Oil Painting Still Life | Maria Morris | Skillshare

Oil Painting Still Life

Maria Morris, Awaken to Color

Oil Painting Still Life

Maria Morris, Awaken to Color

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5 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Oil Still Life, Welcome

    • 2. Oil Still Life, Supplies

    • 3. Oil Still Life, Transparents

    • 4. Evaluate Your Work

    • 5. Oil Still Life, Opaques

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About This Class

Learn the 5 steps to a successful, bright and correct painting with Maria Morris' unique technique. Then, paint a beautiful, light-filled still life with oil paints that Maria will guide you through in detail. Photo references and supply list are provided below.

Meet Your Teacher

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Maria Morris

Awaken to Color


Although portraits are my first love, I’m currently obsessed with florals and landscapes. I’m finding they have as much meaning as a portrait and can bring so much joy as they reflect God’s creation.

I'll teach you acrylic and oil painting with pure, vibrant colors. I offer floral, landscape, still life and portrait classes with my do-able, step-by-step process.

A part of my calling is to inspire others to dig deeper into their creativity and refine their painting skills. Many of my students have rediscovered their calling to create beautiful artwork that not only nourishes their souls but blesses others too.

To see my latest works, follow me in Instagram or visit my website! You can also shop prints in my Etsy Shop.

