Basics for Beginners: Oil Painting Course | Leslie Murphy | Skillshare

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Basics for Beginners: Oil Painting Course

teacher avatar Leslie Murphy

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Getting started


    • 4.

      Color mixing and blocking in


    • 5.

      Layering and refining


    • 6.

      Clean up


    • 7.

      Overview of key points


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About This Class

Learn the basics of painting with oils in this comprehensive beginner's course! Working from general ideas to specific ideas, this course breaks down the process of painting into manageable, bite sized steps that make it easy for beginners to digest. Students will learn to create a painting from concept to completion in oil. We will focus on proper planning prior to starting a painting, what materials to use and why, color mixing, handling the brush and more. Students will learn about:

  • Oil paints, mediums, and solvents
  • Brush textures and brush types and how they’re used
  • How to best set up your painting area
  • Using reference photos and making thumbnail sketches
  • How to make a framework for your painting with a preliminary drawing
  • Mixing colors using a palette knife
  • Blocking in the first layer of an oil painting
  • Layering, blending, and refining in oil
  • How to clean up and care for your brushes

Oil painting is not only an incredibly versatile and fun medium to use, but also a surprisingly forgiving medium too! Painting can be mentally stimulating and relaxing and is a fantastic way to relieve stress. I’ve been teaching painting classes for over 15 years and have had the privilege of working with students of all ages and stages. The process taught in this course is the same process that I use with every single one of my paintings, and the same process that I pass along to every one of my students. The skills gained in this course can be applied to any other painting and will serve as a great foundation for your painting journey!

This course is for anyone who wants to try oil painting, and there is no painting experience required. Those with some previous drawing or painting experience may find this course easier than those without, but I am a firm believer that anyone can learn how to paint! All that is required is an open mind and a willingness to go for it!

For this class students will need brushes, oil paint, canvas, and some odds and ends in between. Be sure to watch the video on materials as well as check out the supply list pdf. 

To support you on your painting journey there are several support documents provided including a detailed supply list, an overview of basic process and materials, and a step by step pdf tutorial.

