Classical Oil Painting Technique | Oil Painting | Paintings

Welcome to Teaching Zone!


This TEACHING ZONE has been created specifically for those who are uncertain whether they should by the Video Workshop but are interested in learning more about the classical painting technique. As I said elsewhere in my site, my main goal is to share my knowledge with as many people as possible; and the membership fee is so low that using the Teaching Zone will be affordable to practically everyone interested in the Old Masters' oil painting technique. The Teaching Zone was created on the basis of the my Video Workshop and takes the form of an Internet book with appropriate interactive multimedia technology.


Hi, my name is Alexei Antonov. This is my first video course of classical painting technique. It is not just an art workshop. This is my first action for the ecology of culture. Exponents of modern art may find some of my ideas politically incorrect. This course, however, has been made for those who treasure eternal values in art. Enjoy the show!

When we come in the museum and view pictures of Old Masters of the Renaissance epoch, we are fascinated by their art, or, rather, by their craft. Subtle nuances of tone and color, precision of expression of texture and surface details. And the enigmatic lunar color in half-tones! We begin to feel that Old Masters were different from us. Were they better than our generation?

Then, entering a modern art hall, we see pictures that depict triangles, squares, and other unidentifiable forms, produced by splashing and slapping paint, and not only paint, with brushes, and sometimes not only brushes, on canvas, and sometimes not only on canvas. To make an abstract picture requires neither skill nor time, unlike a classical still life or portrait.

But if you were offered a choice of a beautiful still life and an abstract painting, showing a black or red triangle, which one would you chose if, say, the price were the same? Perhaps you will agree with me that most people would choose a beautiful still life.

In conclusion of this brief introduction, some words should be said about every artist's material concerns. Experience has shown that the classical school of painting can be studied without having a special "talent." The only condition is a passionate desire to learn and a little patience. The material aspect is rather important in this world of ours.

If you feel you can be an artist and support your family and yourself with the money earned by painting, remember, the competition in the art market is fierce.

And in the struggle you have to win not by begging the gallery owner to take your painting on consignment explaining verbally how extraordinary and talented you are. You can win by simply showing the gallery owner fragment of your painting and all avant-garde painters will then flee the gallery and go to work at the factory to earn their bread honestly. It is impossible to deceive the world; clarity, virtue, and beauty are returning, throwing deception, ugliness, and sin back into oblivion, where they belong.

You will learn how to paint a classical still life from the beginning to the end. UMBER UNDERLAYER DEAD UNDERLAYER I.This video course of classical painting will give you an opportunity to understand and practice the Old Masters' technique. If you are trying to do something in your own way. III. Finishing Layers. V. The background in Old Masters' still lifes is in most cases dark. Drawing. UMBER UNDERLAYER II. COLOR LAYER II. VI. II. COLOR LAYER FINISHING LAYERS CONCLUSION Composition There is no democracy in the world of classical art education. Umber Underlayer. IV. Imprimatura. VII. Color Layers. or trying some new technique. The course consists of the following sections: I. Dead Underlayer. Priming the Canvas. . Composition. you are outside the classical art temple. INTRODUCTION COMPOSITION PRIMING THE CANVAS DRAWING IMPRIMATURA I. VIII.


A glazed jar. try to create the exact image of your future painting. white drape. we will discuss them in our future workshops.When you have placed the objects for your composition. The first law of composition: place the source of light on the left. you have already started to create. for . A lemon is just a lemon. You should be very careful when choosing object for the composition of your future still life. When you place items on the table. There are many various types of still lifes. Don't take modern design objects. and a few fruits may be a good example for understanding the basics of still life texture. A lovely pear prefers to show itself to the world only by one certain side. but it must tell the world about all its brothers. In this course we will analyze a simple still life composition.

even Rubens. we have to change this composition to make it suit the vertical format. who lived in the 16-17th centuries. and they are not very numerous. Relying on a happy accident in laying out the drape. . drape. Particular attention should be paid to the folds. Learn from the Old Masters. we have to decide on the format of the future still life. A silver knife doesn't want to be shown together with a country-style jar. and your future admirers will be grateful to you. As a sculptor. plastic things. telephones. Its exponents have different goals and ideas about beauty. and fruit. Dew or raindrops add unbelievable freshness to the painting. Each fold should be viewed as a separate detail of the entire composition.example. All compositions have been made before. food processors. If we are painting a vertical composition. You should not try to be original when constructing the composition. For inspiration look into the paintings of Old Masters and ignore reproaches of the contemporary school. It is difficult to find a still life of an Old Master without sparkling drops of water. Remember. Now that we have an arrangement of a jar. you have at the same time to correct certain details. Light and shadow on the white drape change with every touch. We can do that by rearranging the drape. you must decide right now on all the nuances of your painting. chose the then antique objects for his paintings.

INTRODUCTION COMPOSITION PRIMING THE CANVAS DRAWING IMPRIMATURA I.a palette knife. COLOR LAYER FINISHING LAYERS CONCLUSION Priming the canvas To prime the canvas. and composition is the soul of the painting. . -a razor blade with corners rounded at the wheel machine. UMBER UNDERLAYER DEAD UNDERLAYER I. UMBER UNDERLAYER II. . you will need the following things: .a confectioner's knife. color is the muscles. COLOR LAYER II.It is conventional wisdom that drawing is the skeleton of the painting.

For study purposes.Similarly. you need to prepare the confectioner's knife. use ultra-smooth cotton canvas. To remove tiny scratches from the blade of the knife. . use fine sand paper once in a while. Its blade should have an elliptic shape.

