Beginner's Oil Painting

An introductory course for the aspiring artist, with Los Angeles artist Daniel Raminfard.
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• 205 students enrolled
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  • Lectures 21
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 5/2014 English

Course Description

In this course we will take you through the very basics of oil painting. Through introducing the first types of tools that you will use, and introducing the very core techniques to oil painting, this course will leave you feeling comfortable with picking up your brush and starting work on your own masterpiece!

What are the requirements?

  • None

What am I going to get from this course?

  • To help you become comfortable with the basic aspects of oil painting

Who is the target audience?

  • Individuals new to oil painting
  • Individuals who want a refresher on the basics of oil painting

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: The Materials

Daniel explains the different grades of paint and which colors he prefers to keep a simple palette.

Materials List
  • Payne's Grey
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Viridian
  • Cobalt Violet
  • Cadmium Red
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Titanium White

Learn about the different mediums and solvents and how to use them safely and effectively.

Materials List
  • Solvent
  • Clove Oil
  • Walnut Alkyd
  • Walnut Oil
  • Stand Oil
  • Poppy Oil
Action Items
Key Points
  • Mediums

    Mediums are something you add to paint in order to get a different effects from the paints.

  • Solvents

    Stick with odorless mineral spirits and other less toxic solvents over the traditional turpentine.


Daniel breaks down the various types of surfaces to paint on, and explains which type he prefers for himself and for beginners.

Materials List
  • Linen Over Panel

    Linen stretched over panel, a mix of properties that fall somewhere between the two.

  • Panel

    Not absorbent, great very beginners, lets your learn how the paints react.

  • Linen

    Less absorbent, highest quality and most traditional material, somewhat pricey.

  • Cotton Duck

    Very absorbent, good for landscape paintings.

Action Items
Key Points
  • Cotton Duck
  • Linen
  • Panel
  • Linen Over Panel

Even when you're just starting out, a variety of brushes and knives is key because it allows you more freedom to experiment and learn the craft.

Materials List
  • Sable Size 6
  • Sable Size 8
  • Sable Size 10
  • Bristle Round
  • Bristle Filbert Size 8
  • Bristle Filbert Size 10
  • Bristle Filbert Size 12
  • Palette Knife
Action Items
Key Points
  • Bristle Brushes

    Designed for digging the paint into the canvas.

  • Sable Brushes

    Softer brushes used for finer detail.


In addition to tools like paint and brushes, you'll need a few miscellaneous items when you start to paint, including a good palette to hold and mix your paints while you work.

Materials List
  • Paper Towels
  • Glass Cup
  • Glass, Paper, or Wood Palette

An easel is simultaneously super basic and very essential when it comes to painting.

Section 2: The Studio

Lighting is the first and perhaps most important consideration when you pick a spot for your home studio.

Action Items
  • Find a mixture of warm and cool
  • Set up near a north-facing window
  • Avoid glare
  • Buy a cool bulb and a warm bulb
Key Points
  • Lighting:

    Use a mixture of halogen and florescent to achieve a warm/cold mix.


Painting is generally a safe and fun hobby, but there are a few things you should be aware of before you get into it.

Action Items
  • Beware of inhaling harsh chemicals
  • Gloves help when you're starting out

Whether you're sitting or standing, you'll need some room to step back so you can take in your work as a whole, and wherever you put your palette, ensure that the lighting is the same as it is on your canvas.

Section 3: The ABCs of Painting

To get started, place your canvas and set up your palette with paints and medium.


Drawing is essential to visual art, and Daniel recommends spending a lot of time practicing.


Daniel explains how he arranges his colors on the palette and talks about the art of making new colors.

  • Kit Color Wheel

    Daniel's handmade color wheel demonstrates how to make new colors from the paints that are included in his painting kit.


Value has to do with the lightness and darkness of objects, and it's integral to painting lifelike images.


Daniel shows how to make the important aspects of your painting more clear by defining the edge.

Section 4: A Painting Demonstration

Washing your canvas adds a tint that sets the tone for your whole color range, so it's an important first step in the painting process.


After letting your washed canvas sit for about 15 minutes, it's time to start sketching.


After the rough sketch, it's time to start making adjustments and refining the objects.


When you start the block-in, your painting really begins to come to life.


Edges are one of the most important elements of visual art, and the more you practice getting them right, the better your paintings will become.


The finishing touches are where it all comes together. See "Downloads" below for the finished painting. All the paintings you see in the course outline were painted by Daniel.

1 page

A downloadable list of links and books for further study.

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Instructor Biography

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Demand Media, Inc. is a leading digital media and domain name services company that informs and entertains one of the internet’s largest audiences, helps advertisers find innovative ways to engage with their customers and enables publishers, individuals and businesses to expand their online presence. Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, Demand Media has offices in North America, South America and Europe.

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