Simple, fast, Impressionist Style Painting.

They’re brilliant, inspiring and the results spectacular – the painting demos we’ve seen on YouTube and elsewhere I mean. But if you are starting your career in Oil Painting they must seem daunting. All the colours, materials and techniques, wow! The sketch alone before you start is an gobsmacking obstacle.

This is a simple approach. Keep the materials to the absolute minimum. Especially the number of colours. Mixing colours produces millions of tints.
Remember, you are not trying to reproduce a scene as a camera does. Paint colours are not the same as the colours you find in a computer photographic application like Photoshop which are digital and pure as are the ‘rainbow colours’. The behaviour of pigments in paints when mixed effects the resultant colours. Some colour combinations produce beautiful new colours and others are horrid. The more different pigments in the mix the further you travel on the road to that dirty grey/brown colour.
The colours in this demo work well together. As there are only 3 (black and white are not considered as colours) the number of combinations is small – small enough for you to remember  what produces what.  These mixtures also produce ‘natural’ landscape colours found in Ireland. All parts of the painting have the same 3 colours only the proportions of each are different. For example, in the blue of the sky is mostly Cobalt Blue, but there is a little Yellow Ochre  and a smaller amount of Burnt Sienna. In the darkest parts of the ground are found the same 3 colours with less Cobalt Blue and much more of the other 2. There is also a beautiful harmony between the different areas of the painting.
The above video is in HD (you can play it in full screen) and in 4 parts. The other parts (2, 3 & 4) can be found on YouTube.

Try the technique demonstrated in the videos. Your comments are welcome.

The stuff you’ll need…

Oil Paints – Titanium White, Ivory Black, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue.
Brushes: As many as possible – Bristle, Filbert or Flat, No. 8 some smaller some a little larger.
Palette Knife: To save the brushes from paint mixing and subsequent cleaning to keep them clean for applying the paint.
Palette: Flat non absorbent surface.
Painting Surface: Oil painting paper, canvas or board. Beware some surfaces are sold as ‘Acrylic or Oil Painting’ these can be too absorbent for Oil Painting.
Media: Linseed Oil, Liquin and White Spirits. Two small containers one containing a solution of one quarter Oil, one quarter Liquin and half White Spirits. The other container White Spirits only.
Misc: Charcoal Stick, Masking Tape, Loads of Paper Kitchen Paper for cleaning brushes or anything else that gets inadvertently ‘painted’.

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2 thoughts on “Simple, fast, Impressionist Style Painting.

  1. Excellent video presentation and gives exactly the kind of details that simplifies the whole operation. It also shows basic and sensible techniques for sky and the handling of color throughout – as you say keep it simple and the process is nowhere near as daunting.

    Great web site!

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