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Still life oil painting workshop

Bring your materials and follow along, or watch as artist Jamie Preiesz creates a still life work.

This video was taken from a live stream of a full-day workshop where teachers created their work with Jamie whilst learning practical teaching tips when using oils in painting. A list of materials for the workshop and a guide to using oil glazes in painting is included.


Ioulia Panoutsopoulos
Annex Art Project Officer

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Workshop resources

Materials for the workshop

  • One piece of A4 card and scissors for making view finder
  • A4 or A3 primed canvas paper or board
  • Pencil for sketching
  • Selection of brushes
  • Acrylic paints in white, burnt sienna and burnt umber
  • Oil paints in a variety of colours including primary colours
  • Liquin medium
  • Paint palette
  • Artist solvent such as turps
  • Glass jar for water
  • Glass jar for turps

Related videos

Using a viewfinder in still life drawing
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Oil Painting Basics | Shadows and Highlights
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Using oil glazes in paintings

What is oil painting glazing?

Glazing is the process of applying multiple thin layers of oil paint so that each layer is transparent. Each coat modifies the layer of paint beneath it building a depth of colour.

Why do painters use oil glazes?

Painting glazes allow the eye to mix the various layers of paint so that the colour appears deeper and richer. The light reflects the multiple colours of the glazes rather than one ‘premixed’ colour applied in one layer. Glazing also allows the artist to create a more luminous and ‘glowing’ appearance to their painting.

What are the best materials to use for painting oil glazes?

You can use transparent of opaque paints for oil glazing but it is essential that the paint is applied in thin layers. The opacity or transparency of the paint will create a different effect in the painting so it is important to experiment with the paint colours before applying them to your painting.

Paints can also be mixed with mediums such as liquin which will modify the consistency and the drying time of each layer. Soft brushes are best for beginners as they are better for disguising brush strokes if you are looking for a smooth finish.

You can use oil glazes on any surface you would use for any oil painting, but the smoother the surface, the smoother the finish of your painting.

Which colours can I use for glazing?

Single pigment colours are the best to use for oil glazing as they help maintain the saturation of each hue and avoid a muddying effect as the layers are added. Using a colour wheel or your knowledge of colour theory will help you decide which colours to add to achieve the tone or value of the hue you are creating. For example, if you hope to achieve a lime green colour, you would add multiple layers of yellow over blue until you achieve the hue you desire.

Creating a glazing chart will help you to visualise the colours created when applying one glaze over another.

What am I doing wrong if I am not achieving my desired effect?

Ensure you are:

  • using transparent oil paint so that each layer can be reflected through the last. If not, add a medium to thin your paint.
  • using single pigment paints. You can check the paint tube which should have the pigments clearly labelled.
  • allowing each layer of oil glaze to dry before adding the next layer. If you need the layers to dry quickly there are mediums you can add to the paint to decrease the drying time.
An example of a glazing chart showing a grid of different hues and the various combinations of colours to combine to create that hue.
(image from *needs proper attribution here)

About Annex Art

The Annex Art program gives teachers the opportunity to learn from contemporary artists who demonstrate and lead practical workshops in the artist's area of expertise. Teachers develop skills by creating their own artworks in day-long workshops.

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