- Lesson Details
Learn the fundamentals of oil painting with acclaimed artist and instructor Charles Hu.
This course breaks down the entire process of oil painting and is intended for beginning and experienced artists alike. Charles explains the important concepts of gesture, shape design, and composition. You will also learn what materials are needed, how to get set up, and the techniques used to apply paint.
After taking this course, you will be on your way to oil painting from life using a variety of different subjects and palettes.
In this lesson, Charles introduces the full palette and teaches how to mix and apply its various colors. He demonstrates this while painting a colorful still life.
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full pallet. Finally we get to the full pallet. And
we're gonna be painting a still life
and we're gonna experiment the full pallet combination
of color mixing.
part. So now what we have here
is that's a lot of colors. So what
we have our more intense yellow, the hansa yellow
from Gamblin, we have yellow ochre, raw sienna,
cad red medium. We have the transparent red oxide, also from Gambolin,
again if you're using
Windsor Newton it's burnt sienna, but I like the transparent red oxide. It's interesting
thing is if Gamblin - all this what I'm using is, like I said, not the professional grade,
It's a student grade, it's a little less expensive. And
for Gamblin, they're student grade
is called 1980, the student grade is called transparent red oxide.
But their professional grade is called transparent earth red. It's a
same color I don't know why they call it different names. Now we got
burnt umber and
actually this is Windsor Newton,
I've actually squeezed out a new tube. This actually was from the student grade burnt umber
it feels a little drier than the professional grade because
in that case I might prefer the professional ones
because it feels a little dry. I haven't used it yet but we'll see. So we got
ivory black, alizarin crimson, we've got ultramarine blue,
cerulean blue, we've got veridian green, we've got the
green pale. Okay so
again this is just a very kinda basic pallet
and it can work extremely well. Sometimes, like I said, depends on
the situation, and if I -
sorry this was permanent green light. Sometimes I squeeze out different greens, especially when
I got outdoor landscapes, sometimes I use
three different greens, I have a darker shade, a middle shade, and a lighter shade. It's just
faster because there's so much grass and trees and I like to go to more of a
nature place to do landscape. So sometimes I
will squeeze another green, there's not a green, like a
sap green, which is a little more transparent green, I like to use that green as well.
Again but this is, like I said, it's a standard setup that I use for both
indoor and outdoor.
16 by 20 Fredrix board, canvas board.
And then I just throw a bunch of brushes up because I never know what brushes that I will need.
Okay. So we got a still life here,
it's somewhat has a nice -
obviously you can see it has a nice gesture to it, that's the reason I
picked this one. It's got a lot of bright colors. We might kind of push them, I'm gonna
push it a little more than what I see. And we got the flowers,
we got the pot, we got the fruits, drapes.
So we got a reflective
surface, you know, okay.
When we did the black and white still life I told you guys
to always think about set up, you know, triangle compositions. I love this
is not an obvious triangle set up
so because of this flower right here you can see this has
a nice flow down toward the right. It kinda pulls your eyes this
way, although these kinda - the leaves kinda spreads out,
almost like radiate out like this. But I think
this - but the right side is still gonna be dominant to the left side of the picture and
also the fruits. See all these fruits are more off to the
right. So the right side is mainly gonna be our heavier side,
the left side you have to balance the weight.
So I'm seeing here all this
and this, these flowers, and the leaves
swing over her to the drapes, the drapes take all in
coming over, this drapes on the back
and the surface entrance takes your eye in,
so take in this flower comes in and either comes down to this flower
or points to this. I think this -
I don't even know what that fruit is, maybe it's a grapefruit. But feel the smaller
than a grapefruit. But anyway, raw sienna
color fruit. But anyway these point down
so I can come back here. So I'm trying to find that flow. Okay we got some nice little organic
leave shapes and then we got some nice vertical.
There's two ways I can do this, okay.
I can either wash a light yellow tone,
if I'm doing a watercolor I might do that. I can wash a light yellow tone,
that yellow tone can see kinda a little bit where the shadow and the drapes
the cloth, some of the yellow in here,
even the background green feel has some yellowish influence to it.
Or a lot of times when I do outdoor landscape, when I do
more vibrant, high key or more vibrant color
painting like this I just straight use all white canvas. I just draw right on the white canvas because
I'm not doing what I have done previously is do a very dark background
and very those kinda classical set ups
which, you know, seeing as the background is already so dark, you know, it's
so by washing down the tone it helps you get to that value a little bit closer.
But not if you have a hierarchy, lighter background
that's why you have to wash a lighter color, or like I said
you can work off that white canvas and it's a more modern way to work
which often I do like that because right away you get the contrast,
you get the dark versus light, you know, light background.
Well let's just do that. Let's just do that. I'll just
show you guys how to develop painting from the white canvas
Trying to find
this distance right here, this shape right here.
So I wanna set up because that's the two kind of
main flowers. I wanna make sure I set them out
and the canvas, the way that, you know,
everything kinda bases off these two flowers.
Now we got a brighter yellow.
So we can get some really nice, rich orange
and the bright yellow will be great,
like it will really kinda intensify somewhere in the dark,
like darker shadows area that
it's not necessarily the bright yellow means we have the paints of the sunlight
or somewhere that's almost on the light side,
these bright colors work also well in the darker side too.
Again just marking my -
the obvious sometimes, like I said
again for still life
sometimes can be just a little bit less intimidating than the figure
because the range of screwing up the figure is a lot more narrow
than a still life. That doesn't mean
it's, you know, that doesn't means still life's any simpler it just, you know I
can play with that shape a little more. It will still feel like a flower.
But imagine if that's a head then I need to make sure the head has to
it has to be, you know, pretty correct. So now
I'm just kinda mocking these landmarks.
raw sienna fruit. Somewhere down here, coming this way.