Prepare a mixture of gesso and modeling paste: 50 percent of gesso. you must prime it again. . Even if you use primed canvas. The movements must be energetic and confident. Apply as many layers of the priming mixture as is needed to achieve the surface that will make the canvas texture almost invisible. When applying the priming mixture. change the direction of the movement of the knife as long as the mixture is soft. 50 percent of paste.

use a hair dryer.Stop before the mixture begins to thicken. To speed up the process. Never use sand paper for that: there can be a large grain of sand that will make a deep unrecoverable scratch.Make sure that the priming layer is well dried. Then use the round-cornered razor blade to remove excessive priming. .

this topic requires a special workshop. the surface of the canvas should feel like the surface of the eggshell. Constant drawing from nature. COLOR LAYER FINISHING LAYERS CONCLUSION Drawing To become an artist. constant exercise in that is as important as copying the works of Great Masters. INTRODUCTION COMPOSITION PRIMING THE CANVAS DRAWING IMPRIMATURA I. . COLOR LAYER II. UMBER UNDERLAYER DEAD UNDERLAYER I. However. you first need to learn to draw: drawing is the basis of art. UMBER UNDERLAYER II. Drawing is a means of thinking: the artist must be able to think without difficulty. After you have finished priming.The desired smoothness of the canvas is usually achieved after priming the canvas three or four times. now we are discussing painting technique and preparing the canvas for the next stages.

If you manage to make seven finished works on one canvas. grandfather of modern photo cameras. for example. or similar gadgets. beginning with priming the canvas. Leonardo da Vinci. Don't be afraid to use technical devices in your work. opaque projector. Each step in making a painting. you are bound to be successful.If you have problems in drawing. must be carried out with the highest possible quality. a camera is just a tool. invented a camera obscura. . Trey to make as many details as possible in the pencil drawing: it will make it easier for you to achieve a better quality in the next steps. use the advantages given by modern technology. slide projector. to achieve a better precision of painted objects. don't be put off by that. such as a camera. like a paintbrush. Each step should produce an impression of a finished work.

however. draw it out in ink. light and half-tone. It is also advisable to draw some details of texture. is done only for your own convenience: it will help you to memorize texture characteristics. Imprimatura. This. leaving the ink drawing as the first layer of your painting. the first oil layer. After you have made a pencil drawing on the canvas. and reflections. half-tone and shadow. . will wash away the pencil.The main of the pencil drawing is to create a precise structure of borders between areas of highlight and light.

particularly.Many unfinished paintings by Old Masters give us evidence of the importance of the ink drawing. and other structurally complex elements. The ink drawing remains. and the artist doesn't have to draw the composition again A little advice: pay particular attention to such details as the ornament of the tabletop. for the beginning artist: the beginner sometimes has to wash away everything he or she has done in the umber underlayer. According to Cenini. the painting in that form was already capable of fascinating the viewer. It is obvious that the ink drawing is not only good in itself. . value. lace ornament. it has an important functional.

INTRODUCTION COMPOSITION PRIMING THE CANVAS DRAWING IMPRIMATURA I. COLOR LAYER FINISHING LAYERS CONCLUSION Imprimatura Imprimatura is the first oil layer in the Flemish painting technique. You can use only yellow ochre and lamp black. The presence of Prussian blue and burnt umber in imprimatura enables you to make your mixture warmer or colder. UMBER UNDERLAYER II. Prussian blue and burnt umber are added to accelerate drying of the next layers. However. Imprimatura must have a neutral olive hue. UMBER UNDERLAYER DEAD UNDERLAYER I. . such as a white drape or a face. COLOR LAYER II. The degree of darkness or lightness of imprimatura should be chosen in relation to the largest light area of the future painting.

The mixture should be thinned with 20 parts of turpentine and one part of damar varnish.Flake white is added to make brush strokes softer.This . Prepare the mixture on a white palette: it will help you see the degree of transparency of the mixture. Be particularly attentive with Prussian blue: it is a very intensive pigment. Add paints to the yellow ocher very slowly and carefully. Spread linseed oil on each well-dried previous layer immediately before you begin the next layer.

Then remove excessive oil from the surface with a clean cloth. It also improves the process of dry brush blending.leads to a better contact of the paint of the dry layer with the paint of the next layer. Wipe the canvas well: excessive oil is harmful for the paint layers. . The mixture should be spread on the canvas with a bristle brush as evenly as possible. Apply the linseed oil with your hand: the warmth of the hand helps the oil penetrate into the pores of the dry layer.

Then blend the brush strokes as carefully as you can with a soft squirrel or camel brush .Then blend the brush strokes as carefully as you can with a soft squirrel or camel brush.

. COLOR LAYER II. Umber Underlayer Imprimatura is now well dried. COLOR LAYER FINISHING LAYERS CONCLUSION I. to remove paint that gets on it from the canvas. INTRODUCTION COMPOSITION PRIMING THE CANVAS DRAWING IMPRIMATURA I. it takes about 7 days. Imprimatura completes the main preparatory stage. This layer must dry very well. UMBER UNDERLAYER DEAD UNDERLAYER I.The dry brush that you use for blending should be cleaned with a cloth regularly. During that time you can begin work on other paintings. UMBER UNDERLAYER II.

and before you begin the next layer, you should scrape the canvas with the round-corner razor blade in order to remove an occasional brush hair and dust that covered the canvas during the 7 days of drying.

Use the razor blade very carefully; otherwise you can damage the imprimatura layer.

After that oil the canvas and remove excessive oil the way you did before.

Do the same thing with the palette.

You will need several round and flat kolinsky brushes of different brushes to paint with, and several soft squirrel or camel brushes for dry brush blending.

The working medium is composed of approximately 2 parts of turpentine, one part of damar varnish, and one drop of lavender oil. From time immemorial lavender oil was used to stimulate intellectual and physical activity. Old Masters knew that and added lavender oil in their working media. However it may be, a drop of lavender oil kills the heavy smell of turpentine.

Apply burnt umber to the canvas with confident movements, but stick to the drawing contour.

The technique of making this layer differs significantly from the traditional concept of oil painting: although your medium is oil paint, use it as if you were using watercolor. This means that light and shadow depend on the degree of transparency of the applied mixture; the pigment you add to the medium, the darker it will be.

As soon as you feel that you have covered an area with a desired tone, begin blending with a medium size correcting brush. Begin blending with the lighter areas, moving gradually to the darker ones.

use a big blending brush to achieve the final smoothing effect. which you use to spread the paint masses more or less evenly. .After the correcting brush.

