Learn to Paint With Impact
4.4 (508 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
4,291 students enrolled

Learn to Paint With Impact

From ordinary to stunning paintings! What makes a painting stand out from the rest? Learn how to add impact to your art.
4.4 (508 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
4,291 students enrolled
Created by Malcolm Dewey
Last updated 6/2018
Current price: $62.99 Original price: $89.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 6.5 hours on-demand video
  • 6 articles
  • 70 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • This course will show you how to assess a subject like an artist. Compose and paint a subject with confidence for maximum impact.
  • You will know how to mix colors to the correct value.
  • Why edges are so important.
  • How to use brushwork effectively.
  • Apply this system to studio and plein air painting.
  • Paints: (oils, acrylic or watercolor) titanium white, cadmium red light, cadmium yellow light and ultramarine blue. Size 6 and 8 flat brushes. A painting knife. Palette. Sketch pad and black felt tip marker - wedge shape tip. Grey marker optional. Pencils: 2B and 6B. Painting panels: size 6 x 8" or 10 x 12"
  • A passion for painting!

This course is designed to fill in the gaps left by conventional art instruction. We all want our paintings to stand out. To express our feelings or catch the eye of a collector. What is it that makes a painting move from ordinary to stunning?

The secret is learning how to see like an artist. No matter what your subject the basic foundation for color, value, edges and shapes needs to be in place. I take this further with extensive video demonstrations that give you the confidence to try yourself.

Challenging and fun assignments with demonstrations will help you put theory into practice. In this course you will learn by doing - the best way! Supplemented with over 200 pages of notes, video, slideshows and full demonstrations you will be able to take your painting to higher levels quickly and confidently.

This course will give you the confidence and direction to paint with impact.

What Others are Saying:

  • I've been painting for many years, but never had formal study. This course is a great way to learn the foundations of painting & tools that will help drive my painting to the next level. (Lynne)

  • Very well done. Very professional. (Bruce)

  • Malcolm is an excellent instructor. He is welcoming and knowledgeable..I am looking forward to learning A LOT! (Joyce)

  • Very thorough course. Unbelievable amount of information for the money I paid. Great instruction, Malcolm! (Linda)

With over 202 Five Star Reviews on Udemy there is a good prospect that you will find useful and practical painting tips from my courses. My primary goal is to make a difference to YOUR painting and increase your enjoyment of painting for years to come.

I hope you can join me today.



(Course Updated October.2018)

Who this course is for:
  • Beginners and intermediate
Course content
Expand all 89 lectures 07:35:13
+ Introduction
2 lectures 05:58

Thank you for joining this course. I do appreciate your involvement and I know that ou will gain from this experience.

Preview 02:26

An overview of the course and what you will be covering.

Preview 03:32
+ Your Painting Materials
5 lectures 12:28

Module 2 gives you more details about useful art materials that you can use on this course. Watch the video for details of the core materials required. Please also read the supplementary material for more information on your materials.

Materials Required for This Course

Canvas lined panels are easy to make and provide an excellent surface to paint on. These panels have the benefits of canvas, but are stronger and convenient to take with you on plein air painting trips. This brief demo shows you how to make your panels and prime them.

The Ideal Painting Surface: Make Your Own Painting Panels

How to prepare your painting surface is very important. You painting experience as well as the future of the painting itself depend on good priming.This video explains how to prime the painting surface before you begin painting on it. This procedure applies to canvas lined panels or panels without canvas. Prime and tone both.

How To Prime Your Painting Panel

Stretched canvasses are a good option for larger paintings. Panels can be too heavy, for instance, so a canvas gives a lighter option with a good surface to paint on. Here are a few options when purchasing canvasses. As always you get what you pay for so try for good quality canvas.

Traditional Stretched Canvas Options

Want to learn how to stretch your own canvas? It is not too difficult and is a rewarding exercise if you enjoy a bit of DIY.

Make Your Own Stretched Canvas
+ Your Studio Set-Up
1 lecture 03:23

Setting up your studio where you can work in peace is a priority. This lecture is about finding that haven of creativity. I also show you my painting space.

Please download the supplementary notes for more about creating a working studio.

Your Painting Haven
+ Use Shapes and Values for Impact
14 lectures 58:34

Why is this section on shapes so important? I give a brief introduction to this section.

Preview 02:59

An outline to the section plus materials required.

Shapes: Materials Required

This lecture explains how you can measure values using the Munsell value scale. By comparing color spots on your subject to the value scale you can identify the correct value of the color. This makes mixing accurate color simpler. Values are one of the keys to painting with impact.

Download the value scale below, print it out and stick it onto card. You will then have your own value scale to use during this course.

Values: A Quick Primer
Introduction to Notan Paintings

How to assess shapes in the confusion of a scene? This video shows ways to simplify the process.

Notan Painting & Values

Assignment 1

Ready to Start Assignments?

Assignment 2 is all about three value notan painting. This is the most common notan study used by artists so make it part of your process.

Assignment 2
1 page

The Next step in learning to simplify a scene into shapes and values is the outline study. More shapes and a fourth middle value come into play.

Outline Studies Introduction

We go beyond the notan study to select more shapes and values. From outline to painting a four value monochrome study.