And yes, this is
a different brush that we're using, it's nothing really, you know, fancy,
not a fancy brush. It's -
I'll put it up in front of the cameras. It's just a Windsor
Newton - the
Windsor Newton universal round this is number five.
It's a synthetic brush, these are - we can see it now the hair is
a color - it's kinda white, almost a white color
hair and they are
like a lot more softer, right. They're actually used both for acrylics
or for oils but usually the longer barrel I think it works nicer for oils, shorter barrel
for better of the acrylics. The - a lot of times
when I do more, like the flowers, something more
organic subject I like to use a round, a round brush, because
you can see the stroke gives you a nice - that will really give you a nice
put one right - just this
See how this stroke is gonna give you a really nice
shape to it.
Like very beautiful.
Kinda organic and, you know, really give you that
beautiful stroke. So - but later I'm still gonna use my regular,
my hawk brushes or flat brushes for blocking things in.
So again I'm kinda creating all those
anchor point. Point, point, point, comes up.
So this apple, as you can see, it's a lot more
deeper red than these because it's facing the light more
so it's got a little more of light, it turns slightly, has a little more
yellowish to it so it's a little more orange. But this is more hidden underneath
right next to the pot and you got these leaves kinda covering some
of - blocking some light. So it's a little bit deeper red. So I added
a little bit of burnt sienna into it so it just gets a little bit more - not so
like vibrant orange, it's a little more of a deeper red.
shift these temperatures later. It's more bluer in the reference but
it's just dark so I'm just putting some dark, just again giving me an idea of where the placement
I just kinda went off one at a time, like
just what's right next to each other.
And you can see another benefit to having a full pallet is like I was
making this dark shadows here, it almost looks black but
it wasn't. I haven't even touched the black, as you can see, so what I did was I was using an ultramarine
blue. And because actually just
ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson
that can - see how black that is, even though it's purple.
But today if you just take black and white print,
that's just black. I can probably take this
and put it in here.
let's go up.
Okay let me block in a little more.
This is actually a lot more closer.
Maybe it's okay.
I might like that a little better. Just might feel a little too closer.
Again I can always shift it if I want but
I'm just gonna leave it like this for now. Okay.
So this kinda yellower to yellow green
you know I think it kinda inferenced a lot
in this painting. I'm always just
grabbing paint and then you can see I just kinda dab my paint really quick. I know it's
kinda yellowish green, so I was just dabbing some of both these greens,
this yellow, this yellow, but it might be maybe a little too
intense and a little bit of raw sienna. You know just -
just get to, you know, whatever it takes to get to the
color that they feel like, that you feel like you need.
Obviously you're not gonna touch the blue because that's gonna shift, you know, probably gonna shift
to too blue.
You know so that's what I did, you know, because
again if I just use this and just this, that's not - that's
probably too intense right. That might work for the leaves, so
to get to there, right, so what can we do? Okay there's a little more
earthier. Well okay this is pretty earthy, that color is pretty earthy,
so let's try that.
There we go now we got more of an earthier green
but and then check your painting or reference but that feels a little more yellower.
It doesn't feel so earth green. Well so it doesn't need to be yellower
let's add a little bit of yellow. Overall I wanted the result to be a little more
intense, kinda earthy green. So probably
not the yellow ochre. Let's add this hansa yellow.
Okay. So I added this
but then this still doesn't quite feel right. Doesn't feel like that. So what do we do? Add some
then we'll try to add this yellow ochre, then maybe a little more of this.
Slowly get to
what you need, right, so again just -
it's like cooking, right. You have to
know - obviously cooking again, for cooking
the ingredients tell you exactly how much mixture but for painting it's a little more organic,
it's a little more organic. It's a response, right, you respond to the
reference, respond to your canvas, respond
to your, you know, intuition. And it sometimes it just depends. Like it
depends how you, you know, you feel. Maybe I see this yellow, maybe you don't
right but maybe you see some other colors.
And - but again that's the color mixing.
I'm showing you so for me I can't
tell you, you mix this and this, it equals this.
Okay. It's not that simple. It's about sometimes a couple mixtures
to get to that right balance of a color that you
See I like - you see that flower right here? This apple
and then the top of the orange, see how they're kinda lined up.
You can push the proportion a little bit. I'm a little concerned -
I'm a little concerned everything feels - might be a little too, you know,
too even now, too small. So I have that constantly in the back of my head.
I need to watch out.
Okay, we'll see.
Again just a
block in a rough color,
a value. I know this bottom of this grapefruit
is darker, just kinda in an overall
kinda raw siennish color so I'm just key to that and I will just, you know, paint
this darker shadow first and later I will come back to paint the light.
I'm already concerned
about the spacing right here.
This spacing that's kinda quite open.
Okay maybe the stamp and the leave that helps take out some of the space
and some of the textile on the tabletop
that can help to create at least these three flowers here
on the textile that can kinda get a sense of that perspective, goes into the
tabletop. So maybe I can,
might be okay.
it's definitely red. There's - here received more light, it feels
a bit bluer. So it's a lighter blue so I'm then
going to any of my blue, I'm going to this, my radiant turquoise, which
is a color that I like to use, especially for
indoor with fluorescent light, let's just kinda indicate that bluish fluorescent light.
So - and it can help go into cool my shadows.
Again for example, this is the shadows
and if I wanted to - that shadow has a little bit, again, a little bit
infuenced by the fluorescent light, by the
white wall in the studio.
You know this obviously - maybe I added a little too much.
But you can see how it can pump up
bring it up pretty quickly. Now we got this color,
now it's, you know, has some
blue, you can feel it has some blue in there.
Even this can be a nice combination
too right there.
Just blocking in, I probably wanna use that green for sure.
But again, just kinda block it in for now.
I might need to raise up that flower a little bit.
So by darkening my green, this is my
veridian green and
dark green. If you look it's not really, you know, it's not really that
dark. It's not transparent. So it's actually
it's kinda in the middle
See that's not darker at all. And obviously
my permanent light green is on the lighter side of course.