One of the aims of making imprimatura is to reduce the amount of applied light paint. the relationship between imprimatura and the umber underlayer must be carried out in a way that would bring the future corrections to minimum. Therefore. .




Remember the golden rule: you make the next layer not to correct mistakes in the previous layer. UMBER UNDERLAYER II. Don't decide on the number of umber stages in advance. INTRODUCTION COMPOSITION PRIMING THE CANVAS DRAWING IMPRIMATURA I. Remember. leaving the tonal relationships between the still life objects for the next stage of the umber underlayer. COLOR LAYER FINISHING LAYERS CONCLUSION II. make as many as necessary to achieve the tonality that will not require improvements . Umber Underlayer In the first stage of the umber underlayer it is very important to maintain the construction between light and shadow of the individual object. The umber underlayer should consist of several well-dried stages. in the umber underlayer we shall only be able to make them darker. but you make the previous layer to facilitate work in the next layer. UMBER UNDERLAYER DEAD UNDERLAYER I. but never lighter. Be sure you don't make dark areas of the still life too dark. COLOR LAYER II.

however. some parts of black grapes. As the result of scraping the canvas after each layer the surface of the canvas should become as smooth as silk Scrape the canvas carefully. don't despair if you scraped some areas more than you wanted. Don't spare your time in the umber underlayer because in the next stages you will rely on it. these areas can be easily restored. a violin neck. the next layers. If you are able to avoid major tonal corrections in the layers that follow the umber underlayer. the tonal construction of the darkest areas must be made in umber with the greatest possible precision.You will avoid scraping the dry layer to the white canvas if you made the priming correctly. for some dark objects. you painting will be fresh and beautiful. . Naturally. . the darkness of umber will be insufficient. Don't forget to scrape the canvas with the razor blade to remove dust and excessive texture of brush strokes. for example. black cloth. that is if there is no uneven areas after priming.

you will need to make more umber stages. In our case. If you are painting a portrait or a complicated composition. the umber underlayer is completed in two stages.The classical composition laws require that light shall concentrate in the center of the painting and fade away near the edges of the canvas. .

The finishing stage of the umber underlayer may be called the generalizing stage. In the generalizing stage you can use larger brushes than in the previous stage.

All details of the composition were made in the previous stage. In this stage we only have to show tonal differences between the objects. This means, for example, that the lemon is darker than the white drape, but lighter than the pear. The jar is darker than the background, but is brighter lit. This is the last task that you carry out in the umber underlayer.


COLOR LAYER II.INTRODUCTION COMPOSITION PRIMING THE CANVAS DRAWING IMPRIMATURA I. UMBER UNDERLAYER II. . UMBER UNDERLAYER DEAD UNDERLAYER I. If you follow the technological rules. COLOR LAYER FINISHING LAYERS CONCLUSION Dead Underlayer It is not coloring that is most important in painting but tone. then even the most successful colorist of the Realistic school will envy the delicacy and depth of the classical painting.

then. color pigments can easily be bought later. whereas a realistic artist can see in the half-tone any imaginable color. The main purpose of the dead layer is to make half-tones of the painted objects. working on the color layer. your creativity will be free from the necessity to solve tonal tasks.Old Masters believed that the painting should be made in gray. The laws of the classical painting say that the half-tone should be cold. If you make the dead layer well. .

It is because of the dead layer finished paintings look lighter or darker. you can use film boxes. or. you may use empty tubes. warmer or colder. for shorter periods of storage.Remember. the colder the dead layer is the hotter and brighter the color will look on it. . To keep mixtures prepared for the dead layer.

Prussian blue. lamp black. Prussian blue and burnt umber accelerate drying and balance cold and warm colors in your mixture. They are flake white. after preparing the palette. we begin making mixtures. Now. and burnt umber.Pigments used in the dead layer have passed the test of time. . yellow ocher.

we take flake white. one part of burnt umber. we take two parts of lamp black.To make a black mixture for the dead layer. . and about one eighth of Prussian blue. To make a white mixture for the dead layer. and decrease the intensity of the open white by adding a little bit of black mixture.

. you must leave the canvas to dry better.After that. on the basis of the light and middle tone mixtures. To make sure that the layer is well dried. If the white cloth gets brown. whether you want to make it bluer. or browner. The middle tone mixture should be colored by adding yellow ocher. The umber underlayer dries in about three weeks. you make five more intermediate tones. Then. greener.The approximate proportion is two parts of the black. And remember. we make a middle tone between the light and the dark mixtures.The proportion depends on your vision of the dead layer. Two more intermediate tones should also be made between the middle tone and black mixtures. You should avoid violet tones in the dead layer. the dead layer is dominated by the gray color. you can oil slightly a corner of a white cloth and rub it on the dark area of the canvas. and one part of the light mixture. burnt umber and Prussian blue.

.When the canvas is well dried. oil. scrape it with the razor blade. and wipe the canvas the way you did before .

you can blend with your fingers. By touching lightly the painted area. identify the suitable tonality of the mixture. the other for light mixtures. and it becomes difficult to make blending with a brush.Now the canvas is ready for further work. . Always begin with dark areas . when the mixture on the canvas gets sticky too fast. All the next layers will be made with two brushes: one brush for dark mixtures. Sometimes.

.In the umber underlayer. that is you must repeat the chosen tonality in the dead underlayer. in the dead underlayer you can change the tonality only by one tone. you have already chosen the tonality. If we take the range between black and white as consisting of seven tones. Now you have to rely on it. You can alter the tonality towards shadow or light only to a small extent. up or down. You can make corrections in the tonality without making radical changes.

Visible umber areas must not be in a dramatic contrast to your working mixture. such as the background. . You should work as is imitating pen strokes. For that reason it is very important to work with small brushes even in large areas.A good guide in selecting the right tone is the areas of the umber underlayer seen between dead underlayer brush strokes.

Begin blending with the dark areas: they get sticky faster.Visible umber areas function as the third brush. .

