Basic Techniques for Realistic Oil Painting

Dan Patterson
In this course you will learn the basic techniques for shading, blending, and the importance of soft edges. Dan will also lecture and demonstrate the key details on each object in a still life to give your painting that realistic look. These are simple techniques that with practice can take your painting to a whole new level of realism.

We’ll start by working in gray values ( 5” x 7’ canvas or panel ) to concentrate on the blending, shading, soft edges and handling of the brush to achieve these techniques. After completing the gray value exercise we’ll move onto a color composition and discuss how to apply the techniques and the observation of details and mixing of colors needed for each element of the painting. Dan will be conducting whole class and individual demonstrations throughout the classes and with practice you will see a positive improvement in your painting stills. A basic understanding of oil painting is recommended. The only oil paints needed for the first class are white, black and cobalt or ultra marine blue.
Please see below for the supply list.


CLASS ID: 2Q36 This class has been cancelled.
Date/Time: 5 Thursdays, June 1-29, 6:30-9:00 PM
Tuition: $119 Member/$150 Non-Member

CLASS ID: 2Q37 This class has been cancelled. Sign up for August!
Date/Time: 4 Thursdays, July 6-27, 6:30-9:00 PM
Tuition: $95 Member/$120 Non-Member

Date/Time: 5 Thursdays, August 3-31, 6:30-9:00 PM
Tuition: $119 Member/$150 Non-Member

Material Fee: $2 payable to instructor
Age/Level: Adults, Experienced Beginner and Beyond
* Sign up for all three classes and save! $323 Member/$410 Non-Member

Dan Patterson has been a fine artist since 1978 and also worked in the commercial art field starting in 1976 as an illustrator, designer, and production artist, and taught commercial art at Brooklyn Park Technical College for 10 years. Dan is now solely concentrating on his fine art painting from his studio in Forest Lake.




This is my basic palette that I recommended 

Titanium white, ivory black, payne’s gray, lemon yellow hue, Naples yellow, yellow ochre, burnt sinna, raw umber, alizarin crimson, cadmium red, cobalt or ultra marine blue

optional colors

burnt umber, sap green

Recommended brushes

#1, 2, 6 filbert,  it would be to your benefit to buy 2 of each for future use

#2 round

Optional brush for future larger paintings – #6 and #8 filbert

The Utrecht sablette brushes at BlIcks art supplies is a

good basic brush that hold its shape and is moderately priced

Canvas or panels – the first exercise will be done on a 5” x 7” canvas or panel, the first color painting will be done on a 5” x 7” or 8” x 10” cans or panel students chose. Blick also has a large selection of pre-stretched canvases and pre-primed panels.

Medium and turpentine

Artison oil painting medium

Oderless Turpentine or orderless Turpenoid ( a good turpentine substitute )

Rags – I fine that old cotton t-shirts work the best for one of the blending techniques I’ll be showing you and for general use.

A mixing palette of some kind 

I also use a 9” x 12” pad of transparent vellum for all drawing and tracing. 


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