Okay. So to make my
to make my green
darker, in this case,
add burnt sienna.
See now see how I can get much
See how much
that can get much darker than my
original veridian green.
I could have added, you know, blue. But like I said
it's gonna shift a little bit too, you know, kinda too bluish green.
You see how
that's not really what I want. This
turning more of this blue green. But you see how still it doesn't get that deep green.
Right so I think the
first thing works better.
It gets too dark, can't
quite tell, lost the local color which is the green itself, add
a little bit of yellow. So now at least I can see
that green in it. This
sometimes gets a little too dark and it kinda lost its
like the translucent, maybe the sense of light
on those leaves. So then just add a little bit of yellow.
I can't really tell if this color's not
Doesn't have that
yellowish green to it so I'm gonna push a little bit of yellow to it.
At this point I'm still not
sure because the way the leaves that
kinda flow, this spreads, also
needs to deal with dominating the composition too.
So again right now my composition is still kinda scattered, you know
these are kinda tied up. I can see here tied up
but what I start focusing on kinda putting down these individual leaves
not quite - although I still come here a little bit
but still the overall, that top half
I'm still not able to visualize the whole thing yet.
So I just need - again all this in the back of my head I just remind myself
I need to watch out I don't get caught up, you know, in the individual thing too much.
Sometimes we do, like I kinda I did but
like I said I have to keep reminding myself,
you know, be careful. So this
two ways you can do this, this area, this big large area,
you can do it by kinda safely
kinda what I show, we can paint that darker part first, making sure
all the leaves is where there are. You know maybe
it's a safe way to do. Or
we can do it more graphically.
I will mix a lighter color, I'll paint the whole
make sure, again, concerned about the whole shape in relationship to the whole composition
and to these leaves, right. Because
again if you start painting the individual leaves, you start painting on itself too much
then you're not really getting a sense of the whole picture. Okay so
I'm gonna try, seeing as I already did this individually
I'm gonna paint the whole kinda graphic
approach. Which is probably what I would do if
I was painting watercolors.
Just blocking in the whole thing.
Concerned about the shape.
Again the thing we need to watch out
is the more of a transparent color, like that yellow, I know that yellow has
beautiful intensity to it. But a lot of times the transparent color is very weak,
the bonding power is very weak, you know, ends up
like I was - you try to put it on the canvas and it just kind of
melted in and it doesn't really sit on the canvas so sometimes
by, you know, you might need
other color to give it a little more like the yellow ochre, which
has a little more paint, a little more thicker, to give it a little kinda
body to it.
Still not light enough but let me move on
to somewhere else.
I might need to raise this up higher.
Put it out here.
looking at -
here's the top of that cloth.
right here. So look at that
distance on top of the grapefruit. And now I'm looking at this green space
to determine where I wanna put those leaves.
Kinda I think that green space, I like that green space right here
then that negative space.
I'll probably need to fix that, I'm not quite happy with that shape.
But I'll just leave it right there
because I know that's where it goes.
Let's put down some of these other flowers.
So we got one right here.
Let's start with this one because I mixed kinda red, works better for this one.
Actually a little bit yellow.
So this guy is a little
bit pink - I mean a little bit purple.
When you go up you get more of a true color of that rosy color.
Some of the color might not read well now just because I haven't
put down the darker dark.
Let's see what next. We can
painting this darker part and then we can
paint the background. And then -
and once we paint the background, the midtone, background, and
all this - where the drape behind which creates
a whole silhouette of the still life is gonna kinda
proceed forward and then we can see the bigger, like the
So that color
to be honest it looks kinda like this family and it's maybe a little bit greenish
Let's try it because I
like what I'm painting here. The shadow part is ultramarine blue,
this actually is part of the cloth. So that's so blue that probably has to do with,
you know, that light side probably also has some of the blue.
But we'll see. I'm just gonna paint what I see first, again that question
is in the back of my head. If it doesn't work out, you know, later I'll change it.
See it's great to have a full pallet. I will mix
a kinda grayer green because this is the darker part
I wanna make it grayer, green lighter. Now I make it lighter
gray, I need to make it greener I just go to my
permanent green light.
I will make it a little bit lighter because I
know once I put that darker shadow of the stem it will show.
I wanna do this first
because I wanna wait until they dry so I can paint the white
over it, which this is that beautiful yellow, golden yellow,
greenish color of the shadows. So I mix that color, paint it
dark shadow first and then I paint white over it.
This won't pollute my white and
I can keep this color more translucent like what the picture shows. So I'm just gonna
try that. Again when I say try
literally because, like I said,
if it doesn't turn out I might try a different
And especially painting these more plainer paintings,
in this case a very clean
still life or you wanted a clean, rich color
definitely need to make sure your pallet has to be clean.
Because you want more of a pure color that's what
you have that you wanna present.
See I want
that light blue tabletop, I wanna make
sure I have very clean pallet. I just touched something on my pallet
that was - I dunno was dark gray or something.
It just got - my paint just got polluted.
A little bit of blue.
The more white you add is gonna wash out the purity of the
color so sometimes
you need to watch out how much white you wanna put in and
it looks as a little bit
purplish to it. Here we go that's prettier, that's better. Okay.
It's okay to get a little dirty, a touch of paint gets dirty, sometimes
it's kinda nice to give a kinda
vary the color a little bit.
Use some of this color and
help to harmonize.
Just a key idea is what
the shapes, how the composition,
how the - overall how the shapes flow. I wanna come in here.
See you can still here how pretty, how clean this color is here. See again
that's part of the benefit of working on white canvas. There's nothing to really pollute
your color, you get a really clean color. Once you already have something
underneath, like I said you start getting these, see less, kinda less
pure, you get this a little more of this kinda darker
greenish blue, but what we have now might be okay
because the light source is coming this way, it's gonna get gradually darker here anyway. But
I'm looking at reference and you still got some nice clean blue in here so I might
need to wait until this dries a little bit and put it down
to harmonize this part blue, carry this part blue into this
And maybe I'll do that now for some of it.