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1. Oil Still Life, Welcome: I'm so glad you joined my skill share class. Today will be painting this and I will be covering the supplies, my no fail five-step process. And you can watch along or paint along or both. I have photo references for you to download, supplies list. And I would love for you to contact me for any advice. I have been painting all my life, but took some breaks to little things like raising kids, be a missionary. But you know what painting is my calling. And so now I'm back in at a 100% full time. And helping other people develop as an artist and find freedom through painting is one of the things that I love and brings me joy. So I hope I can help you. This class is good for beginners or advanced painters because of my five-step process. Step number one is a color study. So just doing a little quick watercolor of the painting is going to help you get to know your subject and plan your colors. And then step number two is your Canvas prep. I find white canvas is intimidating and so I put a drawing down. I seal it with acrylic spray on, gloss it with acrylic, that medium. And then the drawings there through the, throughout the painting process. Step number three is the transparent layer, which is really fun and oils, because you just put a little more linseed. Use your, use your deepest colors but thin and cover up all of the white canvas. And then it's not intimidating anymore. If you're using acrylics, I use a golden fluid acrylics with water, kinda like a watercolor on campus. So fun to place my basic colors and cover up that white canvas. Step number four is the opaque layer where you start putting the paint on that or and you block out your lightest lights in your darkest darks and then you go from there. And I'll show you. And step number five is brushwork in detail. So I will guide you along the plenty of advice and help you to create a painting that you didn't know you could paint something so vibrate. And before painting, it's not a waste of time, doesn't matter what you're painting. Turns out looking like it's not a waste of supplies. It is a deposit into your creative genius. It is calming and good soul care. And every painting you get a little bit better. Every painting is gonna look different. You're painting will look like mine because you see differently than I do. And that's a good thing. I would love to see your progress. If you'd like to see my work. I met Maria portrait.com or follow me on Instagram at Maria portrait. Thanks for watching. 2. Oil Still Life, Supplies: The supply list includes watercolors because of step one, the color study. But I don't want you to spend a lot of money. I don't. These are just studies for yourself. And so I buy cotton, which is the student grade watercolor. And I only by a few colors, fallow bloom, Windsor purple or dioxazine, purple, cad Red, pale. He'll, which kind of an orange, My favorite color, of course, permanent rose and cadmium yellow, pale hue. And then I just have to really cheap Princeton watercolor brushes. You can buy whatever watercolor paper you want. I buy them in this little pre-cut pack, which is also on my supplies list, link below, just sawed off to cut it down. It's easy. And I put it on top of my iPad. And my iPad shows the image through and then I just trace the drawing because who wants to sit in grid enrolling for the next two hours. And the handy dandy palette, which is just paper plate that I end up throwing away. So these are the step one watercolor supplies to prep your canvas for painting after you have your drawing on it. And I use graphite transfer paper and a printout of the reference to get the drawing on the canvas. However, graphite will smear you want it to the drawing to stay throughout the painting process in case you lose your way. The way we do that is by spraying it with acrylic coating that'll dry and a couple of minutes and then it'll be ready for a layer of gloss medium, which you just brush on with junky old brush, which creates a nice glossy layer. And it also solidifies your drawing and strengthens your canvas and helps your paints to go on smoothly. So I love the gloss medium on a canvas. Let me introduce you to some of the most important characters in the role of supplies, synthetic Mongoose. These are beautiful because they spring back, but they aren't like painting with straw. The way the lowest grade oil paint brushes are, like just go get a stick and break it, you know, and I mean, they're so bad. These are beautiful and they will stay beautiful if you use my brush care tipped and the bigger the brush, the better your painting. I do have some detail brushes for portrait work. Speaking of details, the Kemper tool is my magical little tool that I use in the transparent layer when it comes to redefining the drawing and scraping away. When you've made a mistake. Or you just need to get some paint out of the way for laying down white opaque. And I use the palette knife not to paint with just to mix colors with. If you mix your colors too much with the Brush, you're going to load up the feral of the brush with paint. And you don't wanna do that because it's nearly impossible to really clean that out. I'm mixed. My bigger batches of color with a palette knife. So here's how you take good care of your brushes. First, with a dry paper towel, you wipe off the excess paint. Next, you have a dirty, odorless thinner jar and a clean odorless thinner job and overnight, sometimes the dirt will settle to the bottom so that you can put just the top layer of clean odorless, thinner I mean, yeah, the top layer of clean into into your clean jar. So you have a dirty jar and a clean jar. So after you have wiped off your brush, you rinse it gently in the dirty jar and you don't smash your bristles. Or they might be afraid. Why bet. You can see it's still a little dirty. So then we rinse it in the clean jar of odorless, thinner and still a little yellowing, You think it's cleaned, but then once you rinse it under water, under running water with the master's brush cleaner, again, being gentle. Rinse it with water. White began. And then when it wipes clean and you wanna wipe it this way, you don't want to, like I