Impressionism - Paint this Aspen Autumn scene in oil/acrylic

Learn Impressionism techniques by creating this Aspen Autumn painting. For total beginner through advanced painters.
4.7 (16 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a
course's star rating by considering a number of different factors
such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the
likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
546 students enrolled
62% off
Take This Course
  • Lectures 14
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 1/2016 English

Course Description

Impressionist painting with a focus on light. Bring a luminous quality to your paintings you’ve never thought possible. Learn how to build a painting in one sitting, “alla prima”, and how to savor interesting brushwork. You will also learn the invaluable concepts of drawing, value, color, and edges. Use these methods and knowledge to start your painting off right if you're a total beginner, or to take your painting style to the next level if you're more experienced. You’ve never painted like this before.

You can paint along with me during this entire course. I even have a camera angle that shows my palette as I'm mixing colors. You will learn crucial painting techniques in the process of creating a beautiful painting. Or feel free to just sit back and enjoy the show as I create a painting from scratch.

DOWNLOADABLE MATERIALS: I provide the reference photo I'm using for the painting, and an image of my finished painting for you to analyze. Also a materials list: you're free to use your own style of materials of course, but I'll list every single thing I use. I also provide a PDF flipbook showing each stage of the painting, so you can flip through quickly and see how the painting builds with each stage. (Look under the Downloadable Materials tab for each lecture, it's an icon of a little arrow pointing down)

This course is partial toward using oil paint, and I highly recommend it, however you can use acrylics also. Many of the concepts I discuss in this course apply to all mediums of art.

So take this course if you're ready to improve your painting with methods you've probably never seen before, and will have you thinking about painting in a new way. For all levels of painters.

What are the requirements?

  • Basic painting and drawing skills are recommended, but I will help start you off right if you're brand new.
  • Materials required: regular oil painting materials (paints, brushes, palette, solvent, canvas, easel); also charcoal, eraser, and paper. I provide a detailed list of all painting materials that I use.
  • A love of painting! (that one's cheesy, but it's so true)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Create an entire painting in one sitting
  • Understand Impressionism and why it is so powerful
  • Understand how light works to make things look the way they do, and how to translate that into your paintings
  • Understand the concepts of Drawing, Values, Color, and Edges
  • Learn the value of brushwork. So much can be said with so few brushstrokes.
  • Apply all of these concepts to let your own personal style develop

Who is the target audience?

  • Beginner painters who want to have good foundational skills from the start
  • Intermediate painters who want to learn more advanced techniques
  • Advanced painters who want to learn more about Impressionism, or to get fresh ideas and inspiration
  • Any painter who wants to watch a skilled painter in action, up close, and hear about every brushstroke, process, thought, and material
  • Anyone who enjoys watching someone create a beautiful painting from scratch

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: Welcome to “Impressionism - Painting With Light”

I will discuss who I am as an artist, and what it means to paint with an Impressionistic style. Also how we will focus on light effects when painting.

I also discuss the four main painting concepts: Drawing, Values, Color, and Edges. Please read the supplemental material I have provided here, where I go into a bit more depth into these foundational concepts of painting. I also provide examples of my work to demonstrate these concepts.

Look under the "Downloadable Materials" tab for the following resources:

  • Materials list showing all the art supplies necessary to do this painting project.
  • The reference photo that we will use for the painting.
  • The image of my finished painting to use as a guide or for inspiration.
  • A PDF of my discussion on the Four Main Painting Concepts.
  • A PDF flipbook showing each stage of the painting you are about to create with me.

Here you will find the downloadable resources needed for this painting course:

  • The reference photo that we will use for the painting.
  • The image of my finished painting to use as a guide or for inspiration.
  • Materials list showing all the art supplies necessary to do this painting project.
  • A PDF of my discussion on the Four Main Painting Concepts, which includes examples of my work to demonstrate these concepts.
Quiz for Impressionism and Painting concepts
6 questions
Section 2: Preliminary Drawing Study

Here I perform the preliminary drawing study in charcoal on paper. I use the following stages in this process:

1: Middle value

2: Simple line drawing

3: Dark values

4: Light values

5: Study of some important details

1 page
Download this PDF to review the key points to focus on when doing your preliminary drawing study. There is also the finished drawing for your reference.
Section 3: Underpainting

In this optional stage, I show you how to add some subtle texture to your canvas. Using a trowel and regular artists' gesso, I add a layer of white ground to the canvas. You can experiment here to make all kinds of textural effects, from subtle to dramatic.