Take it into that
make sure to have a clean brush.
And some of the areas you know you're gonna paint over, like I'm gonna paint later,
I'm gonna paint that green leaf underneath this flower, don't paint it too thick.
you know, just scrape the paint on the surface just a little bit.
And later so you're able to paint over that.
So one thing you notice, my pallet, it's kinda different when I was painting
the figure. You notice you're gonna
have, you know, a lot of piles of
its own families. I have my blue, my green, my red.
And when painting figure most of them they just kinda end up mixing
but again once you start, the color
starts mixing into each other that's when you start getting, you know, just like the color
wheel. We have the primary colors, when the colors start mixing together you start getting these grays.
Because when you're painting the figure you can look at my arm, the arm
not very bright, you know,
our skin color it's not a vibrant color like this, you know,
the flowers and the leaves, they are this kinda
earthy, brown, yellow, pink
whatever the color is. So they are actually more in the middle
of that color wheel. So it's okay to
that's why a limited pallet could work. You grab all this paint and mix
you know, all kinda mix pile then so you get this color harmony and that
harmony is not outside the color wheel, not the most pure color
it's somewhat in the midrange so it can keep your skin tone
in kinda harmonize. And then later you need something to pop, like
you have a bright red drapes or whatever
more of a pure color, then you can come out here to get that, you know,
pure tube of paint, then you can get that nice extreme pop.
And, you know, if you look at any
painter, again, you can look at one of Anders Zorn's
self portrait, he's wearing this bright red jacket and
the red jacket is just straight out of the tube, you know. But then if you look at the skin, his face,
he's got a lot of ochre, you know, lots of earthy colors.
And his background in his shack, it's all so pretty brown
and kinda more earthy colors so you got that advance out and
so you get that nice contrast. But
when you're painting pure colors, then you need
to watch out. There's a certain point I probably was mixing the color
together to get some gray because you don't want all bright,
also because otherwise it looks like Candyland but
at least I want to capture, you know, some of the purity,
that intensity. And that's what this set up, that kinda of
inspired me, that just nice, beautiful, rich colors.
So my background's not gonna be rich anymore, it's green
because otherwise you don't want over intense.
I'm gonna make the background a little bit dull, there's a little more white to it so keep it
a little bit - keep it a little bit
This - well overall is intense orange,
darker orange, that's what I'm thinking, you know, top and bottom.
Now I'm thinking this way, which this side it's a little bit more
richer orange when you come over here expose the light more, start getting kinda pale,
a little bit yellow greenish. So I start
coming over here, a little bit green.
But then see now it kinda lost this original color so
we're gonna come back.
Mix back my orange, burnt
Which is the darker part of the bottom.
And you got an even darker core.
Got a really dark cast shadow on the top.
Wanna get that shape, I'm worried that the top part of that
nipple part and then so
there's a little zigzag, there's a little split so I know this
comes down, this comes over.
Accidentally touched that blue.
And because I accidentally touched the blue, see how it's not that intense as the picture.
It's okay I'll intensify it later but now I'm just gonna
kinda block in and...
Now I can kinda share the dark here because they're all kinda in
that kinda warm, dark family.
take a break as well, every 25 minutes like I said stand back
away from your painting, look somewhere else,
go get water, get a drink, come back, and then
have a fresh eye look at your painting.
So a couple things I still wanted to do
I'm still not greatly satisfied with my compositions and
I think once I block in the background I'm gonna start
adjusting, you know, adjusting that a little more.
So let me just block in this pot right here and then we're gonna do
the background next.
First we got this intense orange, reflected light
on the orange which is right here. I wanna paint that in first.
So a little bit right here
I think I'll go kinda gray over here.
Clean up, clarify that apple.
I might need to
move the apple over to the right a little bit.
I might. Not sure, I mean
I'm just making it a little bit larger.
Just cover that orange.
Even when you paint the apple
again keep it very direct, your stroke
follow the gestures or follow the plane.
So I make it a little
bit warmer to get a sense of where the orange hits
you know to that grapefruit.
of color reflected so I got some warm
Actually looks a bit cooler.
is how the shape reads.
Okay. It can get kinda complicated but again
how the shape flows. Just like the abstract painting that I
show the adding additional color
of the reclining figure.
Got some green, yellow green here to help turn
I'm gonna paint the shadow shapes, reflections.
This from this guy and this is from
This is from this cup
which has a little bit greener
see I say that yellow, this green works well
just in this shadow area as well because it's a very, again it's that nice
green color I like. Kinda deep, green color. But it's not,
it's very lightly colored.
And then this bottom here, that
shadow here is just so black on the reference you can't tell
what really the color is but again if you are
gonna paint a little more impressionistically we can make up the color,
you know let's maybe use a
deeper green so it's just not black.
Maybe when I shift it to here.
Because that apple, I'll make it a deeper red.
I'm gonna connect this more - my concern is how the shadow connects, how
this core shadow, rise up a little bit. See how it drops down, kinda
takes your eyes down here. I want it to rise up, I wanna kick it to this fruit right here.
Get those reflections.
I'm gonna cut this top
of the pot a little bit.
I want to bring the drapes
come in, otherwise my eyes kinda take
us to here. I'll come back and figure out how I'm gonna do this part.
But let's - let me block in some of this color and
then we'll work into the background. I know I've been saying that a couple times, several times,
let's paint that in first.
just get it a rough color and I'll shift it. Just make
sure - just get that local color right.
Local color is basically
just think of the color itself, you know, it's
orange, it's an orange color
of a pear, so orange is the local color. It's a
red apple, the red is the local color of the apple.
Let's do the background.
