. Okay. All right. Well, I really look forward to seeing your projects and giving you some feedback. And I'd love to hear what you think. Thank you so much.