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The Materials of the Workshop “Oil Painting of Simple Object”

Let us consider the techniques of oil painting by example study of little vase.

It is a good idea to prime white cardboard or canvas in a neutral colour which should be more or less closed to the entire colouring of future picture. You should not try to take the tone too precise. The most important thing is to add tone. Even if you prime the base in dark green, it will be easier to work for you than on a white canvas.

It worth to prime the base with acrylic gesso because it enables you to start painting in oil in 20 minutes.


Toned primers, which have been adopted since XVI century, are traditionally called “imprimptura”.

While the acrylic is getting dry, it is reasonable to make a tonal draft.

The most important thing is to take the mane tonal relations while making the sketch, but not to draw every single detail. To achieve this goal it is recommended to look at the work and at the depicted object with defocused eyes in order to see big tonal relations.

It worth to use soft pencil (5B and softer)

In accordance with found composition and the entire tonal impression, start painting in oil.

It is crucial to take the main colour relations and even more important – tonal relations. That is the base of the created work. As correctly the main relations are taken at the beginning, as comfortable it will be to work later.

Further work may for convenience be called “hanging decorations”. However, while making the drawing more precise and adding details we frequently look at the entire impression.


In order to do this we look at the work at a 3-4 meter distance in order to check the solid picture.

As before you are highly recommended to look at your work with defocused eyes from time to time.

Meanwhile, if you have time, you should correct the outline, add details, alter their locations, make the transitions softer etc.

The crucial internal feeling is we don’t draw the details as such, but we draw the details in order to form the ensemble. While putting the dash depicting one element, we have to look at the whole picture. Thereby it is possible to take the tone of this element more precise.

Oleg Toropygin