There's still a couple things. I don't like the shape of the apple.
So this is kinda green yellowish background.
I kinda like that gray because
again it will help to make
the still life feel more intense.
Let me just try that
Still when you
putting down the background, really consider
all the contour and
how the contour meets that background environment.
You can still adjust things if you want at this point,
cut down parts that, you know, you might not want.
and if you need to add, we can still add on later
so that's why I don't wanna - at this point I'm not putting down
too thick. But I just had to
be careful, making sure I don't
cover stuff that I don't want to be covered.
how much paint you need to mix? I was mixing a pretty good pile but now
it's really all kinda ran out.
See how the gamsol
helps to thin out the paint, easier for you to wash.
But at the same time becomes really thin.
At least quickly gives you a tone down.
Just paint around it.
I'm painting but notice
that my brush strokes have a reason, right,
I'm following with the flow.
And that kinda excites me too because I always like to know where the gestures goes
and everything. That helps me to make decisions
I wanna establish the overall compositions.
Again, I'm still finding, again I'm still pushing on my
composition, pushing my rhythms now
The pallet gets dirty.
Cleaning it up.
Again cleaning the pallet helps you to see the color
better too. I want a deep green, now I can see the deep green.
Another great color for green
like if you really wanna push that green,
it's like more intense, I mean more rich green, is phthalo green.
That's powerful. Anything with phthalo, phthalo blue, phthalo green, that powerful color
just dab on that paint is gonna take kinda over,
taking the pallet so you just need to be careful to use it. But that
is the richest green you can find and
it will give you a nice, deep green you're looking for.
Here we're just gonna use our
Raise up this shadow a little bit higher.
Still not quite
the way I want it.
I'm just gonna leave it like that for now. Let's see
I wanna line up this side of the leaves.
Actually that's a little too hard.
Keep that - if the brush is too hard sometimes
lightly apply the paint and what will happen is you kinda scrape off the paint
that's on your canvas. So this brush is a bit
softer. I'm gonna use this.
I'm gonna make here a little bit yellower so feel that transparent.
But I also have this concern if I make the yellow
lighter would I be too similar value to the background. If that's the case I actually need to
darken it. But let's make it yellower first.
it looks so much like the background now.
Have to make it darker.
Still missing that shadow. Slightly
if that shadow shape is not established the lead wouldn't feel turned.
That's why ultimately I'm trying to get - I wanna get this
energetic leaf, flower, fruit, they all kinda have this
blast of this energy.
I don't really like that, I'm gonna
probably change that later. It looks a little bit too symmetrical.
Probably come back
with that white and in here I can trim it.
So you can see how many times I have to try to
paint over something that I did
and to get it right, you know, painting is not that simple.
A lot of people might think painting, everybody can paint.
Yeah everybody can paint, everybody can probably look at a photo reference and copy
a photo reference, even trace the images on the canvas and just
basically just paint, you know, kinda
step by step but painting is not just about -
that's a systematic way
to approach a painting. There's not
humanity to it, there's no voices in there, your artistic voice in it,
you know into
the paint, there's no love - well obviously you've
painted, there's love to it. But what I'm trying to say is there is -
you have to - there's no voice. Your voice
in it. You've basically just translated something that's already existing.
To me that's not really painting, you have to say something
about it, have to direct, like movie direct, you have to direct
how, you know, what's come out, what goes back, what you wanna you see, what you
don't wanna see, what's intense, what's not intense. You are
controlling this whole 2D images to create this
sense of, you know, lifely, 3D,
organic perspective in it so you're involved
the viewer into it and
let the viewer to search in your painting. And that's what I think is
a painting is more powerful
is just how the painting translates a message.
And that's usually what the painting is about
originally that painting is basically telling
This brush is
too hard. If I wanna lay down a nice
light, unless I paint really thick
even that it kinda melts in.
I need to use a softer brush.
so if we're drawing every stroke is saying
something. Saying either muscle flexing or relaxing,
the part facing the highlight, the
part that's turning into the stems, the highlight on the leaves or highlight
on the stems, the highlights on the leaves facing more towards the
the light or highlight on the leaf that is twisting around.
So that helps you to get a sense of how much pressure and how much light you wanna put down so it's not just
putting paint, it's
more of explaining, translate that
reality and that humanity into
Does that make any sense
to you guys but I'm pretty sure once you guys, you know,
are doing this for a while you will
understand, again, if I were to understand what I just
said twenty years ago but
now I can see why there's
so many artists - they also - it's like philosophers
because we are so
sensitive and so involved with what we do and we're so sensitive with what everything
that we see and we take everything that we see and interpret,
analyze, and has our own voice,
put our own voice to it and
musicians, you know, express on the music. Artist will express on the
the canvas. So if you're doing that for
a really long time, you're gonna get really
sentimental. Everything just becomes something that's
becomes part of you. You want
something that - you wanna say something about it.
life painting to me different than figure painting or what's landscape
different from figure painting. What I wanna say in landscape, what I wanna say in figure.
So everything has little
different, you know, different
response and I want to make sure I'm
And again so it's not just a copy of
something that is already existing.
Again this is a hard brush.
I don't really like this brush.
I know something's wrong in my piece.
Okay so what do I think what's wrong
with the piece right now
if you look at the pot and also
look at the leaves and the plants,
although the plants
kinda swings out this way but the overall mass, it's not that much different. It looks
very similar, right.
So what happens is there's no contrast to it, there's no, like I said, there's
no - we don't know obviously are we looking at the pot or should be look at the leaves.
It's like, you know, two people talking at the same time. I can't hear
what the point you're trying to say, right.
So the set up is about the plant,
not really about the pot so, you know, if I'm smart
I probably should make it a little bit bigger.