Meet Your Teacher

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro : Hey guys, welcome to my basics for beginners oil painting course. My name is Leslie Murphy and I've been a painting instructor for the last 16 years. I've had the pleasure of working with artists from all ages and stages. And I have every confidence that anyone can learn how to paint. Talent is admit it really is all about practice, practice, practice. Remember painting is a skill like any other skill. It does require time, effort, and patients. Fortunately, painting is super fun. It's very relaxing and it's a great way to relieve stress. In this course, I'm gonna be walking you through the basics of painting, a simple apple steady, and the foundations that you learn through this study will serve as a guide for your painting journey. You should be able to take these skills and apply them to your next painting. We'll begin by discussing your materials, will talk about everything from your brushes and paints to your solvents, medians, canvas, and everything in-between. From there we'll discuss the basic process that I use for every single one of my paintings. And the same process that I pass along to every one of my students will begin with thumbnail sketches to establish a basic design for your painting. Then we'll progress to using references to create a preliminary drawing which will serve as the foundation for your painting. Once that's in place, we'll move along to color mixing and blocking in color, which is to say just filling in the whitespace at the Canvas and getting that first layer down. From there, we'll progress to layering and refining and completing the painting. Once we've completed our study, we'll talk about how to clean up and properly care for your brushes. To conclude the course, we'll do an overview of key points and strategies to help you along the way. So without further ado, let's get started, guys. 2. Materials: Welcome back. In this section of the course, we will discuss all the materials you will need for your oil painting process. Let's start with paint. You'll need a handful of colors to get started. For this course, we will be using primary colors plus a dark, cool brown and white. I recommend cadmium red, cadmium yellow, ultramarine blue, raw umber, and titanium white. I also recommend sticking to the following brands which are of good quality and value. I like the bookstore brand, the Utrecht store brand, Gamblin, Winsor, and Newton, and daily Ronnie, these are all fairly inexpensive and if you get these brands, you'll get a lot more bang for your buck. Next step, brushes. There are two basic brush textures you'll need for oil painting. The first is synthetic hawk bristle. These are course and a bit stiff. Painters who prefer more heavy impasto brushstrokes will need more brushes of this variety as a beginner, and you'll just need a few for blocking and basic color. I recommend three flats in synthetic hogs bristle, a large flat about an inch across, a medium plot, about a half an inch across, and a small flat about a quarter-inch across. I'm listing my brushes and large, medium, and small instead of numbered sizes because there's a ton of inconsistency from brush manufacturers. And it'll be a lot easier to shop for your brushes this way too. Flat brushes have tall rectangular bristles and are great for blocking in color, painting straight edges and for use in rendering hard edges. The other texture brush you'll need is synthetic sable. These are soft to the touch but still have a firm body. You'll use synthetic sable brushes for layering and refining. And we'll need a small variety of shapes and sizes. You'll need three synthetic stable flats in large, medium, and small. These are great for refining areas that need hard edges and a smooth texture. The chiseled edge of these brushes are also great for angles and rendering things like water ripples, wood grain and hair texture. There are a couple of more brush shapes you'll need. You'll need a few synthetic sable filbert. I recommend large, medium and small filbert, so I have a rectangular body with a rounded tip. The rounded tip makes filbert is well-suited to rendering objects with rounded forms. I like to use Gilbert's to paint a portrait or figurative work, painting clouds, fruits, or anything else that has a rounded form. Hilbert's are also great for blending and they're quite versatile and their uses. Lastly, you will need a couple of goods, synthetic sable round brushes. I recommend a medium and a small round, round brushes come to a nice point and have around debase. These are great for linear work and for painting fine details. In addition to your brushes, you're also going to need a palette knife. Your palette knife is your color mixing tool and it'll save your brushes from needless wear and tear. I recommend a palette knife. It has a nice angled handle and a small flexible blade. Next step, mediums and solvents. What is a medium? A medium is something you add to your paint to change its consistency. Because you'll need to paint from thin to thick. It's important for beginners to start with a medium that thins the paint. I like to keep it simple so I use liquid, original. Liquid keeps colors vibrant, increases flow and speeds the drying time. So you can add another layer of paint as soon as the next day. You'll also need a solvent. Solvents break down your paints and are used for cleaning brushes and erasing or wiping out mistakes or unwanted brushstrokes and a painting. I recommend terpenoids natural, which is a synthetic turpentine. Unlike turpentine terpenoids, natural is non flammable and nontoxic. Solvent alone is not going to clean your brushes well enough. You're going to need to follow with a nice quality brush soap. I highly recommend the masters brush, so it is by far the best brush soap I have ever used onto pallets. There are a wide range of palette options to choose from. Many oil painters prefer glass palettes. Well, these are really nice for color mixing. They're a pain in the butt to keep clean. And if