said, smash the bristles are our work it too hard. And then a little bit of refined linseed oil will condition your brush, bristles like you would condition your hair. So you don't want your brush to dry with paint in it, although it can sit for a couple hours because it's oil paint, it doesn't drive as fast as water-based mediums. But if you're gonna sit your brush overnight, it should be like this and should be cleaned twice with odorless thinner, once with your brush cleaner, overrunning water, and then conditioned with little bit of refined linseed oil. And there you have it. My favorite oil paints are Gamblin, because when I buy them on Amazon, they are fresh and easy to squeeze out and they're not all dried up like sometimes craft store paints can be. I also arrange them in a way where they're easy to grab because I know where they go. Transparent warms go in this shelf. So I have who's actually Winsor Newton because I haven't run out of this yet. A Indian yellow for my transplant, yellow's a permanent rose. This is also Winsor Newton. Permanent roses was always my favorite color with watercolors and it is still my favorite color with oils. But for some reason Gamblin doesn't make a permanent rose. They might make an equivalent. And if they do, let me know. Permanent Rose is my other warm transparent and my third warm transparent is a quinacridone magenta. Now as far as transparent cools go, we have Windsor violet must. Now you can go cobalt blue or fallow blue. I loved fallow blue. It's super bright, deep and you only need a little bit fallow turquoise, it's early in blue is opaque. Cad yellow light anything cadmium is going to be opaque. Nap fall read. I have fallen in love with lately and this is just an easy way to get aligned. Green, Cadmium Green. You want lots and lots of titanium, zinc white. Oops, the annoying thing about Gamblin whites is the lid doesn't like to stay screwed on. If you have a hack for that, let me know. Very knowing. Ok. So these are my colors and I love to play with them. Something else you'll see on my supplies list is refined linseed oil and odorless thinner than odorless thinner you use to clean your brush. The linseed oil used to condition your brush. And in the painting process, you put the two together at a one-to-one ratio, which actually helps you thin your paint as you go, especially in the transparent layer. It's not for a rinsing your brush to clean your brush. It's just for creating the right consistency with your paints as you go. And you'll see that in my demos. I paint with a large table easel because sometimes I like to sit on the stool when I'm getting tired. I don't want to stand up for hours and hours when I'm painting, sometimes this is a hack. So you buy the large table easel. I just used like a 40% coupon at Michael's, but I will have the link in my supplies page also. I painted it white just because I thought it was pretty clear about some sticky hooks. I made a little white rod. You just buy a piece of wood and cut it down. So what it allows me to do is stand when I want to stand and paint and with detail work sometimes I like to sit. Also. I can take the bar away for really big painting. So that is my table hack. The other interesting part of the table hack is my iPad holder. So this is my iPad holder, and I will also include it in the link to where to buy this on Amazon.com. Let me introduce you to my palette. My palette is a twelv by 24 inch foam core board taped to a twelv by 24 inch acrylic. Now, you can use glass glasses nice until it breaks. And since I'm kinda klutzy, I break glass lot. That's why I use polycarbonate. I think it's also called, but if you just go to Lowes and ask for the acrylic, they can have a 212 by 24, but if they don't, you can ask them to trim down another one for you. What I have for you is a PDF download of these color labels. It's good to put the colors down in the same place every time so that you can paint quickly and know where everything is. I labeled them just because some of the colors are dark and I just forget. So if you don't like the labels, you don't have to use them, but if you like them, you can download the PDF below this video and cut and paste them to your foam core board. And then just tape your acrylic sheet on top and it makes a really nice palate. That's my little palette hack. 3. Oil Still Life, Transparents: Are you ready for the first demo? It's our Still Life. And I've already done steps 12, which would be to do the watercolor and then prepare my canvas. And now I'm into step three already, which is to put down my transparent colors. And I'm, I've already put down my permanent magenta. I did in my solution more often during the transparent layer because I like to have it thin. And I am just looking at my reference and exaggerating the colors, creating shapes, blocking in and coloring all that yellow, yellow and even some of the white yellow with my transparent Indian yellow. And then I dip into little bit of purple and little bit of the magenta to create some darks, lay down my darks. And I'm not being real picky are perfect. I'm just putting some basic pretty colors down that will peek through once we get into our opaque. So I might do a little bit of blending, but not much. And I just make sure that the consistency isn't droopy, but is as potent as I want it to be. So if I'm trying to do a lighter color, I just dissolve it more. If I'm trying to do a darker color or I'll grab that pigment with hardly any solution and just put it on their thick, even though it is still the transparent layer. Because I do have a part of that pink background that gets real magenta, ie, putting some details of the lemon down and putting some orange here and there. And then I get real red. Now my nap fall red is not a transparent, so I just go ahead and use my permanent magenta with little bit of Indian yellow to warm it up. And I can even alter those ratios to get my oranges. And then when it is super basic, but all the white of the canvas is covered. I take my Kemper tool scraped away a little bit where they're supposed to be white or where I've lost an ice edge, drawing some, some lines that I might need. This is a pretty light simple paintings. I didn't need to do