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The Four Elements of a Successful Oil Painting

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November 8 & 9, 2023
November 15 & 16, 2023
12:30 am - 4:00 pm
4-Day Workshop $600

Supply List

Workshop Description:

Receive 13 hours of instruction and demonstration aimed at assisting you in consistently creating successful paintings. This comprehensive program covers a range of essential topics including crafting a value scale palette, mastering chiaroscuro painting techniques, and gaining insights into composition, value, color, edges, and finishing techniques. Through these lessons, you'll enhance your artistic abilities, resulting in more impactful art pieces, culminating in the creation of a captivating full-color masterpiece.


Class Details: Day One, November 8, 2023 - Subject Matters

  • Duration: 3-hour class

  • Expected Video Time: Approximately 60-90 minutes


Subject Matters Covered:

  • What to Paint

  • Planning for Success

  • Reviewing Rules of Threes:

    • Rules of Thirds

    • Rule of Odds

    • Rule of Division

    • Rule of Eye Direction & Focus

  • Drawing vs. Painting

  • Seeing Shapes First

  • How to Use Your Camera, iPad, or Phone to Determine the Best Composition

  • Making Compositional Sketches


Class Materials:

Each Student Should Bring:

  • At Least Three Photos and A Digital Image of Each Photo

  • Canvas Matching Photo Dimensions with a Simple Grid Penciled on It

  • iPad, Phone, or Computer for Photo Adjustment


Option 1: Student's Own Photos:

  • Students can choose to bring their own photos for painting.

  • Canvas dimensions should match the photo's dimensions.

  • A simple grid should be penciled on the canvas for reference.


Option 2: Teacher-Supplied Photo:

  • The instructor can provide a photo for painting.

  • Prepared canvas size: 18x24 with a simple grid.

  • Instructor will demonstrate adjusting canvas for different proportion-sized photographs.



  • Sketch out light in pencil for the painting.

  • Start painting the next day.

  • Spray the drawing with fixative.


Class Details: Day Two, November 9, 2023 – Values First

  • Duration: 3-hour class

  • Expected Video Time: Approximately 60-90 minutes


Class Materials:

Each Student Should Bring:

  • 1 Tube Each of White and Black Acrylic Paint

  • A tempered piece of glass cut to your desired size.

  • A sketch pad and 2B pencils are essential for the class.

  • An 18 x 24 canvas with a sketched image

  • A laminated black and white photograph of your subject


Alternatively, you can bring a larger picture frame with glass (16 x 20 or larger) from a thrift store. The frame will be repurposed to create a palette by removing the photo. (Frames might be provided if available.)


Class Description: This class offers a comprehensive exploration of values and their artistic significance. By engaging in hands-on activities and practicing techniques, you'll gain valuable insights that will elevate your artistic abilities and understanding of creating impactful artworks.


  1. Creating a Value Scale Palette: You will begin by crafting a value scale palette using black and white acrylic paints on glass. This exercise will lay the foundation for understanding and utilizing values effectively.

  2. Quick Value Sketches: Through quick value sketches, you will explore different moods that can be conveyed through variations in value.

  3. Value Painting with Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue: Working with burnt sienna and ultramarine blue, you'll utilize GAMSOL to create a value painting. This painting will build upon the preliminary drawing you completed as homework.

  4. Chiaroscuro Painting (If Time Allows): If time permits, you will delve into creating a chiaroscuro painting. This technique involves using white, burnt umber, and ultramarine blue to manipulate light and shadow composition, resulting in depth and mood.


Homework: As the class concludes, your homework will be to complete a chiaroscuro painting. This task will be the focus of the next class, allowing you to refine your skills and produce a finished piece.


Class Details: Day Three, November 15, 2023 – Simple Color

  • Duration: 3-hour class

  • Expected Video Time: Approximately 60-90 minutes


Class Materials:

Each Student Should Bring:

  • Laminated Photo of What You Are Painting

  • All Oil Painting Supplies on The List

  • Canvas With Chiaroscuro Painting

  • One Extra Canvas


Class Description:

In this class, you will learn the art of color manipulation and composition. The instructor will demonstrate laying out a basic palette and preparing to paint. Topics covered include mixing colors, considerations about health and chemicals, and important factors to ask yourself when choosing a color. The class will explore the nuances of using and making grays, the distinction between bright and dirty colors, and how to create a dramatic color composition.



Work on your painting to nearly finish for the next class.


Class Details: Day Four, November 16, 2023 – Pulling it Together

  • Duration: 4-hour class

  • Expected Video Time: Approximately 60-90 minutes


Class Materials: Same as Previous Days


Class Description:

Each student's painting will receive individual evaluation, allowing you to apply the principles of design effectively. You'll receive guidance on where to consider using soft or hard edges to improve the composition. This personalized feedback will help you identify strengths and areas for improvement in your work, ultimately contributing to your growth as an artist.

About the Instructor:

Chris Kling earned her BFA in 1979 and since then has received numerous awards from shows for her landscapes and portraiture throughout the United States and with the Portrait Society of America. She has been honored with back-to-back “Best of Shows” for landscapes and several awards for her work in festivals and competitions. Both her portraits and landscapes are in numerous private and corporate collections in the United States as well as in international collections. She served as one of the “Florida’s Finest Ambassadors” for the Forgotten Coast en Plein Air 2018 in Apalachicola and was an Invited Artist the last six years in the New Smyrna Paint Out, Delray Plein Fun Fest 2019. She most recently won Best Seaside in the Lighthouse Plein Air Festival 2023 as well as Second Place in the St. Augustine en Plein Air Exhibition 2023. For several years she has participated in the Lighthouse Plein Air Festival and in 2023 won Best Seaside. Chris was thrilled to be the Cover Artist for the New Smyrna Beach Paint Out 2022. And in 2021 she received the honor of the MartinArts Visual Artist. 

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