you're clumsy like me and drop things a lot, glass may not be an ideal choice. I'm too lazy for cleaning glass, so I prefer a lockbox palette with sheets of pallet paper. That paper will have a slick surface and the palate box will have a lid. You can also just pick up a pad of pallet paper. But a pallet with a lid is especially handy when you just spent a whole lot of time mixing color and you don't want to throw it all out when it's time to clean up. I like the Reich's and lockbox palette. If you're in a pinch, you can also use a disposable plates. Avoid pallets with wells. Those are for watercolor and are impossible to use with a palette knife. Hamath, your canvas is almost as important as your paints and brushes. As a beginner, you don't need anything too fancy, but you want to make sure that you're starting with a quality surface. Stretched primed canvases are ideal. Canvas panels tend to warp over time and are usually a bit more coarse than a stretched canvas, which can make it a little difficult to cover. I like to use black studio canvases, Frederick's or Master's Touch to avoid the cheapest possible Canvas and make sure the corners look neat. The grain is square with a stretcher bars and that it is stretched, nice and taut with no sagging. We'll need a few more odds and ends to wrap up the materials section of this course. For this course, you'll need a stick of vine charcoal and a kneaded eraser to sketch your drawing onto your Canvas. Should you decide to paint something more complex later? And I hope you do drawing on tracing paper that's the same size as your canvas is ideal. You can then use transfer paper to trace your line drawings onto your Canvas. For now we're just going to do our simple sketch with vine charcoal. Vine charcoal is very soft and easy to erase. I disliked drawing with pencil on Canvas as Canvas isn't the most friendly drawing surface and pencil is difficult to erase on Canvas. It is also really handy to have a pack of baby wipes. I like to use them to wipe the excess paint from my hands and the brushes as I paint. Again when it's time to clean up. It is also helpful to have a few things for your painting area. If you're just starting out, you may not be ready to invest in an easel. You can work on a tabletop or decide to purchase a small, cheap tabletop easel when you're ready to protect your workspace, use a newspaper or a disposable tablecloth or better yet, a shower curtain liner. The shower curtain liner is ideal because it's super durable and can be wiped clean after each use. That about covers everything. Be sure to refer to your supply list when you're ready to go shopping. Next step, we will discuss how to get started for your class project and how to start with your painting. Thanks for watching. 3. Getting started: Welcome back. In this section of the course, we will discuss how to get started with your painting, and we'll begin with how best to set up your workspace. Choose an area that has good ventilation. I use an open window and a box fan to keep air flowing through my studio. Because the fumes from your oil paints, mediums and solvents are quite strong and not exactly healthy. It's very important to work in a well ventilated space. In addition to proper ventilation, you need to paint under a nice even light. Daylight is ideal, but failing that, you can set up a lamp with a natural daylight bulb, try to make sure that your shadow won't be falling right across your workspace. Setup in an area where you can make a mess. As you can see from this photo, my studio is well-suited for art messages. If you don't have such a space available, protect your workspace with a shower curtain liner, newspaper or disposable tablecloth. Next, you can set up your easel, tabletop easel, or find a way to prop up your Canvas. Finally, lay out all your materials prior to painting. This will help to ensure a smoother workflow. Thumbnail design sketches before you begin putting brush to Canvas, it's important to establish a basic design for your painting. That's where thumbnail sketches come in. A thumbnail sketch is essentially a rough blueprint for your painting. The thumbnail stage is the ideal time to explore different design possibilities without committing to a whole lot of work. These are meant to be quick, simple, and small. Start by drawing a little box to sketch in. Think about two to 3 ". That little box represents the edges of your picture plane or Canvas. Your objective is to fill that little box with your future paintings subject matter. You want to decide how big everything is going to be, where your focal point is, and how to draw the viewer's eye to that focal area. I cannot stress enough how important this step is. There's nothing worse than being halfway through a painting only to realize that your design doesn't work. You have an awkward space to fill, or worse than an important element doesn't fit. Fortunately, there are a few simple and surprisingly common design strategies you can use to ensure a great composition every time you make a painting. My favorite of these strategies is the rule of thirds. Begin by dividing your picture plane into thirds. Anywhere along those lines is a great place for key design elements. The intersecting points are also great places to put your focal point. I use the rule of thirds with every single thumbnail sketch that I make. You can also try the triangular composition. This is where key design elements form a triangular shape within the picture plane with the focal point at the top. Similarly, you can try a circular composition where the eye moves around the shape, around in the shape of a circle. Another common strategy is the asymmetrical composition, where there's more space on one side of your focal area than the other side. These designs strategies are used by artists and designers all the time. The more you recognize these strategies, the more intuitive it will become to use them in your own work. For your class project, you'll be making thumbnail sketches for a simple apple steady. You see attached