a whole lot of drawing and worried about the ellipse, that cup. So it's kinda like an eye when you're doing a portrait, it's like you gotta get that right. So I work to get that right in every stage. Scraping away, not being too nitpicky. I'm even creating some of the details on that beautiful antique looking red glass. Except it's not because I totally bought it at Target the other day. It's just supposed to look into IQ. But some of those highlights are almost completely achieved by that Kemper tool scraping. But I'll add a little bit of a white Later on. Dilute my dark a little bit so that I can get those midtone details of the glass, which is very pretty for this painting. The reason that my transparent underlayer is so important is that there is so much reflected light and color and refracted and whatever all the words are that makes those beautiful glow of the light shining through the color glass, bouncing onto the yellow table, which is just a piece of paper. I put down a yellow paper. And I want to mimic that glow and it's not that hard. That glass is actually easier than you think it is. So now I'm ready to get into my opaque, so I am mixing a couple of basic colors. Start off with, I have my favorite pink, which is permanent magenta and white. And then I grabbed a little bit more white and I'm doing sort of a gradation mix with my palette knife so that I have a light pink and a dark pink. And I just load the tip of my brush and go to town. And it's okay if that transparent underlayer mixes in there doesn't get covered up totally. My White was a little bit dry, so I dipped into my solution with my palette knife, created a, a, a white, yellow and pink. And I put my stroke's next to each other and blend a little bit, but I don't blend mage, you might want to blend more than me, but I feel like my paintings start looking generic and tired and not as vibrant. I over blend. Now I'm just thrown some blue there. Okay. You're like, why did you just throw blue there? Because it's pretty and right next to the red. It allows for more color contrast than just pink against red. Because blue is on the other side of the color wheel, then, then run, it's not the opposite greens the opposite, but I'd just like to little bit of blue and also bounces from the blue cup. So its a repetition which brings unity. So I am in step number four, which is just blocking in basic shapes. I'm not singling down on one area. I'm bouncing around my canvas and blocking in flat shapes, putting strokes next to each other, but allowing a little bit here and there to peek through of the under layer. And the other part that I really like about the opaque stage, first stage is cleaning up the edges. So there are some shapes that you can define by cutting away with the lighter opaque color. And I don't know if you can see that that bar to the right. That's my cane that I shortened. I bought an old person's cane on Amazon.com because I don't have a steady hand. Apparently, I'm an old person because I don't have a steady hand. I turned 50 next week, so maybe that's a clue. My handshakes, I don't know. So whatever, embrace the shake, right? That's a TED Talk. You can look up on YouTube. But I rest my hand there for details. I'm not usually too detailed at this stage because I've not in step five. But this ellipse is, the ellipse is worrying me, as would some of the first, a brushstrokes of a facial feature worry me and so I NOT worry me but I want to get it right. So I rest my hand on that cane that's hooked up top to my easel. And I'm blending ever so carefully some of those transparent colors with this weird neutral, opaque i have on my paintbrush to see if I like in so far I do. It's okay to get some neutrals because if everything's bright, nothing's bright, right? You have to have that contrast. So if I get some neutrals here and there that I see in the photo reference. 4. Evaluate Your Work: Although you do want to paint fast and not be labor a painting over weeks or too many days. You do want to stop before you finish your painting to evaluate it. And I have some fun ways to evaluate a painting that I use. First way is to step away, see it later. That way you'll be able to see it with fresh eyes. I was painting this yesterday evening and I slept on it. And now that I look at it, I don't know if I'm going to like this painting. I mean, I'm going to like it but I'm not going to love it, you know? So my second form of evaluation is to see it upside down. I love upside down. This is my favorite form of evaluation. I actually paint upside down when I'm doing detailed portrait work. It forces you to see with the right side of your brain, which is the correct observation of the artist side of the brain. The left side of the brain tends to paint what they think they know. I'm painting a nose, I will paint, he knows I am painting a pomegranate. I will paint a pomegranate. Well, if you turn it upside down, it's like totally shuts off the know it all party your left side brain and gets into the right side that says this shape coincides with that shape and this negative space looks like that. And how is my value? My value looks like the background isn't dark enough. And the shape of the mug. I have my ellipses little off. When you're not quite finished with your painting. God, and turn it right back, right side up again to see it tiny. And you do that with your camera phone. Now, seeing my artwork tiny is kinda fun. It gives you a glimpse of what the viewer on Instagram or Facebook will see. Its cuter tiny. Now I kinda like it tiny. Hmm. Let's go to our next evaluation tool, which is to see it in reverse. This of course, will require a mirror. And all you have to do is look at your artwork in the mirror. I do this with portraits and it's kinda scary because if you can ever see a problem with the eyes or whatever the facial features in a portrait, it's with them here. So I have evaluated an unfinished painting. I have seen what I like about a scene, what I don't like about it. And I've actually decided to just not continue with this painting. I would like to shoot another reference with the pomegranates bigger. So this was my lesson on evaluating your paintings. 