On the contrary. because it is the light areas. particularly. use the biggest soft blending brush. which must have a thinner layer of paint in the dead layer. in the shadowed areas. Sometimes blending may take as much time as applying paint. To finish work on a certain area. . the areas with a greater amount of white pigments.After blending it may seem that the umber underlayer has become invisible. which become transparent faster than the darker areas. However. lighter areas require thicker layers of paint. it will continue its function.

Besides. . the blending brush cleaned from the dark paint with a dry cloth will not damage the light area as much as the blending brush with the remains of the light paint can damage the dark areas.











the tone should be darker in light areas and lighter in shadows than in the following color layer.You can ask why you should make so much work in the umber underlayer if you have to overpaint it. You should feel creative satisfaction after finishing each stage: while the painting dries between stages. His method is characterized by detailed and careful work in the umber underlayer that results in different tasks to be performed in the dead underlayer. It is recommended to make ten or fifteen paintings using this method before learning other ways of making the dead underlayer. such as Ian van Haisom's technique. It is important to make half-tones as precise as possible because they will hardly be corrected in further layers. Your visitors and yourself see it. In future workshops we will discuss other methods of making the dead underlayer. it lives in your studio. However. Now it is advisable for the artist beginning to work in the classical technique to make the dead underlayer by painting all elements of the still life in order to understand the tasks and meaning of the dead underlayer in practice. The tone in the dead underlayer should be made lighter in light areas and darker in shadows. Don't work on the texture in this . In future we shall also discuss some other possible shortcuts. don't deprive yourself of that pleasure. There will be places that you will not paint at all. compared to the umber underlayer. The best answer is found in the museums: paintings made in the classical technique look best of all.

Many aspects of the forgotten technique have been discovered. COLOR LAYER FINISHING LAYERS CONCLUSION I. From that standpoint. The knowledge of that technique lived in the artists' guilds through the 17th century. due to the emergence of new ideas in painting. it is a mistake to think that oil painting does not require any methods. . COLOR LAYER II. New ideas in art should look for other materials for their realization if they contradict established and time-honored traditions. it should be remembered that oil paints stick well on the carefully prepared canvas. They make the best examples of painting. that had been the basis of the artist's work. The best techniques of oil painting were developed in the Renaissance epoch. but they inevitably become visible sooner or later. particularly by neo-impressionists. As early as in the first art academies the technical artistic training of the artist was replaced by philosophic artistic education. In the 18th century. or leaving more visible brush strokes in other places. It is true that defects of incorrect use of oils are discovered not so soon compared to other mediums. Naturally. shading. Since that time the knowledge of painting technique. oil painting requires strict adherence to a certain technique. whatever its goals may be. UMBER UNDERLAYER II. and are an excellent medium for modeling. Speaking about the qualities of oil paints.stage. In the entire history of oil painting their style and technique are unique in their harmony of materials and artistic taste. regrettably. impressionism brought in a false style in oil painting that. But an oil painting technique. but this method does not arise from the intrinsic properties of oil painting. Impressionists' destructive ideas were brought to gargantuan proportions by their followers. Dramatic neglect of the oil painting technique occurred in the age of French impressionists who introduced a non-systematic use of oils. However. and you can make layer after layer without any system. has its followers up to now. both from the artistic and technical points of view. that is employed to create long-lasting works of art. it is now possible to relate the Old Masters' technique with the modern understanding of art. but painting itself went far away from the goals and principles of Old Masters' painting. UMBER UNDERLAYER DEAD UNDERLAYER I. that technique was gradually lost. begins to be viewed as limiting artistic freedom. Pointillism may have a certain sense from the artistic point of view. Color Layer Color Layers Now we are beginning the first color layer. On the contrary. Research into oil painting techniques carried out both by artists and by scholars was primarily aimed at discovering and regeneration of the lost Old Masters' methods. and achieving most delicate transitions from tone to tone. because they remain wet for a long time. The knowledge of the physical characteristics of the materials enabled Old Masters to create the technique of oil painting that has never been surpassed. INTRODUCTION COMPOSITION PRIMING THE CANVAS DRAWING IMPRIMATURA I. must arise from the properties and characteristics of oil paint materials. but begin thinking about it while making blending smoother at places.

extra fine Indian yellow. We'll be using ivory black. burnt umber. yellow ocher. and our regular dead underlayer mixtures. we begin work on the color layer. . permanent madder deep.Make sure that the canvas is well dried. red ocher. flake white. Prussian blue. transparent oxide red. cadmium yellow deep. After the usual preparation of the canvas and the palette before the next stage. Our canvas dried for four weeks.

add a little semi-transparent mixture with some Prussian blue. Working on medium-light areas. Semi-transparency is achieved by making sparse brush strokes with a small brush with subsequent blending with a dry brush. apply semi-transparent mixtures. Working on shadows you should use more transparent mixtures. .When painting middle tones on large areas.The main principle of the first color layer is that you should make shadow areas darker and more colorful.

Lighted areas should be made lighter and more colorful too. To make it warmer. Painting the wall that is our background. you should cover the shadow areas of the dead underlayer with a darker and warmer mixture of ivory black. By cold colors we mean colors closer to that of ice. . To make the background colder. don't overuse that mixture. and permanent madder deep. you can make it warmer or colder. whereas warm colors are closer to that of flame. use more paste-like mixtures. The wall will look much colder even if the lighted areas on it will be made with very warm mixtures. applying them rather thickly. Working on light areas. burnt umber.

the table top made in gray in the dead underlayer become dark mahogany. Keep in mind that literally a couple of color brush strokes may be enough to make. leave visible as many dead underlayer areas in half-tones as possible.Applying color mixtures on a well prepared shape in the dead underlayer. . for example.

