From Acrylics To Oil Painting in 5 Easy Steps

How to use acrylic paints to make your step into stunning oil painting easier and more rewarding.
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  • Lectures 16
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 6/2014 English

Course Description

Many beginners are intimidated by oil painting and paint with acrylics instead. The approach of painting in layers using oils can be difficult to control leading to spoiled colors. A way to solve this transition is to use acrylics to lay out the painting and then move onto oils to complete the painting. By following a simple step-by-step process the transition to oil painting can be done quickly and easily.

Complete a large oil painting in one day!

This course will show you a step-by-step method that you can use with confidence. A series of demonstration videos will clearly show you how to prepare your painting surface in acrylics. Then compose and lay in your shapes using acrylics. Develop shapes in acrylics followed by oil painting stages to complete the painting.

This approach will give you confidence to learn oil painting with a solid foundation in acrylics. Once you are confident with this transition method you can decide to leave out the acrylic stage altogether. Alternatively retain the acrylic stages as a practical method to complete oil paintings quickly.

The course is structured around the typical painting process from idea to preparation of painting materials and finally the painting steps itself.

What are the requirements?

  • A set of acrylic paints and oil paints, brushes from numbers 4 - 10 in filbert or long flat shapes, easel, painting panels in size 10" x 12", pencil and oil painting medium such as white spirits and linseed oil.
  • Colors to include cadmium yellow light, cadmium red light, ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, yellow ochre and titanium white

What am I going to get from this course?

  • To learn how to move into oil painting with confidence.
  • To develop a helpful method to make oil painting easier for beginners.
  • To speed up the oil painting process without losing impact.

Who is the target audience?

  • Beginners

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: Introduction

A brief description of the concept of using acrylics to help with the transition to oil paintings.


The basic materials for the acrylic stage and oil painting stages are explained.


Details of the materials used in this course.

Section 2: A Quick Primer: Composition

I look at the reference we will be using and discuss the composition elements.

Section 3: Shapes & Value Introduction

A brief outline about what I am looking for in this reference photo as far as composition, shapes and values are concerned.

Section 4: Step 1: Tone in Acrylics

Step 1 of the acrylic stage is to tone the painting surface.

Section 5: Step 2: Draw & Compose Your Subject

In Step 2 you can draw in the basic shapes for the composition. No details, but rather placement of the main elements of the composition. A copy of the photo has been added for you to print out if you wish.

Section 6: Step 3: Acrylic Blocking In

Step 3 is the start of the blocking in of main shapes, light and dark values and mid value colors.


I finish the blocking in with acrylic paints. The basic shapes, lights and darks as well as color relationships are now in place.

Section 7: Step 4: Oils Blocking In

In Step 4 we need to decide on a few things: Do we paint a glaze over the dried acrylic, or a transparent layer of oil painting medium or simply paint directly onto the dry acrylic surface? This depends on the type of painting and the concept behind the painting too. I find that a thin coat of glaze or medium makes the oil paint more pliable as far as edges are concerned. A glaze, either warm or cool, can also add another dimension the the oil painting. In this example I am going to use a glaze made up of burnt sienna, with a medium consisting of equal parts linseed oil and white spirits. The warm glaze will add a earthy harmony to this sunny landscape scene.


After a few minutes I remove some of the glaze leaving a film of glaze behind. The glaze adds harmony to the painting, influences the upcoming oil layer and helps oil paint to bond to the surface.


In Step 4 we complete the light and dark blocking in with oil paints.

Section 8: Step 5: Define & Develop in Oils

In Step 5 we refine the shapes and work on the mid-value colors. The painting is nearing completion only after one layer of oils being applied yet the painting has a deep, rich appearance thanks to the acrylic base layer.


Step 5 Finishing touches is all about those few details that add interest and spark to your painting.

Section 9: Summing Up

In the end it is all about the painting and the process. Try the method and decide it it works for you. I hope you have enjoyed this demonstration and can take something of value out of it.

Thank you

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Instructor Biography

Malcolm Dewey, Professional Artist

I am a professional artist with twenty years experience in painting mainly in oil, acrylic and watercolor mediums. I have studied art for most of my life and continue to develop my style of painting. I enjoy teaching art, which has led to me developing courses to help artists seeking to improve their work.

I follow a representational approach to subjects using a painterly or impressionistic style. Plein air painting is a favorite part of my approach to painting. I currently produce paintings for sale to collectors worldwide.

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