Supplies needed:


-Burnt umber

-Ultramarine blue

-Titanium white paint

-#12 flat or bright brush and large round brush (round brush is optional)

-One sheet of 18” x 24” gesso-covered paper



-To learn to manipulate oil paint with and without mediums (gamsol, alkyd).

-To create an interesting composition with a focal point and subordinate areas of interest. This involves selecting which areas should be intentionally left unfinished.

-To balance loose, painterly brushwork with detailed areas of paint.

-To work with a full value range and establish contrast.


A still life (group of objects) will be set up in the middle of the classroom. An extended, monochromatic study of these objects will be completed both in and out of class.  Demonstrations of the monochromatic underpainting process and the overpainting process will be provided in class.

Keep in mind the “fat over lean” rule as you develop layers of paint.  The first layer of the painting will be painted with a mixture of Gamsol and paint.  Subsequent layers will be painted with mixtures of paint and liquin or linseed oil.  

The illusion of texture is created through varied levels of value contrast.  Matte textures have low value contrast and shiny, reflective surfaces like water, glass and silver have high value contrast.  To create the illusion of a reflective surface place very light values right next to very dark values. This is counter-intuitive for many people but if you squint at a silver cup, for instance, you will see this effect.  


Effective paint handling; this includes brushwork and use of mediums.

The composition has a primary focal point and subordinate areas of interest.

The painting has a full value range and strong use of contrast.

Student Work Examples:

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