apple photo reference as a guide for your thumbnail sketches and later for your painting. Always start with a little box to define your picture plane. My boxes will all be square as I'm using a square canvas for my apple painting study. Experiment with scale placement and angles. Make as many sketches as you like. You can try a study that includes more than one apple to keep sketching until you have a composition that you like. Remember, these are meant to be quick, small, and very much imperfect. Design is your objective here, not detail. Using reference images, you want to learn to paint with even a semi realistic style. It's important that you use photo references to guide you looking and interpreting what you see is a crucial part of drawing and painting. That's not to say that you should always copy of photo exactly as you see it. There will be plenty of times when you won't need or want to paint everything you see in your reference photo. Remember your reference as a guide and not an absolute. Sometimes artists will use references as a starting point for their thumbnail sketches. And sometimes artists will shoot or find references to support their ideas. Try to use reference photos with a strong directional light source. Make sure they're in focus and of a high resolution. I use reference photos for everything I paint. Sometimes I will have several photos in use for a particularly complex painting. That'll be fooled by the notion that real artists can just draw or paint something without looking at anything. The vast majority of us rely on reference photos to guide us as we paint preliminary drawing. Once thumbnails and references have been established, the next step is to make a preliminary drawing. This drawing will serve as the foundation for the painting. For this apple study. I'm sketching directly onto the canvas with a stick of soft vine charcoal and a kneaded eraser. I recommend starting with light loose shapes to establish the proportions of your chosen thumbnail. Begin to refine your drawing once you've mapped everything out loosely. Because this is a simple steady, I feel confident about drawing directly onto the canvas. However, Canvas isn't exactly a friendly drawing surface, especially with pencil. If you're planning to paint something much more complex, I recommend drawing on tracing paper that's the exact size of your canvas. And then using transfer paper to trace your image onto the canvas. Work out all the kinks in the drawing phase. It's a lot harder to fix an underlying drawn problem when you're midway through your painting. That's it for the getting started section of the course. Now that we've done our homework, Let's start painting. Thanks so much for watching and I hope you'll enjoy the next segment on color mixing and blocking in basic color. 4. Color mixing and blocking in: Color mixing, I'm using raw umber, ultramarine blue, cadmium red, cadmium yellow, and titanium white. My medium liquid original is off to the side of my palette to keep it easily accessible as I paint. I like to load my palette in the order of the color wheel and with as much room for mixing as possible. I'll begin by mixing my darkest Apple color and then three shades of gray. For my darkest shade on the apple, I'm using raw umber, cadmium red and ultramarine blue. Start by pulling aside a little of each color and making a mental note of about how much you've used. Then begin folding and squishing the paint together until well-mixed. Next, take a moment to wipe your knife clean using a baby wipe or some paper towels. Next, I'll begin mixing a shade of black. I like to use ultramarine blue and raw umber. I find that this combination of colors makes a much richer black, then black straight out of the tube, which can be a little lackluster and lifeless. For my next shade, I'm going to scrape a little bit of that color aside and just add a little bit of white and mix it up until I have a nice medium shade of gray. Next, I want to go ahead and start mixing my lightest shade of gray. I could just take some of that mixture aside and add white, but I think I'm going to remix it again using raw umber and ultramarine blue and white, but using less of the umber and blue and a lot more of the white. Again, just using that flips a folding motion to make sure the paint is well-mixed. Now that we've got a dark medium and light tone for our background color, we can start blocking in that area. Let's start blocking in. And we're going to begin by loading the brush with a little bit of liquid and our black mixture and just kinda start filling in the basic shape of that shadow mass. It's okay for this layer to look a little bit scratchy. The first pass usually does look a little bit scratchy. I'm gonna go ahead and start blocking in my medium gray wherever I see that color in my reference and just kinda wherever I want it, put it in general. And again, I'm just using a little bit of liquid on my brush and just quickly filling in color. Again, the block is stage is really just about filling in that basic colors. So it doesn't have to look perfect at this stage. And I always want to block those values in shades of dark, medium, and light were starting to come in with some of the lighter gray now. And again thinning the paint with just a little bit of liquid as we go, It's important that we're working thin to thick with our first layer. Well, the whole painting really, but especially the first layer, has to be nice and thin to start out. Come in with some slightly thicker paint, a little less liquid, and a little bit more of my lighter color. Just start layering that ride on top and blending my edges as I go. You'll notice I'm not blending into that shadow area. The reason for that is that I want to keep that dark value. I want to maintain that contrast, but my surrounding area is a little bit lighter and I want to give it sense of atmosphere. So I'm doing a little bit of blending now. Okay, now that we've got our background blocked in, it's time to start mixing our apple colors. I accidentally lost my