Welcome to Love Your Oils! It has been my mission to get artists to use oil paints for most of my past 20 years. Obviously if you are here, then you have been tempted by the Oil Painting muse as well.  In the first course of this series I will lay out the basics of Oil Painting. My goal is to make you comfortable and unafraid of the medium, and also excited to use it!  We will look at two fun Projects in this course to get you off and running with oils. 

First, however, I want to talk about materials in order to give you a nice foundation to work from. We will also look at "toxicity," and hopefully help alleviate any worries that you may have by giving you the knowledge to make good choices.

The Transition from Water Based Paints to Oil Paint
Many artists (including me) start out with some kind of water based medium such as watercolors or acrylics for various reasons, but here are a few:

  1. Easy clean up (especially when you don't have dedicated studio space).
  2. Easy to travel with. 
  3. Easy to keep the colors "clean and bright." 
  4. Easy to get started with as you do not need to learn too many rules.
  5. Easy to use without worrying about toxicity. 


So why is it that Oil Paint is so intriguing, beguiling, and calls to so many of us?

Here are just a few reasons why I love Oil Paint:

  1. The slow drying time allows me to alter images without completely covering them in a new layer. and also allows me to scrape back to earlier layers.
  2. Richer colors. To my eye, oil paintings have richer color and depth than acrylic colors.  (That being said, there are artists who are doing amazing acrylic color work, so there are always exceptions.)
  3. The potential of impasto and thicker paint application. This can be achieved with acrylics with the use of mediums, however I still find the thick oil paint to be a more organic texture and feel.
  4. The texture of the paint itself.  There is nothing quite like a nice buttery gob of oil paint!



Materials - From paint to brushes to substrates (what the heck is a substrate? You will find out here!), everything 'material-wise' that you need to know to get started. This class is PACKED with information!

All About Toxicity - What is toxic, what isn't, and how you can feel safe in your studio and just have fun painting!

Basic 'Rules' of Oil Painting - They aren't too complicated, really!  

How to Begin an Oil Painting - Starting with a simple still life, we will look at the traditional approaches to beginning an oil painting.

Keeping Colors Clean - How to avoid making 'muddy' colors with oil paint, and what mud really means.

Creating a Landscape - using what we have learned so far I demonstrate the process of creating a landscape painting.  




I've been painting with oil paints for almost 30 years and I'm still learning. However, after all of those years, I definitely have some tricks up my sleeve (along with Titanium White on my elbow). Everything from how to clean your brushes (or not) to saving solvent to 'controlling your muds' and lots more. Look for Melinda's Tips in every class.