So, again, all these mistakes I
make as well but, you know,
obviously by some experience that helps me to
find out and helps me to make
a pause or, you know, still trying to fix it and then
make sure to, you know, to make the painting work. Again
one of my instructors said painting is basically just a bunch of corrections that, you know, that you
do. So, like I said,
today if I'm smart I might do a comp, like I showed you guys on the first
part do a little comp, figure out those issues because that's actually
very important, that's basically the key to the composition. Figuring out that, knowing that
then trying to avoid that. But again I didn't do it, I paid the
price for it, but I can still fix it,
although it will be kinda -
I might need to speed up my painting
process a little bit otherwise we're gonna stay here forever.
So I'm gonna - because
I was, again, being a little bit too careful
I might - when I paint myself I
a little more aggressive to it.
Sometimes when I do that it helps me to see the bigger picture better.
Dig into the pot,
maybe I can squeeze that a little smaller.
See all this time I was working on that now -
I wouldn't say wasted but I have to fix it now.
Because I need to raise up this higher.
See now I see
one more problem. See this flower right here
it should flow up, right, mine right now I feel like it's just going like this.
It should go up.
Watch out this
space feels a little too open. Let's close it a little bit.
Now it's gonna take your eyes this way. Take your eyes
this way, takes your eyes over here.
I don't like this. See how
it sticks out right in the middle.
I'm gonna try and figure out
how I'm gonna design this edge
of that cloth. Because like I said this is just kind of
points up and this feels too symmetrical.
So I'm gonna straighten this up a
little bit so it doesn't feel like symmetrical triangles. I'll see this come up
and this slope kinda flatten a little bit, comes over
here and then kinda slowly kinda
carry out. Before that will like
dropped down too quickly too, it brings your eye down too quick.
Then later I will have to figure out - I kinda need to
bring the eye over.
And burnt umber is a nice color
to kinda dirty your color quicker, you know, because I
wanted a somewhat in this range color and then
it was too blue and too clean and as soon as you add the burnt umber it gets darker and
also gets, you know, a little browner, dirtier.
Sometimes you want some area keep flashy and clean, some areas
you want to be not so clean.
It's a little bit yellower.
I wanna get this triangle shape.
It's a kinda complicated
shape in that drapes. I'm just gonna
kinda copy light and dark
relationship. Actually now I see it, the light coming in like this.
I'm just gonna try to get that.
Let's get that,
paint this cup.
Bring it up a little higher.
Little bit of green reflected light from the leaves.
Should have been here too
or maybe not. Went ahead and just put it in.
Little bit of green in here.
Kinda changed the shape of the cup a little bit, I kinda liked it, I put the mouth
the lips, push out a little bit this way.
Not bad, kinda like what I did.
How I did that cup.
Reflection from this.
Push it a little more. Whoops.
Make it a little bit warmer.
Soften this edge a little bit.
I'm not feeling the apples separating from the orange, especially when I
stand back, alright, so...
That's a little better.
Go back to my green family.
I'll make it a little bit
lower. Longer stem
again brings your eyes up.
Instead of the stem running horizontal
I'm gonna actually bring it out a little bit this way.
Points into the
Creating some space.
Still not 100 percent satisfied
here but I'm just gonna leave it for now.
I'll make it
bigger because I wanted to advance to the foreground
a little more.
Still not quite right, feel like floating
on the tabletop.
Right, needs more clear contrast. You don't wanna
paint things like halfway or not quite sure
is it coming out or is it not, you know,
that's not good. You want to make sure to make the statement more louder,
clearer, the contrast, the value structures more clear.
That's why I wanna make the apple
separate from the orange more.
Because it's so red, make that feel a little
too blue. Because this is such a light cloth it's gonna
bounce most of the true color
of the object toward this darker cloth or it's like
that green cloth that's gonna change something else. If it's green cloth it's probably gonna be this
kinda gray, kinda red and green mixing to this gray. But since
it's a white cloth or almost white cloth it's gonna bounce
some of the true local color to it.
Make it a little bit redder.
Once I actually finish this
I'll probably give this painting to my mom.
And actually she always wanted a painting from me, I never had anything for her
because everything I have is nude figures.
And she likes flowers, I think
this will be something that will be good for her
to give to her. So I don't want to screw up,
I wanna - and so far I kinda like where
it's going and then
so let's keep working at it.
When I say contrast not sure,
not clear, like here. You see how it's very, kind of
gray, muddy, that's what I was talking about.
And I'll try to bring some light around the flower but until we kinda just blend
with what's already underneath the canvas.
Sorry, what's already on the canvas. So now it starts to become this gray, that's not yet.
And also there's something that was really dumb. I split this right in the middle
of this flower right here. See all these things
you know to watch out.
And most of the time
when I make a mistake and most of the time when I
see a student make that mistake is because
that was the brush I was using. This is like little tiny brushes, that's
the result ends up, I'm not seeing the major difference,
the value difference, that's when things get gray
like that. Okay so, be aware. When that happens switch to a larger brush
the brush that fits for your needs.
light and dark.
That triangle shape leads over here.
Destroy that original shape of the light,
because I don't want this to be the same size
The darker it gets I think more kind of
orange it gets too so I'm just adding that raw sienna.
Here it has
also more darker green.
I'm a little concerned
this shadow from the fruit.
I don't want it to take up too much attention because it's right in the middle of the picture and it's such a
dark value so I'm trying to see if I can
avoid still trying to
figure that out.
See if this works.
Might be a little too dark.
I think it's good.
it also creates a lot of tension.
Let me move somewhere else.
mixed too big but I don't want
to spend too much time on this. That's not - this
flower here is not that important. It's, you know, so I don't want
to paint them equally amount of render - render them
equal amount of renderings. S
try to just get
Always watch out the spacing.
That's not too
good. I feel like I get this
kinda fat and short flowers.
We'll come back and fix it.
Let's surround that orange, brings
let's bring out that orange.
Let's calm this
down a little bit, this is a little too much.
