How to Get Started in Oil Painting -- Brianna Lee

So you might be wondering ... why not just paint in color?

I was 16 years old when I first started painting in oils and was self-taught. I was pretty confident with a pencil but as soon as I picked up a brush I felt as if I had lost all control over my hand. I GAVE UP on oil painting at least 10 times in the course of a year out of frustration.

But oil painting is too amazing to give up forever. It is one of the most beautiful mediums because of its richness, depth and versatility with technique and textures. It presents us with unique challenges - balancing value, drawing, color and techniques.

One of the best ways to learn to paint in oils is to begin with monochromatic, or tonalpainting. By breaking down the steps into values, it begins to feel more like drawing. Realism, or the illusion of something that looks real, relies heavily on values and correct drawing. Color is secondary, although important (and it is often our favorite part!)

By beginning your journey in oils through tonal painting, you can learn to control the oil medium while also creating finished, beautiful work. It is a process employed by artists for hundreds of years - and there is a great reason why.

1) It is the best way to learn as a beginner

2) It enhances luminosity and helps your painting age beautifully 

3) and tonal painting can be applied to any subject - from still-life to portrait - and it is the foundation on which great paintings are built.

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