apple colors on the last videos or remixing them. Starting with my darkest shade for my apple, I'm gonna be mixing raw umber, ultramarine blue and cadmium red, and just using a flip e folding motion with the palette knife while squishing it together until it's well-mixed. And next, I'm going to take just a little bit of this color aside with a little bit more cadmium red and mix that up. That's gonna be like my medium dark shade. Let's grab a bit more cad red there and makes that well, wipe the excess from the night and grab some cadmium red and just use what little is left on the ninth to mix my mid tone or the apple, it's pretty much straight cad red. We'll go ahead and start mixing our yellowish shades for our apple. Next I'm going to start with much more cadmium yellow and just a hint of cadmium red because the cadmium red mixes so much stronger than the cad yellow. And I want to mix up a yellow, orange shade. So I'm just going to press those colors together with my same loopy foldy motion with the knife until that's well-mixed. Take a second to wipe the knife. And now we're going to mix the dirty yellowish brown shade. So I'm going to grab some cad yellow and a little bit of raw umber and start mixing that up. It's looking a little bit more green than I want it to. So I'm going to grab just a bit of cad red and mix that in to neutralize it a little bit and makes that until it's nice and even. Okay, so we've got all of our colors ready to go, and we're ready to get started with our apple. Okay, now let's take a moment to check our colors. You'll notice that I'm flashing my palette knife against my reference photo to check whether my colors and values are matching well, so far so good. Just got a couple more colors to check. And I like to keep my reference photo within glancing distance. Your eye loses a lot of information if your reference photos on the table or in your lab. So keep it right where you can glance over and see it. And we're just going to compare a couple more values and then get started. We're ready to go. Okay, we're going to start blocking in with our synthetic hogs, bristle flat, medium-size. Begin by loading your brush with a little bit of liquid and a little bit of paint, you're going to put a liquid on first and then just go ahead and look to paint. I'm going to begin by blocking in my darkest values always, always, always working dark to light. You'll notice that my brushstrokes are moving along the form of the apple. So I'm really trying to get that kind of curved form. And the paint goes on a little bit rough and scratchy in this first layer as I mentioned previously. So that's totally normal. Keep in mind that the block and state does tend to look a little bit awkward and just not great. But that's fine. You got to start somewhere. So we're gonna go ahead and continue blocking our darks and then progress to our medium darks will start pulling in those medium darks now. And again, moving the brush along the form of the apple, kind of trying to sculpt the form with the paint more or less. Now we're gonna go ahead and start blocking in the mid tones of the apple, and that's pretty much just cad red straight. There might be a little bit of residue from our medium dark in that mixture. You can do a hint of blending with the medium into the medium dark if you like, and continuing to lock in with that medium shade and wrapping my strokes around the form of the apple. Now it's time for our yellowish shades and we'll start filling those in. Again, keeping those strokes curved, trying to reflect that form. And now we're all blocked. That wraps up our color mixing and blocking in section of the course. Next up we'll begin blending and refining and finishing your apples. Steady. Thanks for watching. See you soon. 5. Layering and refining: Welcome back. Now it's time to start layering and refining. I'm adding a second layer of paint to my background area. And I have switched to a soft synthetic filbert, the large size, and I'm just beginning to layer a bit heavier paint with a little less liquid, working towards building a smoother background and cleaning up the edges around my apple. I'm using the filbert so that I can get a nice smooth blend and really just kinda push that sense of atmosphere in the background area. And then I'll switch over to the apple. Okay, now it's time to start refining the apple. I'm going to begin with my darks first because when I'm working with oil, I always want to work dark to light with whatever I'm painting, with whatever layer I'm working on. So I'm coming back and pushing my darks a bit darker. I've switched to a smaller synthetic sable filbert. And again, just trying to her my strokes around the form of the Apple. Guys, it's important to get extremely dark with your darkest values. It's often very intimidating as a beginner to use those dark values, but they really are essential for having a full range of value within your painting. Okay, so now we're switching over to our mid tones and our lights. And again, just kind of reinstating those colors. And this helps to just kinda get rid of that streakiness that occurs in the block and stays just going right back over. We haven't really built towards detail just yet right now it's all about just pushing the color and value contrast and now switching to a smaller filbert. And we'll start building towards that detail. So at this point, again, I'm pulling my strokes around the form of the apple and trying to get that sort of streaky quality of the apple skin. And again, using a filbert because it's great for blending and they're great for those rounded forms coming back in and just doing a little bit more refining. So with each brushstroke, you're getting a little bit more specific as you paint. Wipe the excess from the brush and start doing just a little bit of blending of those colors. And we can start adding a little bit more of the mid tone. And again, doing a little bit of blending as you go and you guys, when you're blending, it's important that you're not entirely blending each color