Texture is the degree of reflection of light by the surface. for example. the surface of a glass or polished furniture. we notice that some objects reflect light brighter and sharper. particularly. We do not carry out texture tasks in the color layer. The detail that . Now you can see the advantages of this technique. like our white drape or the mat wall in the background. but gradually intensifying lighted areas on the objects. while other objects reflect light more dimly and dispersedly.Each layer brings us closer to the concept of texture. for the beginning artists.

and reduce the lighted part of the surface. you should intensify the color. raise the tone. in order to achieve a glossy think went wrong is wiped away with a cloth from the previous well-dried layer. stick to the following rules. In order to achieve a mat effect in the next layers. On the contrary. To make a correct degree of light on the surface of an object for a certain texture. you should use mixtures that are closest to the tone of the dead underlayer whereby avoiding excessive contrast in transition from light to shadow. . The matter is the surface the smoother the transition will be.

or redder than the red paint. the shiniest elements in our still life. The main thing in this stage is not to overdo it. the creative part in our craftsmanship. in the color layer you begin to think by means of the brush: you paint objects. Unlike the dead underlayer. that in the last layer the glossiest surfaces will be those that have the lightest and sharpest highlight. wipe paint away with a cloth or with your fingers.Remember. Remember that you won't find anything whiter than the white paint. You should leave some color in tone work for further layers. . you try various color mixtures This is. The brightest and sharpest highlights in the finished painting will be the sun reflected in the sparkles of water. that is made rather mechanically. undoubtedly.

Accordingly. blackened at places. we express the whiteness of the white drape not by means of the intensity of the white . The lightness of the white drape can't approach the light intensity of the water drops. which therefore will take a longer time to dry. cover areas where the glaze was lost.In the jar we can see hints at the texture: gray patches. It is better to start with the white drape because it requires a greater amount of paint.

color. From time to time add more fresh mixture to light areas in order to increase the thickness of the layer. We paint the white drape in the color layer with little difference to the previous layer. . The transition from light to shadow should be made as smoothly as possible. Orange beams of the imaginary sun color the bulging parts of the drape very delicately. transforming the dead color of the underlayer into the emphatic bluishness of the half-tone contrasting with the orange light. but by means of the darkness of the objects around the drape.

Remember that the mixture for painting the light areas of the white drape should be the same. . We can view a highlight as reflecting the blue sky and the shiny orange sun.The folds of the drape are made according to their own laws. that is why make a sufficient amount of that mixture. Paint details of the ornament without going into the texture of the threads and the nap of the cloth. In some places they form sharp angles between which there are soft round folds.

As you can see. . blending of the delicate tonal transitions of the drape's surface becomes particularly significant.

there is little work in painting the shadows of the white drape because the half-tone replaced the shadow. The reflection is always warmer than light. The mixture for painting the white drape is made of the corresponding dead mixture with a small addition of a lighter mixture. Don't spare your efforts when blending the soft drape. .Compared to highlight. the reflection is a hot glittering of a fireplace or candlelight. As you can see. so that you can achieve a mixture one half-tone higher.

We can correct the dark areas of the drape only in the construction of the folds. and transparent oxide red. ivory black.In the deep shadow that is not lit by the sunlight. Be careful not to make the tone too high. Very often you can hear people viewing Old Masters' still lifes exclaim. Lemon takes a conspicuous place in the Flemish still life. Make the dark edges non-existent. "Look at this lemon! It really makes me hungry!" . the drape is lighted by the imaginary fireplace to the right of us. even if you are painting the white drape.The resulting mixture should be colored with cadmium yellow deep and red ocher. the color and tone of the dead underlayer are quite satisfactory in the shadow. using burnt umber.

While painting the skin. Make the tone darker in the lighted areas only with burnt umber. use yellow ocher and cadmium yellow deep. The skin of the lemon is grainy and glossy. All we can do is to paint the color of the skin. In shadows. It is very difficult to make this texture in this layer. Hence a good advice: treat the lemon you are painting as something delicious and not just a combination of yellow forms.Gastronomic reflexes are not at the last place in the perception of high art. . to umber you can add ivory black. The gloss on the lemon skin creates a symmetrical play of highlight constellations in the lighted area.

closer to the shadows add transparent oxide red. blending with a large fluffy dry brush. Generally speaking. always try to merge the borders of almost black with almost white. the brush stroke shadowing. and thirdly. correction with a soft dry brush. .The darkest places of the lemon skin should be blended with the background tone to avoid the unpleasant monotony of the sharp contour. First. The classical oil painting technique rests on three principles. secondly. Paint the lemon flesh with a mixture of Indian yellow and cadmium yellow deep.

The inner layer of the skin is soft and white. shadow. . and drop-shadow. so treat it as an ordinary opaque detail that has a highlight. light. half-tone. Forget the highlights for the time being.The flesh of a lemon is made of hundreds of transparent water balloons with amber yellow sour juice joined into a single mass. Where the lemon was cut with a knife there is a microscopic play of highlights that can only be seen through a magnifying glass. Try to perceive the lemon as if made of semi-transparent amber.

Let's make the wooden handle of the knife not very conspicuous in the general coloring of the composition. We can perform this task now.The membranes in the lemon flesh are less transparent and create an additional play of light and shadow. .

Apply the mixture carefully. find the reflections of the drape and the lemon on it. The blade of the knife is like a mirror. moving from the lightest area to the half-tone. To paint the sharp tip of the blade.Its construction should be painted with burnt umber and ivory black mixture. . gradually decreasing the thickness of the applied paint. use your sharpest brush.

. The lighter part of the half-tone that is closer to light gets lighter and warmer. but with an orange hue. and is not so intensively yellow as the lemon. The darker part of the half-tone that is closer to the shadow gets darker and warmer. The pear is yellow in color.Half-tones consist of their own light and shadow.

. It has more visible dead underlayer in the light area. and the sweetness of the pear is expressed with hot shadows. Certain greenness in the half-tone makes an impression of "sour" yellow color. . The gloss of the pear's surface is not so shiny as the lemon's. that is why its color should be made closer to the dead underlayer tone.

.The use of fingers for wiping away the applied paint can be an irreplaceable method of developing the previous layer in order to create various hues of color and light The porcelain plate has a misty mirror surface reflecting nearby details.

The golden edging is also a mirror but more contrasting than porcelain. The gold in the shadow is almost black and brown; in the light it is a mixture of yellow ocher and gray, tone to tone. We'll discuss highlights on the edging later.


