Master Painting Copy

Copying a Master painting is a project we are doing with my beginning oil painting students, in order to better understand how the Masters developed composition, form in space, color and value. Start with a good quality reproduction, with the intention of enlarging it somewhat (no larger than @16 x 20″) or copying it the … More Master Painting Copy

Animal Skull

This is the second project my Intro to Oil Painting students do, on an 11 x 16″ canvas, using a limited palette and an animal skull as still life. Strong spot light is used, with a darkened space (black box) in which to place the object so that we can see better contrast. Initially, a … More Animal Skull


This oil painting project looks at the form of a big and beautiful natural shell. We follow the same process of creating first a tonal drawing within a grid. Here is Rip’s version: Following are three palettes we are using in this painting: the grisaille (black to white underpainting), warm and cool ultramarine and burnt … More Shell

Hanging Drape Part I

This will be a painting study of a white hanging drape (pillowcase) set at an angle, with a strong light source. I will keep the drape hanging until the completion of the preliminary drawing and painting, so that the creases and folds will remain the same. Now for a preliminary drawing, but first, a compositional … More Hanging Drape Part I

New Crew in Town

Recently I have the great fortune to be starting with a new Intro to Oil painting crew! We are working on our first project: a single white object. We will analyze the values, study the form in space and use a limited palette. Here are some examples of the initial value drawings of our simple … More New Crew in Town

Animal Skulls Part I (Drawing)and II (Grisaille): raccoon, beaver, javelina

Bones have traditionally offered the artist the opportunity to study skeletal structure, as well as visual plane and tonal systems. When we look at the following skulls, discover the beauty of nature as it offers a unique description of anatomical support. We will look at several animal skulls and beginning tonal drawings by my students, … More Animal Skulls Part I (Drawing)and II (Grisaille): raccoon, beaver, javelina

Master Painting Copy Part I and II: Sacred Geometry and Tonal Composition

A traditional lesson in classical painting is the copy of an Old Master painting. The purpose is in making connections between drawing and painting: when creating a monochromatic graphite drawing (done initially), a study of the composition of values is made. This will later aid in color studying of the painting. First we will make … More Master Painting Copy Part I and II: Sacred Geometry and Tonal Composition