into another that's going to create a whole other color that's color mixing on your Canvas. When you're blending your colors to create softer transitions, you're really just pulling the edges of the color together. Starting to build towards some of that detail, looking for the very specific shapes in the lighter areas that I see within my apple. Shapes of the highlights on the stem and on the top part of the apple. Now we're going to switch to a round brush. Again, round brushes are great for detail work and for more linear work. So we're switching to the round to get a little bit more detail work in the dark section, as well as the medium section. And we'll start pushing those highlights again. And one thing that I want to note here is that I won't actually switch brushes between colors. What I'll do is stop and wipe the excess paint from the brush so that my colors do not become muddy. And also, every time I load the brush, I'm going to make sure that I am shaping the brush carefully to make sure that I'm maintaining a nice tip. It's a lot easier to control the paintbrush when the tip has been shaped. And again, building towards a little bit more detail. So getting more specific with every paths we can come in and clean up a few little edges that we missed for softening some of those transitions. Putting a few colors sort of in-between that bright highlight and the darker area around it. And again, just softening that transition just by blending the edges together ever so slightly. Getting a little more contrast in the center. The apple making sure those dark values stay nice and dark. Oftentimes, as you layer your darker values will start to lighten up a little bit because they get a little bit lighter color mixed into them as you go. So it's important to come back to them every so often and just try to make sure that you're maintaining those darkest values. Getting a few more little details in place, softening the highlights just a little so they aren't quite so harsh. A few of the little speckles in the apple and some more of the subtleties. Again, we don't ever start with the subtleties and the details you build toward them. Coming back to that cast shadow and just trying to clean that up a little bit, get some of the transitions looking a little bit softer through here. Coming back with a lighter shade of gray to soften the cast shadows edge so it doesn't look quite so. Chris, again, we want it to look airy and have a sense of atmosphere, so we want to make that soft. Okay, So I'm allowed that last layer to dry and I want to come back and start to push contrast and get everything just looking a little bit more smooth and polished. As usual, I'm going to start with my background first, beginning with my darks and then my mid tones. And I just coming back and softening some of the transitions in that background, just getting things a little bit more smoothed out. Again using that soft filbert so that my edges can be easily blended and I can keep everything nice and soft and smooth. Adding just a little bit more paint coverage in this background area where it looks a little bit scratchy after it dried. We'll just cover those areas and just get things a little bit more polished. Want to build up the lights just a little bit more so that the background has a sense of that same light source that the Apple does. Pushing those lights on the top right side of the canvas just a bit lighter. Softening those strokes, getting them well blended, pushing them a little lighter and blending some more. Now I'm ready to start pushing the contrast in my apple again. And you get that. I'm starting with my darks first one more time, coming back in with my smaller filbert pushing those darks nice and dark, keeping my strokes curving around the form of the apple, just as I did last time. And I'm even looking a little closer at my reference photo to see the very specific subtleties in the transitions of those shadow masses. As they begin to get a little bit lighter in areas. There's the shadows on the stem and where the apples rolling over towards the top, coming back in with that mid tone and the medium dark value and just getting those colors vibrant. Again. It's important to note that this second path isn't about repainting. It's more about just sharpening your image. Looking a little bit more closely and again, getting just a little bit more specific. So coming back around my apple, looking for things I might have missed during that last pass. Getting that subtle little shift of light at the very bottom of the apple. Coming back in with my yellows and refining the yellow streaks on the top of the apple a little bit more. Pushing the saturation, pushing the contrast and pushing the form. Really want to push the saturation a little bit more on the right side, or sorry, no, the left side of the apple. Get that a little bit brighter. It a little brighter with some of those yellow streaks and that's cad yellow straight out of the tube to really push that saturation. Just building on my last layer of paint and my paints a bit thicker. Now I'm using barely any liquid, just enough to increase the flow of the paint ever so slightly where I need it. But for the most part, it's just straight paint and no medium at this point. Getting those areas a little bit softer and a little bit more subtle blending. Pushing my highlights a little bit brighter again, getting some little details that I missed on the stem last time. I don't want to come back into my shadow area as well. And just do a little bit of blending and refining where the apple kind of merges a little bit with that shout out, coming back into the side of the apple again, pushing those darks a bit darker to really focusing on the linear quality of some of those transitions within the shadowy areas of the apple. And cleaning up edges a little bit more precisely with my fine round, my little bitty round. And getting some of those little apple speckles directly into the wet paint. I'm doing that directly into the wet paint to keep them nice and soft and subtle. Okay, so I've made my apple study as detailed as I care to make it, and I think it's done. I hope you've enjoyed making your apples steady and that you gained a good understanding of how to paint with oils. That wraps up our section on layering and refining. Be sure to check out the next section of the course where we will discuss how to clean up and properly care for your brushes. Thanks for watching. 