II. Color Layer
Another method to make sure that the picture is well died is to scrape the canvas with a razor blade and see if the paint comes off as shavings or as powder. If it comes off as shavings, the picture hasn't dried well enough.

In our case the painting has dried too much: two months passed since the previous layer.

The glossy surfaces will not absorb oil, which means that the contact between the fresh layer and the dry layer will be bad, and the movement of the brush will be handicapped.

To eliminate this problem, we can use an onion.

Onion's ether oil will soften will soften the outer microscopic layer of the dry paint, and will make the dry layer have good contact with the fresh paint.

In the second color layer we'll be using flake white, regular gray mixture, ivory black, burnt umber, permanent madder deep, Chinese vermilion extra, red ocher, yellow ocher, cadmium yellow deep, extra fine Indian yellow, and Prussian blue.

The second color layer is made according to the general principal of the first color layer: more light and more color in the direction of the texture. As you may have noticed, during the drying period the color

The sun makes paints lose lightfastness many times quicker than when the painting gets dry in the studio. Now the flesh of the lemon is well prepared for making the texture. . keeping in mind our general principle: in light areas add more light and more color. We sort of repeat the work we did in the previous layer. Some areas of half-tones can be overpainted with semi-transparent mixtures with slight deviations in light or shadow. In this layer delicate nuances of light and shadow come into play more and more. Here we begin to work on very small areas of light and shadow. This means that the top layer has become more transparent and got a little darker due to the dead layer. but we intensify light and color. and the thinnest brush. work with a light and a dark brush. in dark areas add more darkness and more color. This was recommended by Old Masters because it accelerates drying and makes pigments a little more transparent. We can now see more nuances in half-tones that were not visible immediately after the completion of the first color layer. Let's take open white with cadmium yellow deep.To create this effect. You can try making reflections with open cadmium yellow deep. Dry your painting in the sun. Now we must find the rhythm of tiny bubbles of the lemon flesh.layer has got dimmer. but don't leave it outside overnight. with a little difference in tone compared to the tone of the underlayer.

The light and shadow play achieved in the previous layer prompts the movement of the brush. Let's emphasize the difference of the white flesh with cold mixtures. .You can try making reflections with open cadmium yellow deep. Try to recreate the softness of the white layer of the lemon skin.

try to remember the succession of operations. That's why try to find artists holding similar views and study the classical technique together. and to a smaller extent. The viewers will evaluate the painting's artistic and technical quality on the basis of natural criteria of beauty that people are born with. its texture will cause no difficulty for you. For example. knowledge based on the use of method and skill. Don't make the same mistakes. Try to remember the proportions of your mixtures. The regeneration of classical painting depends on our joint efforts. Unlike the modern school of painting.Light touches of the fluffy dry brush may be very helpful. Hypothetically. admirers who long for simple and understandable beauty. keep a diary of your observations. Craftsmanship in art can be called the science of painting. in other words. on the name of the artist. Even Great Masters worked on their paintings together with other artists. and an army of admirers tired of the destructive ideas of the modern aesthetics. in Rubens' paintings many portraits were painted by Van Dyke. The science of painting was created by generations of artists during a few centuries. The success of a classical a painting depends on the quality of the painting. and fruits and flowers by Snyders. the decay of classical painting began when artists stopped cooperating with each other. that calls for originality and uniqueness. Once you have painted a lemon two or three times. and not on the basis of false aesthetic views disseminated and imposed on us . the classical school gives you the power of knowledge of the method and rules accumulated for centuries. There's no competition in the world of classical painting.

. let's go back to our lemon. the lemon will always remain yellow and sour. Whatever shape and color the avant-garde artist chooses for depicting a lemon. An avant-garde artist can. Don't hurry in doing that. But it will take some time to explain that the purple square is a venal critics who run the art market. In addition. and. and even more time to convince the viewer that it is beautiful. try to find the right size and proportion of the lemon skin pores.That's why. of course. The color of the lemon skin is not ready yet for painting the texture. according to our principle: more light and more color. we paint the skin one more time. we can identify a birthmark that will make our perfect lemon more life-like. paint a lemon in the form of a purple square. The most difficult part in painting a lemon is to depict the grainy skin.

make it lighter and more colorful. again. .Painting the pear. keeping the warmth of the orange color in its yellowness.

painted with permanent madder deep.The pear's blemishes. . and Chinese vermilion. speak of its sweetness and ripeness. burnt umber.

that's why the blue shape under the highlight is like a rectangular shape of the window.The warmth in the shadow breathes life into our fruits. Highlights on glazed surfaces must be painted over a prior light-ray mixture with Prussian blue. The sky is reflected through the window. Blend your red brush strokes with the tender skin of the juicy pear. The blue under the highlight is a kind of reflection of the blue sky around the bright orange sun. .

cadmium yellow. don't remove dust from them. and vermilion mixture so that the paint dries better for the next layer. however.Dust covering things produces a bad impression in everyday life. Now we are preparing the surface for a highlight. That's why a little suggestion: if you have any still life objects. a bluish coating of dust always looks attractive. in the classical painting. . Add some burnt umber to flake white. in which we'll paint the highlight again with a greater intensity of light and color.

vermilion. The jar's shadow is not just a mixture of black. and red ocher strokes will remind the viewer that the flesh of the jar is made of brick-red clay. Now we are correcting the construction of the jar: it is our last opportunity. It is the reflection on the glazed jar of .The glaze of the jar is not so glossy as lemon juice drops. Your bright madder deep. As you can see. that's why it must be blended well. there isn't much paint on the jar. umber. and madder. but it is sufficient to tell the viewer about its true color.

. we begin making the porous texture of the jar. We dip the very tips of the brush's hairs in the thin mixture. with subsequent blending. and then. we achieve the desired effect. In the same way we make tiny dots that are visible through the pear skin. Using the blending brush.the dark space of your room. by touching gently the canvas.

and a little vermilion. Let's also check the construction of the knife. cadmium yellow deep.By means of careful blending you should make those dots hardly visible. The highlight is made with flake white. Let's check once more the construction of the plate. with a very sharp brush. .