Mix a baby blue tabletop.
Paint back in there. So it's still an overall -
key that blue, I would just take in this and just - because I know I want light around this pair.
Clean up this, it's just not really a clean shape.
Now my orange
looks weird now, looks like kinda this weird
Fix that flower again.
Earlier I said
that was an issue because the darks are not dark enough so I'm gonna add some dark
but at the same time I'll make sure this overall -
this flower is still very red so I
was too blue before, I'm adding some more red just to key it
up a little bit.
Just give it more of a true color and more of this
That's a little too
The top could be a little bit
darker. Right here.
Come on, trying to get that white. Here we go.
Okay don't wanna spend too much
time with this guy either.
I want that
flower to be
Take your eyes over. So that means
Okay so if I want the eyes to bring over this way
beside making it bigger, more contrast, which is
the darker, I'm not gonna paint the darker strip -
I don't think I want to - I can create
larger and since I already have some contrast here
kinda carrying the weight
I might not want to make too much contrast on this side.
We'll see. Let me finish painting that and I'll kinda make a
decision. I see this pattern right here and the rest, these two patterns, can just be one -
they all are kinda in shadows, they can just be one value.
Let's give some
Let me paint a little bit darkerish shadow in this first.
So you might kinda
thinking why I'm mixing a gradation - well for instance -
and most of the time I'm just kinda, you know, mixing
all over. Sometimes I do that when I mostly
kinda towards the end, we'll start really finding some of the renderings.
This way kinda keep them in control. Ultimately that's
a somewhat purplish, kinda light pinkish
flowers and, you know, as long as just keep
that value correct, I can, you know -
I don't need to be so kinda
hectic to try to grab paint, go everywhere. So I'm just kinda focusing on that
and just, you know, to get that flower to read.
By the beginning I will play more because you can see you get a lot more
vibrant color, more beautiful color, more beautiful combinations.
Get that shadow darker
Push these light shapes.
Got a little bit yellow bounce to it,
I think let's push it a little bit more.
Put some yellow ochre into where
that darker flower is. The
shadow part of the flower.
Here we go that's great.
That's good. Bounce that up.
Some of the paint gets dirty so I need to reload
these yellow red, alizarin crimson.
just remember how much paint I started with.
Now it's all gone.
The glass pallet is really handy.
was taught to use those wood pallets,
like I said I'm not sure
if I can - I'm getting so used to the glass pallet
I'm not sure if I can paint with a wood pallet.
But the problem with these glass pallets is they're pretty hefty,
they're hard to take outside landscape, like I said they
can, you know,
weigh a lot. This actually is, you know, pretty
Okay maybe reload some paint.
I get a large tube and now you can see why I get a large tube.
But now you can get an idea
how much paint you want because we almost have too much in on the painting.
Again thank you for bearing with me for so long.
So many hours. And
I can't imagine watching myself paint for this many hours.
You will be amazed
if I can watch the whole thing. But I do watch
the New Masters
videos and usually what I'll do is
I usually - unless it's a subject I really want
to learn and I'll actually watch through the whole thing, or I
will just play in the background while I am working and if something is interesting
I'll, you know, kinda glance over, take a look at it. But so
I'm actually playing quite often
you know to learn something from, like I said
from other instructors. There's still so many things
I want to learn myself.
And then - or
I can listen to like
other instructor's lectures and I can use it for me
you know, for my own, for my classes. Like oh I didn't know that
then I can use that for maybe some
information on anatomy and stuff.
More stuff to say to my class.
Look how much white I've been
using. It's almost gone. How many paintings
have we done, maybe like four so far, maybe five.
Watch out for that shape.
It's all about shapes.
Once I clean up that silhouette now we can see the whole shape, now we can
get a better sense of how you involve with all
overall - that looks like a kidney,
I wanna shift that. Oh that's a flower behind it.
I thought that was one flower.
I want to close
some of this gap.
Close this gap.
And how do I know
what's a good gap, how much of a gap,
how much, you know,
the shape of negative, positive space.
Believe it or not I got that through
figure drawings. So in figure drawing you might just think you're just drawing
a single person but there's a lot more than that, you know, it's
not really about the anatomy. Once - a few drawings, just like a list
of things I'm thinking through while I'm figure drawing, anatomy actually is the
last one on the list. But the
shape design is one of the very important
elements on the list. So once you've been doing it for a long time,
years, you start to get very sensitive of how those shapes relate and that's
how you, you know, you balance those
negatives and then positives in the, you know, space
and overall still, like I said, work
You know what
I don't want that highlight. I just wanna keep it flat. Let's start -
I'm gonna start getting kinda
overly concerned now.
Just keep it simple. Keep telling myself keep it -
think about the large idea, not the -
what to bring out, what to
leave out, what to keep.
We don't need to - we don't need everything.
Watch I'm looking at this negative space right here.
Let's bring up the...
Trying to get that
on reference. I just wanted to
make it a little bit darker
so it gets a little bit deeper shadow in there.
Other thing you wanna be careful of, don't
end up creating these little dots of strokes.
Stand back, this is still the shadow side so
make this side
still a little more dominant. So I'm gonna
thicken those little tiny strokes.
Make it a
little - give a little more weight, give a little more flatness to it.
I really wanna pop out this
highlight. Somehow my paint's not
really allowing me to so I'm gonna
give it one more shot.
Again the problem is that hansa yellow is so
See buildup to the highlight.
I don't like that.
Okay this leaf has to be right because
that's one of the main reads, the focal point.
I don't -
like these are supposed to be red.
Let's do this again. So this...
Okay here we go, that's better.
I wanna trim this down a little bit.
This got a little straight, I'm gonna see if I can
round that off a little bit.
That's too hard of a brush.
Picking up the paint underneath.
Here we go.
Soften that edge.
That shouldn't be a hard edge.