Outline Study Demo

Do an outline study to practice identifying more shapes and values.

Ready For Another Assignment?

Another step up! This time you are going to paint a four value study. First in monochrome then in color. A few more shapes and values in the color study too. Now you can see values and shapes AND mix the color to match.

Paint a Four Value Study

Try your monochrome color value painting based on your outline study.

Assignment 4
2 pages

Now try mixing paint in color to match the values. Paint a color outline study to gain confidence in matching color and value. You can add more shapes and value in this study, but not too many. Simplicity adds impact.

Color Outline Painting

Try your own color value painting based on your outline drawing.

Assignment 5: Color Value Studies
2 pages
+ Color and Light
5 lectures 48:33

An overview of the upcoming lectures on color.

An Introduction to Color

What is color? This lecture starts this discussion by looking at the three qualities that make up color. Then we look at relationships between colors using these qualities to help us. A technical topic that will become clearer when you get into your assignments.

The Three Qualities of Color

Color relationships are important for adding immediate impact to your painting. We look at various color relationships, with examples, and how they can be applied.

How to Use Color Relationships For Impact

Color mixing from the primary colors can seem daunting to say the least. But it can be simple if you practice it regularly. Color mixing will save you money and make you a better painter more quickly. The ability to mix your colors instinctively plus adjust for value and saturation is an essential skill. This video shows how you can mix your landscape colors easily. Practice mixing these colors over several days until you are comfortable with the basic steps.

Color Mixing With Limited Palette

This lesson is about mixing neutral colors, also called grays, using the swatch method. It is an exercise I like my workshop students to use. It is a fun way to test your color mixing skills. Use this method from time to time to keep your skills sharp.

How to Mix Neutral Color
+ Advanced Color
7 lectures 36:06

I never use tube black in my paintings. So how to mix excellent darks that harmonize with my painting? By using existing colors from your palette you can mix fantastic darks. Here are a few trusted methods.

How to Mix Darks

In this lecture I take a brief look at the sources of light, reflections and the nature of shade.

Light, Shade & Reflections

This lecture looks at the difference between local color and observed color. How to use a color finder and are shadows always cool in temperature?

More About Light & Shade

This demo video shows how to start your painting with the shadow and light shapes. This is part of making a good start to your painting to simplify the major shapes into light and shadow color ranges.

PRO TIP: Practice making a start. Do this over and over with different references on small painting panels or even primed water color paper. Getting a confident start does a lot for your confidence and the painting's success.

Light and Shadow Painting Demonstration

Color Notes placed correctly bring the "music" to your painting. You can prepare color notes accurately using a color map to get correct mixes for tricky colors.

Color Maps and Color Notes
Assignment 6: Color Maps

The assignments continue in the Assignments Section below. For now lets go onto other important topics before completing the remaining assignments. Alternatively if you are a roll and want to press on with assignments then go for it.

Advanced Assignments Continue below!
+ How to Paint Edges for Impact
3 lectures 14:36

Why are edges so important? How can we manipulate edges for impact?

The Importance of Edges

We look at edges used in a painting and discuss why those edges were used.

More about Edges and Brushwork

A brief demonstration of typical edges that you can use in your paintings.

Typical Edges
+ The Four Keys to Paintings With Impact
3 lectures 11:01

A summary of the four key elements that will give your painting immediate impact. Also download the 4 Keys Poster to keep handy in your studio.

4 Keys To Painting With Impact
9 pages

Feeling overwhelmed? Focus on this one skill as it is the most important pillar to learn right now.

Recap: The Critical Pillar To Learn

Now lets us see how we can carry over that notan to a painting so that we make a great start.

Demo: How Shapes Help You Make a Great Start
+ Design Your Painting for Impact
6 lectures 41:41

What are the key elements of composition? Keep distracting elements out of the painting and keep the viewer's eye within the painting as long as possible.

An Introduction to Composition

Classic composition do's and don'ts

Composition Classics

Composition is important, but by following a few basic rules and using structure your composition will have impact.

Essential Design Elements

When faced with a landscape scene you may find yourself wondering what to do with all that information. Maybe you freeze up and revert to painting everything. 

Composition Example: Part 1 - The Problem

Let us have a look at a landscape scene with lots going on. Plenty of potential, but you must see what to include and what to leave out. Decide what it is you want to focus on. It is usually the strongest elements that instinctively draw your attention. Stay with those. exclude the rest.

Composition Example Part 2: The Solution

Still struggling to simplify the scene? Time to force yourself to paint the big abstract shapes! Use this method until you have developed the new habit. Get a LARGE brush and small panel. Size 16 brush and a small 10 x 12 panel. Then paint the painting using the same brush and see how far you can go. Repeat this exercise many times. It is a critical skill so please do not laugh it off.

Composition Example Part 3: How to Simplify the Scene
+ Drawing for Painters
2 lectures 11:44

Drawing can be an emotional topic. Is your drawing good enough? I give my view on why painters should not fret about drawing.

An Introduction to Drawing for the Painter

Many artists are intimidated by drawing, but this video shows why painter's have nothing to fear.

Drawing Tips For The Painter