6. Clean up: Now for the not so fun part, cleaning up, you're going to begin by wiping the excess paint from your brushes using a baby wipe. And you want to try to get as much paint out as you can just by wiping. Next, you're going to swirl around and your solvent. And again, we're using terpenoids natural. You just want to swirl the brushes into the solvent to break apart the pigment and binder of your paint, wipe the excess off on your baby wipe. Do this with all of your brushes. If you're going to return to your painting very soon, you can skip the next step and just stash your brushes in the freezer and the paint will not dry. Likewise, you can stash your palette in the freezer to keep it from drying too, and then clean your brushes later. Okay. Now that we've wiped away as much excess paint as possible and broken up some of the paint residue with solvent. It's time to hit our brushes with some masters brush soap. Begin by wetting the brush and then working up a good lather inside your soap. You wanna kinda try to work the bristles into the soap as much as possible. You use your fingers to massage through the bristles as you rinse. And then you're going to repeat again, just kinda swirling the brush through the soap. Want to make sure that it's a pulling motion that you're using so that you don't mess up the bristles as you're trying to clean them. Again, using your fingers to get everything out. That's it guys. Your brushes are all cleaned. Go ahead and lay them flat to dry. That wraps up our cleanup section of the course. Join me for the next segment on going over key points and strategies. Thanks for watching. 7. Overview of key points: Welcome back. I hope you've enjoyed this course. Let's review some key points to help you get started on your painting journey. Before you even put brush to Canvas, It's important to take the time to make a few thumbnail sketches and to find or take strong reference photos to guide you as you paint. You can base your thumbnail sketches off your references, or you can find references to support your idea. When you're making these thumbnail sketches, start with a little box that represents your picture plane. Then take the time to explore design strategies and to experiment with scale and placement. Remember that your thumbnail sketch acts as a blueprint for your painting. So it's really important to get this figured out at the very start. Your next step is the preliminary drawing. This will be the framework for your painting. It's 1 million times easier to fix structural problems in the drawing stage than it is to fix the midway through a painting. Start with light, loose shapes to establish basic proportions according to your chosen design and references buildup toward detail from there. For more complex paintings, make your preliminary drawings on tracing paper, that's the exact size of your canvas. Then use transfer paper to trace your drawing onto the Canvas prior to blocking in color. Once you've completed your drawing, you'll need to start loading up your palette and mixing color. Mix three to five shades for each area or object in your painting. Think basic values of dark, medium and light and maybe a couple of shades in between. Mixed with your palette knife and make a mental note of how much of each color is used in your mixtures. Use a folding and squishing motion to thoroughly mix each new color. When your basic colors are all mixed and ready, begin blocking in color. Remember that the paint needs to be pretty thin in this stage. Load a little liquid on your brush as you block in each area and use your synthetic hogs, bristle brushes, block your background first and begin with the darks. Work your way forward, always blocking your darkest areas first and then blocking in mid tones and lights. Try to allow your brush strokes to reflect the form of whatever you're painting. Remember that you're not worried at all about in detail here. And to expect the blocking layer to look a little bit rough and scratchy. Objective here is to fill in the unpainted Canvas while establishing the basics of color, form, and value. After the blocking stage is complete, start the layering and refining stage of your painting. As always, start with your darkest areas. First, use a little less liquid here and switch to your synthetic sable brushes. You'll begin working toward detail in this stage, but start by reinstating your darkest areas and layering in more of each basic color. Pay more attention to the shapes of each mass of color and how they transition into one another. Make sure you're looking closely at your reference as you build toward more detail. Switch to smaller Hilbert's and rounds for the most detailed areas. You may want to get semi detailed and refined in one sitting and then allow the painting to dry before adding the last refining layer. Remember to use a little less liquid and get a little more specific with each layer of paint. Pushing darks, darker and highlights brighter. Continue refining until you're happy with your painting. The biggest takeaways here are to always work general to specific, dark to light and thin to thick. Remember that your references, thumbnails and preliminary drawing are the meat potatoes and veggies. Your process, the painting is eating dessert. Painting with a plan may take longer in the early stages, but it's far easier than flying by the seat of your pants. I hope you've learned a lot in this course and that you've had a great time doing so. I can't wait to see the results of your class project and hope that this will lead you to a lifelong love of painting. Thanks so much for watching happy painting.