. deepen the shadows and check the construction. but not the shape.Cover the lighter areas of the table top with vermilion and madder deep. With madder deep and ivory black. Use gray with some Persian blue to make the dust coating in the dips of the ornament. but keep in mind that it is not the highlight yet: it's the color of the wood. This orange mixture is used not for highlights but for wood worn to lightness. that is why the dust coating should also have its light and shadow. Dust changes the color.

Having made corrections and blending. with some more blending afterwards. Let's intensify the highlight on the background in color and tone. . and complete them with the light brush. In the unlighted areas the tonal step is much more gentle than in the lighted areas. let's now make cracks in the wood with the dark brush. There's always some blue on the border between the sharp drop shadow and light.

the finishing layer. . for the next day's work. Keeping the palette with paints in the fridge has the effect contrary to keeping the painting in the sun: it'll help to keep your paints fresh.Closer to the texture. in order to create an additional play of light and shadow. and then wash the palette and the brushes with paint thinner. Put the unused paint on another palette. and keep the palette in the fridge. Remove the waste mixtures from the palette. blending is always livelier.

COLOR LAYER FINISHING LAYERS CONCLUSION Texture We are now beginning the last layer of the texture.After that wash the brushes in warm water with dish soap that neutralizes any fat. .The canvas dried during one month. and it has dried well. thus you will prepare your brushes for the next day's work. After the usual preparation we begin work. INTRODUCTION COMPOSITION PRIMING THE CANVAS DRAWING IMPRIMATURA I. UMBER UNDERLAYER II. COLOR LAYER II. UMBER UNDERLAYER DEAD UNDERLAYER I. there wasn't much paint.

is seen in the previous layers.We'll be using flake white. cadmium yellow deep. Be very attentive in accentuating the direction of folds and wrinkles of the drape. ivory black. The sign of the drape's texture. extra fine Indian yellow. and Prussian blue. permanent madder deep. Chinese vermilion extra. burnt umber. yellow ochre. regular gray mixture that we have been using since the dead underlayer. Work only on the lightest highlight areas of the drape. in which the contour of the drape . its nap. red ochre. transparent oxide red.

more and more cadmium yellow and red ochre.was softened at places. As before. At the texture stage the main role will be played by our thinnest brush. . open white in the white drape. following our principle: more light and more color with each layer. Keep in mind that there is no. and there cannot be. The ornament should be made to the maximum possible perfection. we are using our gray mixtures. adding to them however.

The correcting brush should be used very carefully. without wide strokes. In painting the drape.It is in this very stage that our objects gain their final color and shape. Now we can observe a miracle that amazes us in the museum: an optical mix of colors due to the translucency of the layers. . use the big blending brush. Only after you make sure that the paint has been distributed accurately. try to depict the most characteristic features of the fabric.

But many other textures can be composed well. Don't listen when you are advised top stop painting because your picture looks very elegant. the smallest falseness will make the drape look plastic. The goal of the classical painting is not to depict objects as close to nature as possible. Now we will finish the jar's pores that we began painting in the previous layer. Many proponents of the realistic school suffer a lot because they don't know when to finish. It is very difficult to compose these objects. but to compose a beautiful composition of color and tone. There's one more advantage of the classical school: we know precisely when the painting begins. and very often they stop in the middle of the work. a rose. and flowers cardboard. Real life can give you good prompts. Rely on the laws of painting more than on what you see in real life. . and when it is completed.At this stage your picture has just been born. You must carry on to the highlight. The completed highlight signals the end of the work. or a face. and during all your lifetime it will be getting more and more beautiful. because all paints have the property of getting more and more transparent as time passes. particularly in such objects as a drape.

Now. Give your viewer an opportunity to have a good look at the details. the water drops. but don't overdo it.Be inventive in this stage. . To paint them. and a couple of little suns on the bends of the jar. use the color of the nearby darker tone of the surface. We are painting the sun in the center of its halo.

blend your touches. Touch the drop's highlight very gently. also with great care. and after that the spherical reflection of the highlight at the other side of the drop.Blend the painted base of the drop with the thinnest brush in the most careful way. with the tip of the paint that is hanging on the tip of the thinnest brush. Then. .

Let's invent a crack on the jar. Very delicately. perhaps our village vessel will forgive us this flirtation. In fact. . make blending with the big brush. The most difficult part in the finishing layer is the grainy skin of the lemon. we are beginning and finishing it in this layer.

wipe oil well from the surfaces that you didn't work on. and find the proportion of the pores to the distance between them. in order to emphasize the yellowness of the skin with the warmth of the highlight Don't make irregular thrusts with your brush. and your viewers will be grateful to you for your efforts. Give that time to the painting. Before you begin work the next day.We use a light brush with a considerable difference in tone. If you have to delay your work until the next day. even if it will take you several days. and a mixture warmed with vermilion. your painting. Concentrate. oil these . Take your time.

Let's invent details that real life objects lack. paint the second lemon. Make the lemon flesh sparkling. using the two brushes. Similarly. . light and dark. take a lemon and cut some skin from it. the same correcting brush with subsequent blending.surfaces locally. For inspiration.

we make a bluish coating. cadmium yellow deep. and blend it to make the surface of the pear look mat.First. . Then we make the highlight. with the same highlight mixture of flake white. dimmed with burnt umber and a little Prussian blue. and vermilion.

Now the drops. Use the color of the nearest shadow.Don't forget to make a hint at the bluishness of the sky. . when you paint highlights. The highlight of the drop is made with flake white with a little cadmium yellow deep.

We make final corrections. The highlights are much darker than those of the jar. Let's make the wood texture with a dark and a light brush with subsequent blending.The highlight of cold steel is of the same color as of cold water. . dim the intensity of the highlights with burnt umber.

. you will be judged by your descendants by your signature. Remember that your painting will live at least three or four hundred years. perhaps. and. Let's sprinkle the tabletop with a few drops of water.Think of an elegant signature.

