How to Learn Oil Painting

Have you been secretly harboring the idea of learning how to paint? If you enjoy the artistry of oil painting and wish that you could learn how to paint like that, then you are well on your way. The first step of any venture starts with having the desire to do something. The next step is to act on that desire. If you really want to learn oil painting, there are people who are ready and willing to help you fulfill your dream.

Things You'll Need

  • Painting Canvas
  • Sketch Pad
  • Thinner
  • Drop Cloth
  • Oil Paints
  • Pencil

Search online for websites that teach oil painting basics, such as the sites listed below in the resources section of this article. Many sites offer free classes as an introduction to their program, such as Interactive Arts School (see the first link in the Resources section).

Start by learning the basic blocking and outlining styles of art. Practice laying out your canvas by sections to give you smaller areas to build on.

Study the five building blocks of oil painting: composition, color, value, texture and edges. Learn how each of these basic ideas relate to your oil painting. Oil Painting for Beginners (see the third link below) offers some great instruction on these basics.

Learn about the different types of oil paints and how they interact and blend with each other. It is a good idea to find out which oil paints work well together and which ones do not, as well as what types of brushes work best with oil paints. Info4Artists (see the fourth link below) is a great site for this information.

Use sketch pad paper and oil paints to practice laying out basic painting patterns and to see how different paints work with each other until you are comfortable with your tools.

Increase the difficulty of your painting images and styles as your mastery of each step increases. Challenge yourself to painting more complex images like people and landscapes. Never stop challenging yourself to learn more and better ways to improve your oil painting skills.


  • There are many online courses available to teach oil painting, some of which are also listed in the resources section below. There are also many traditional art schools that will help you learn oil painting as well. Check the second link below for an example.


  • Before enrolling in any art school whether online or off, examine all requirements and classes to verify that the school is going to give you the training you are looking to find.