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Impressionism - Paint this Autumn painting in oil or acrylic

Learn Impressionism techniques creating this Autumn landscape painting. For total beginner through advanced painters.
4.8 (40 ratings)
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669 students enrolled
Last updated 12/2016
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 7 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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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.

The reference photo I'm using is provided, as well as 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.

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.

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
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What Will I Learn?
Create an entire painting in one sitting
Learn about 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
View Curriculum
  • 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)
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 14 Lectures Collapse All 14 Lectures 01:39:30
Welcome to “Impressionism - Painting With Light”
2 Lectures 04:58

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 Resources" 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.
  • My discussion of the Four Main Painting Concepts.
Preview 04:41

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.
Downloadable Materials (Reference Photo, etc)

Quiz for Impressionism and Painting concepts
6 questions
Preliminary Drawing Study
3 Lectures 12:39

I will explain the necessity of doing this preliminary drawing study before the painting begins. I will explain how this process directly relates to the underpainting process.

I will explain the concepts of drawing and values.

I will explain why I use charcoal for this exercise.

Preview 01:39

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

Preview 11:00

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.

Summary for Preliminary Drawing
1 page
4 Lectures 25:13

I will review the charcoal sketch we just made, and explain how it relates to the underpainting. I explain what an underpainting is, and why it is crucial to building a painting.

What An Underpainting Is, and Why It Is So Important

Here I perform the underpainting. 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

Underpainting in Action

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.

Cleaning Your Palette and Brushes

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.

Underpainting Summary
1 page
Opaque Painting
4 Lectures 51:14

In the first stage of opaque painting, I will outline the additional colors on the palette that we'll be using. In this painting I begin with the source of light (the sun), and work my way outwards, gradually getting darker in value and cooler in color.

Opaque Painting Part 1: Light Source

Here I work my way across the tree, gradually changing the colors and values to make a nice gradated effect. I also do the sky and trees in the distance.

Opaque Painting Part 2: Continuing with Foliage

Here we finish the painting by working back to front: going from the distant grass to the foreground shade under the tree.

Opaque Painting Part 3: Finishing with the grass and foreground shade

Download this PDF to read some helpful tips for doing your opaque painting.

Opaque Painting Summary
1 page
Wrapping Up
1 Lecture 02:26

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

Also included is a PDF flipbook showing each stage of the painting (look in the "Downloadable Resources" tab)

Wrapping Up
About the Instructor
4.8 Average rating
160 Reviews
2,304 Students
9 Courses
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.
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