Step 5: The Foundation Layer

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Ready to start working with color?

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re well on your way to mastering oil painting. In this section, we’ll work on creating a solid foundation, one that not only looks good but will stand the test of time. We’ll cover:

  • The three mantras of oil painting;
  • Some refresher notes about basic color theory;
  • Global vs. local color;
  • Using color schemes to unify or brighten a painting;
  • Different brushes and their uses;
  • The practical business of getting that first layer down on your canvas with a minimum of fuss.

A solid base for your artistic vision

By the end of this course, you’ll know how to paint a first layer for an alla prima painting, and how to avoid cracking or pentimento over time. Whether you decide to add additional detail wet-on-wet, or this single layer is your finished product, you’ll understand exactly how oil paint is applied.

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