5. Oil Still Life, Opaques: I'm defining some edges. The edge of that. You can call it a shadow. I call it crazy awesome. Reflected shadowing cutlery saying going on that the red cut, this is glowing onto the mug. Anyway, it's a hard edge. So I was just establishing that hard edge with the right amount of drier, opaque. And then I'm just getting crazy with some green. I see a hint of green if I use my imagination in the photo reference. And so I'm going to town with that green because it's pretty and it's opposite of all these pinks and reds that we have going on here. So this painting, I was worried, didn't have enough contrast because there's a few really dark darks. And it's all kind of analogous with the warms. But it turns out really nice. I love it. And as you can see here, I'm establishing some darks on top of some lights, which is kind of like breaking the rules. But are we supposed to aren't we artists supposed to know what rules to break? You can throw down your darks anytime you want and sometimes they just need to keep billing darker. And I create my darks with my my colors, not with black. So I think my Windsor Violet is my darkest color. If that's not dark enough or if it's too cool, I'll add some magenta to it. I could add some blue to it to darken it up. And every time my brush disappears, I'm down there cleaning I mean, like wiping the color off and then picking up a new color, wiping the color off, picking up a new color. When I paint, I'm picking up, you know, a little bit of that blue even though in trying to paint a little pink spot. And so I got to go down and wipe that blew off that I just picked up. Right now I'm doing a nice clean white edge that I love. So very much pure white. But then I had to go and wipe off whatever blue I just picked up. Keep your brush clean. Don't over blend. You propel it clean. Keep your edges Queen, unless you want to soft edge a lot of these grid date. In other words, they blend from one color to another or from one value to another. And you can do that by flicking, by blending with little brush strokes. So you just decide when you have a soft edge and when you have a hard edge. I am putting some of those nuances of the texture of the red glass with pure yellow. And it blends in with, with all that opaque red that's on there, that nap fall read that. It's just the right value and intensity. And now I'm just creating that little fluted edge with some cadmium yellow, sorry, that I put at the edge of my brush. And then I'm like, Hmm, I see some purple here. So I clean my brush and grab some purple and white, and then I see some blue here and it's just like a little rainbows show. But if you keep your values right, the level of darkness of each shape or color, then it's believable and the painting looks correct no matter what color you use. That's why you can go crazy rainbow. Because I am always checking to be sure that my value is correct. And if you need to go back to printing out the black and white version of this photo reference when you paint it and grab your grayscale chart that I gave you, you can be double-checking your value. I just do it instinctually because I've been painting long enough that you might want to slow down. Now you notice, do you see that background up top is Gorgias because I let some of that magenta underlayer, the transparent layer show through. I didn't over blend and I went from a pretty pink to a pretty peach little bit of blue over there through some white. And it's done like I just left it like that. And it's gorgeous. I love it. That lemon, I could work more but I'm not gonna, you know, it says lemon. That's all you need. You don't have to over explain things to the viewer. It's kinda like a teacher or a YouTube or something that just over explains things, you know, well, artists can over-explain things. Sometimes the silhouette of an object alone tells you what it is. The human brain knows how to interpret. And I just put some purple on that lemon purples, the opposite of yellow. And it was just a really nice color to make for some of those shadows that I see. So I'm always thinking of contrast, contrasting colors, contrasting values. Peer, uh, put a glob of cadmium yellow light in just a want that pure lemon color. Here in there. Three brushstrokes will get 45 whatever. My initial Him and love it. Defining that edge and shape a little bit more. Ok, I might be nitpicking this limit a bit. It was fine a minute ago, but I did not overwork this painting, so I'm happy with it. However, I wasn't sure if I was seeing everything right. So I did my magic trick, turning my canvas upside down and I saw all kinds of stuff. I didn't see you when it was right-side-up. I saw a dark shadow on the lip of the mug. I hadn't seen before. I see it now that it's upside down, I also see what I've done with the reflected light and the lemon and the red class, and I like it, so I'm going to leave it. And if you can leave something at the early stage, you've won because it means that you put down your brushstrokes intentionally clean. And you didn't. Overwork in. Painting is not for control freaks. You know, we're not perfectionists. People might think we are because we're so detailed with our work. But we're, we're just enjoying like what we see and we're just suggesting things in a, in a creative, emotional way. We're not, we're not photographs who are supposed to be, you know, those photo realists. I've I've loved them when I was in middle school. But now I don't I just don't get them like, why would they spend so much time painting something that a camera can do? I think a beautiful painting only a human can do. Because we each see things differently. We can express ourselves creatively, like no machine can do. So now I'm putting some pure white on that mug. It's actually a mint colored mug, Snow White mug. But it's picking up on so much color. Who cares what color the mug is? Adding some white highlights to the lemon. You'll notice that the base, which is now up top, the yellow. I put down some opaque yellows here and there. Let the Indian yellow show through and then added some of my magenta to make my orange. And just did brushstrokes here and there. And here it is. I love it. It's awesome. It's fresh, it's beautiful, it's colorful. Yay.