Finally I think I get it -
I mean I got it. So I'm just gonna give
it a darker - again I want a darker
kinda core right there.
Just because it's such an important leaves
I have to really get it right.
I don't like
those two stroke - I don't like to break up the two strokes
I just wanna keep it one.
I was standing back earlier I felt like this
shape of flower feels a little short.
That's why I tint that a little bit.
Or just extend it a little bit.
Clarify everything a little bit more.
Trying - I'm
finally feeling the rhythm come in.
Kinda introduce some light to the background.
Light kinda comes in here.
Make that tabletop I little bit
I think this
almost feels like the perspective is off. I'm gonna
turn it a little bit.
Yeah then it doesn't jump out so
So I don't quite really like that.
There we go.
That's a little better.
I'm gonna push the
darkest dark in here because I know it's not gonna get much shadows. I'm gonna take pure black
put a stripe right
Let's put one right here too.
Although this adds a little bit of
textile. I kinda liked it -
well you know what, let's make those
red marks more of a circle. I don't want
them to be too loud.
So reducing those jagged edges.
I got some of these green stuff.
Again, trying to - look I used the whole
Okay we're almost
done, actually I can call it if I want, I just
let me just see if there's last little things I can...
Keep some areas more clean,
just more clean.
I'll bring it lighter here again to bring the lights over.
Wanna just clean this.
Thank you for hanging with me for
I don't even know, again, I don't even know how many hours. I started painting this
I think there was still some daylight,
now probably it's dark by now. Again,
this - it's a full pallet.
As you can see there's a lot of things,
we can play with color combinations as long as
you keep - the idea as long as you keep the value correct. So all you guys -
darks and the light. Like darker values, light value. Keep them separate and clear.
Darker foreground, lighter background and then
an object itself also has light and then dark, right,
within - as long as the dark, especially the darkest dark is sometimes even
harder to see exactly, especially with photo reference,
those very dark areas are really hard to see the color. Then like I said you
can make that up, you can make it a warmer dark or a cooler dark. Whatever. As long as
the value is right it will read fine.
Obviously more color you blocked it in, you're gonna get a better sense of what
the key color that you might want to key to. Instead
like they start jumping everywhere.
Obviously this whole painting is keyed up to some type of green yellow.
If I lost track I can still go back to that. So you might want to, you know,
to have an idea of where is your safety net.
Again, take some
time to practice mixing color. I remember when I was learning
colors and actually the best way to learn color is
actually using pastels. The dry
pastel, not the oil pastel. The problem is you have
to get a lot of set. You can't just get a 12 or a 24 set, you have to get
a good, large set. I have a set of a
Rembrandt, you know, dry pastel which is a Rembrandt, it's less expensive because those
dry pastels they can be pretty costly. Once they can be three dollars and
you push it too hard, it crumbles, scared the hell out of you,
A Rembrandt is a little bit hard and so what happens having a large set
pastels, it's not like painting, you just
take a stick out and then paint on your canvas or paper,
you can smear by your hands, it's a little bit easier to control. And you got so much color
in front of you, you can really get a sense of what color that you
want - you got more option, more of a
vast option of colors. Of course the trick is
you have to make sure to still keep the value right. That's the tricky thing about usually pastel.
The color might seem right but the value might not be right. But the thing
is it helps give you a vision that
woah there's that many colors out there. Then
when you go back to oil paint you can remember oh I was using that color, how
do I mix that color. So I was playing with pastel for a while but partially
because oil paint was so hard and I was, you know, and pastels
is something that is easier to control. And when I saw
again when I started transitioning to oil paint,
you know the idea I was being told was
you always paint a little more saturated, a little more than
you see it at the beginning and eventually
when you start to render things are gonna get duller and the saturation is gonna get,
you know, start getting a little bit less. So that's, you know, one of the things
you guys can, you know, can practice too. Just push everything a little bit more.
Then you see it a little bit greener, a little bit redder, a little bit intense.
And, like I said, if it's too much you can back down. Or you can paint somewhere else,
somewhere gray to balance it out. Like, just experiment.
Still life - still life is great, landscape is great, landscape is a little bit challenging
but still life is great, you know, you probably do want to use something more of a colorful
set up and play with the full pallet. And then just, you know,
do some still life painting. And then go out to do landscape painting.
You can really get a sense of how beautiful the color works, how beautiful
you know what you see and what you can get out of it from this pallet
and, you know, like I say
it's gonna help you train your eyes to be more
sensitive and the same color. But anyway, hopefully you guys enjoyed this lesson. I will see
you guys next time.
done black and white and still life, now we're working on more of a full pallet. We can
add a little more stuff into your set up. So instead of three we're gonna add five.
I like to use an odd number, I don't like to use an even number I think it might set up
a little too symmetrically just, you know, less interesting, so I always use an odd number. Again,
most importantly find different sizes, different heights, even different
materials. Shiny materials, matte materials. Now again set that
up and again I like to always like to set down some type of
triangular or diagonals,
composition. Also be aware of the distance between the objects. Also make sure to
have some of them overlap. Keeps it more interesting. And also what you could do is get maybe
a backdrop. So you don't want it randomly sitting in the middle of a room. Get
a middle value backdrop and bring back that clamp light,
you know shine at it, and just work off that. Okay.
Free to try
1. Lesson Overview26sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Colors of the Full Palette2m 31s
3. Laying in the Composition26m 39s
4. Blocking in Major Shapes29m 21s
5. Full Palette Color Harmony31m 36s
6. Painting Reflections20m 53s
7. Final Block in and Background26m 53s
8. Directing the Image28m 11s
9. Guiding the eye with Composition24m 51s
10. Color, Value, and Difference28m 17s
11. Rendered vs Undefined Elements27m 5s
12. Cohesive Shape Design19m 29s
13. Deepening the Darks21m 56s
14. Final Touches and Conclusion28m 27s
15. Assignment Details1m 1s