Imagine that the previous layer of paint on the wall was of a warmer hue. Blend well to prevent these areas from coming to the foreground. Now we work on these areas first with a dark brush. then with a light brush. . and blend them after that. We make the areas where the paint peeled off the wall a little higher in tone.We can make the background a little livelier by showing a few areas of paint peeled off the wall.

even if it isn't shining in real life. . or even if it isn't gold at all. The gold in the painting must shine. but your creation looks at its best only after varnishing. you can display it that way too. Let's once more light the highlight on the background.Now we just used the opportunities of the air perspective. The painting that is not varnished looks pleasant as it is.

Cover the canvas with the regular non-thinned damar varnish using a soft flat varnish brush Keep the painting in the horizontal position for at least one day: it will make brush strokes spread on the surface evenly. Clean the surface from dust. After drying the painting for at least six months. . To show how to do it. you must apply a cover varnish.Varnish saves the layers from all sorts of damage. and apply varnish in quick and confident movements. we'll use another painting because our still life hasn't dried yet.

you may be completing almost one painting a day. One may think that the classical painting technique takes too much time and efforts. then. .The process of painting is finished. From this moment never expose the painting to the open sun. after a few months. But if you work on several paintings simultaneously.

Accordingly. so bright and fresh their colors are. Thus. Why did we choose this particular painting technique from a variety of Renaissance painting methods? Anyone visiting Renaissance halls in the museum can notice that some paintings look as fresh as if they were just painted. details are hardly seen. not satisfied with the original position of the legs. COLOR LAYER FINISHING LAYERS CONCLUSION Conclusion Let's make a brief review of what we have done. . unlike paintings made on gray or dark brown priming. oil paints become more and more transparent. that is why paintings executed on the white canvas with umber underlayer look as fresh as if they were just made. in order not to lose face with your descendants. because umber underlayer practically does not fade at all and the white canvas remains white. UMBER UNDERLAYER II. make all your compositional decisions as early as in the pencil drawing. You must have as many brushes as you can afford. grew gray or brown. Kolinsky brushes wear out very fast. For the same reason you should be very careful with all sorts of corrections in oil painting. The reason is in the painting technique employed by the Renaissance artist. In other pictures paints faded. because the artist. As time passes. UMBER UNDERLAYER DEAD UNDERLAYER I. that's why use a palette knife to make mixtures on the palette. overpainted them to be covered with the tone of the ground. when possible. Any radical correction will become visible. in 'The Portrait of Philip IV on Horseback" by Velasquez exhibited in the Madrid gallery you can see eight legs. COLOR LAYER II.INTRODUCTION COMPOSITION PRIMING THE CANVAS DRAWING IMPRIMATURA I.

to blend. Applying paint with a kolinsky brush. . camel. pony hair. and soft synthetic brushes. try to use the very tip of the brush imitating pencil or pen strokes. An old flat kolinsky brush with worn out hair can be used as a semi-dry brush.Please pay attention to how useful old brushes can be. Begin each element of the still life slowly and carefully starting with more important details. They are very goods for both applying paint and for dry brush correction. For blending and correction we used squirrel. The main tools in our work were kolinsky brushes. from size 0 to 1 inch. and to remove excessive paint. You can use it to apply paint. Don't try to paint the chosen area in one go. WE used kolinsky brushes of different sizes. After applying a sufficient amount of paint use a correcting or blending brush. leave the original brown ink drawing so that you can see the guide contour as long as possible.

yellow ochre. and for making small amounts of mixtures on the palette. cadmium yellow deep. extra fine Indian yellow. The working medium used in all other layers is composed of approximately 2 parts of turpentine. Prussian blue. The working medium for the imprimatura is made of 20 parts of turpentine and one part of damar varnish. Additional paints that are safe to use are permanent madder deep. for making large amounts of the dead underlayer mixtures. Chinese vermilion extra. burnt umber. red ochre. and lamp black.We used palette knives for priming. and ivory black. transparent oxide red. and one drop of lavender oil. Use pure damar varnish as the cover medium. Our regular set of paints was flake white. 1 part of damar varnish. .

and 1 part of modeling paste. Prime the canvas to the degree of egg-shell smoothness. For priming. Overdraw the pencil drawing with water-based brown ink. We used ultra-smooth cotton canvas.Canvas. . we used a mixture of 1 part of priming gesso.

It is made of yellow ochre. In this layer you work on shadows. Make the general tone of the painting using burnt umber. From now on. lamp black. oil the canvas and remove excessive oil before each layer. with some Prussian blue and burnt umber. . Imprimatura is the middle tone of the lightest area of the painting. From now on. Umber underlayer. scrape the well dried canvas with a round-corner razor blade before each layer.Imprimatura. Before you begin each layer. make sure it is well dried. and working in several stages. depending on the climate you live in. it takes from one week to one month.

lamp black. Half-tones are made as accurate as possible. with colors added to them. Red ochre is optional. . The color layer is painted with the dead underlayer mixtures. First color layer. more darkness and color in shadows.The dead underlayer is made with mixtures of flake white. The main goal is to develop half-tones: more light in light areas. yellow ochre. our main principle is more light and more color in light areas. and Prussian blue. more darkness in shadows. burnt umber. From now on.

In my future video courses. We'll trace the evolution of the Renaissance painting technique.Second color layer. suggestions. We complete the painting with working on details and the signature. we'll discuss more complicated textures of larger still lifes and portraits. Texture The goal is to identify the character of highlights in relation to the degree of texture reflection. I will share with you the secrets of Old Masters and all my discoveries and findings about the lost school of classical painting. and to paint them. . We have finished work on our still life. I thank you for your interest in the painting technique that I believe has not been surpassed in the entire history of art. Now you can see some of my paintings that I made during the last few years. In this course. and I wish you good luck in your work. and criticism. we have discussed the foundations of the classical painting technique on the basis of a simple composition. The goal of the second color layer is to prepare the surfaces for highlights. The same process as in the first color layer with one difference: the painted areas are smaller and more numerous. I will be very grateful for your questions.


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