My Journey as a Beginner Oil Painter

Hi, my name is Shay and I go by the alias Shaymus. I am a pet and people portrait artist living in the UK, working mainly with pastels. I recently moved house and re-decorated my new one, while using gloss to paint the doors and skirting boards, it made me really nostalgic of oil painting! Soon after completing the renovations on my new house, I began picking up my painting brush in between pastel commissions. I soon realised how much of a beginner I was at painting, having been so used to drawing over the years.

I have decided to document my journey from the start to pick up on what I find difficult and what I know I need to improve on. This includes, colour mixing, understanding layers and knowledge of supplies. I thought this would be a great way to teach others who are starting out in oils so that they didn’t need to guess and fail, I decided I would like to be the one to trial and error to show you where I went wrong and what I learned. Saying that, I’m a strong believer that art is always self taught through your own practice so I highly encourage to practice on your own as well as learning from others. Your own fails are fundamental at teaching you, I just hope some of mine can assist you too.

Luckily, I have already spent years building up a skill on how to draw realistically, now all I need to do is learn how to paint realistically in oils. If only it was that easy! The straight fact is that wet media is different to dry media, I can only carry some skills through but learning new techniques and understanding how the medium works is key. As I practice throughout the next coming months, I aim to lay everything out what I think other beginners need to know and what I would of liked to be told to make life easier. I will also record my painting processes. 1, to watch my progress and 2, to visibly learn from my mistakes and improve. I hope to tell you where I know I’ve gone wrong and what I can do on the next painting to improve the overall desired outcome. I hope this method of tutoring will help as you may have similar mistakes also being a beginner in oil painting.

I will create a blog post for each video, listing the lessons learnt and what to keep in mind. I really hope this helps you out. Linking to each video will be below:

  • An introduction to oil painting. (difference between other wet & dry mediums)
  • What beginner oil painters need to get started (supplies & knowledge)
  • Lessons on painting fur

Back to blog homepage