This stage is completely optional. Most canvases come already primered with gesso and are ready to paint on. You can watch this video just for ideas, and go right to the Underpainting stage if you'd like.


Here I perform the underpainting, and discuss how important this stage is, and show how it relates to the Preliminary Drawing Study we just did. I discuss the simplified color palette we use during this stage. I break the underpainting down into the following steps:

1: Middle value (now with the addition of color temperature)

2: Simple line drawing

3: Dark values

4: Light values

5: Study of some important details


Bonus video! Here I actually show you how to clean up your palette when your mixing area becomes too crowded. I discuss the importance of this step, and why it needs to be done a few times during your painting. I also show you how to clean your brushes.

I discuss the materials I'm using that help facilitate this step.

1 page
Download this PDF to review the key points to focus on when doing your underpainting. Also provide is an image of the underpainting for your reference.
Section 4: Opaque Painting

In the first stage of opaque painting, I will outline the additional colors on the palette that we'll be using. In this painting we work "back to front", meaning we begin with the farthest object from the viewer (in this case, the sky), and work our way forward. The main light source is the cool temperature of the sky on the left, and the painting progresses to the right to be darker and warmer.


In this video, we continue laying the foundation of the foliage and ground level in large pieces. Remember, larger shapes first, then progressively smaller shapes later.


In this video, we add the trunks of all the aspen trees. We distinguish the ones in direct sunlight from the the ones in shadow.


We finish the painting by going back and adding as many smaller details as we'd like, such as leaves, blades of grass, and fixing edges where needed.


In the Downloadable Resources of this lecture, download this PDF to review the key points to focus on when doing your opaque painting. Also provide is an image of the finished painting for your reference.

Section 5: Wrapping Up

I will summarize the painting process in the context of the painting we just finished.

Here you can consult again the PDF flipbook showing each stage of the painting (under lecture 1, look in the "Downloadable Materials" tab). Use this guide to help organize your painting into definite stages.

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

Christopher Clark, Professional Fine Artist, Art Instructor

I've been passionate about telling stories through art since I was a kid. In my home in Orange County, California, I used to watch Bob Ross (the afro-wearing painter of "happy little trees" on public access TV) and I would mimic his paintings using crayons. I grew up knowing that creating art would always be my life's endeavor. I was never fortunate enough to pursue a formal art education, but I've more than compensated by private study with accomplished instructors, collaborating with highly-esteemed local artists, and devouring countless art books and videos. The art instructor who had the most profound impact on my technique was impressionist master Vadim Zanginian. Private study with Vadim in Los Angeles, California completely reinvented everything I knew about painting, and I attribute much of my current success to working with Vadim. The both of us being musicians as well, and tireless fans of the Beatles, each painting day would end with me on the guitar and Vadim on the piano as we sang away the hours with old Beatles songs. I've discovered that my favorite subject to paint is light itself, which means that anything in the world becomes my favorite thing to paint, if the light is pretty enough. I love to paint exotic locations (like Italy and Africa), New York skylines, Colorado landscapes, coffee, people, horses, birds, dogs, ice cream, you name it. My main medium is oil paint on canvas. My style could be classified as Impressionist, however I feel I'm somewhat of a blend of these fearless artists from the late 1800s and the more diligent Barbizon painters who came before them. I love having a scene that you can appreciate as a whole when standing at a normal distance, but when you get close you see a combination of accurate details, playful color, and loose brushwork. Over the years I've also become an accomplished art instructor, sharing my knowledge and passion for painting by educating eager students who hunger to tell their own stories. I've taught group and private workshops across the US and Italy. In these two facets of my career – creating paintings for people to enjoy, and teaching art – I accomplish my life's endeavor of sharing beautiful art with everyone. Thank you for visiting, and I hope we can tell great stories together.

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course