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Basics of Oil Painting, Getting You Comfortable…
Master Artist-Instructor: Douglas David

An oil painting of a slice of watermelon.

January 22 @ 9:30 am - January 23 @ 3:30 pm

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New exciting workshop in oil! This fun and informative workshop will cover the basic principles of oil painting and get you painting simple and easy-to-understand objects in a short time. The idea of this workshop is to get you comfortable with the process of painting while teaching you how to paint dynamic and exciting paintings. The class includes interesting and memorable discussions on all the basic elements of painting, including composition, massing, building form, light and shadow – and, depending on your own style, knowing when a work is finished (learning how to not overwork your painting). Douglas delivers sound principles of painting that are an incredible foundation for your painting; and whether you’re a person who has never ever picked up a brush, a relatively new painter, or a more accomplished painter looking for some strong points to review, it will make sense.

After the brief morning intro, a very hands-on approach to the class gets students organized and preparing to paint. Students will learn how to set up their palette with the basic colors and understand why this is helpful. Douglas will overview his palette and concepts that his work entails and do subsequent demonstration paintings for each subject the class paints. Sometimes the demo is step-by-step, and sometimes the demo is done first and remains as an example you can follow and reference. There is nothing to be afraid of or self-conscious about. Douglas will get you through all the tricky parts, and you will have fun.

Students will work in their own style/technique so that the finished work is their own. Students will paint simple still lifes, which usually include items like apples, eggs, and common and fun things like donuts! You will also paint from a photo to help you get the idea of what painting en plein air (out of doors) is like; usually we paint a palm tree or a beach and sometimes a sailboat. Depending on the skill level of each student, they can grow and develop at a rate that is to their comfort. Plan to produce a few small paintings and possibly one larger painting. Plan to bring a notebook/sketchbook and enjoy all the demos along with some great stories to help you remember these principles that are the foundation of Douglas’ teaching.

Great News! Oil Painting Supply Kits are now available through the link below. Douglas used to offer kits in class, but demand was too great to keep up with, so this is the better way to get all the correct materials for the workshop!

You can click on the Blick link and order a kit in part or in its entirety or assemble the supplies below.

Supply list:

  • Liquin
  • odorless mineral spirits
  • oils – Utrecht (order from Dick Blick) Cad. Red Light, Aliz Crim., Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Green, Ultram. Blue, Ultram. Violet, Lemon Yellow, Yellow Green, Green Earth Hue, Sap Green, Prussian Green, Yellow Ochre, Ivory Black, large tube of “Permalba” White
  • OPTIONAL oils – Burnt Sienna, Jaune Brilliant No 2. Holbein Ivory White
  • paper towels
  • disposable palette pad
  • palette cup to put medium in (Liquin)
  • palette knife
  • brushes: filberts or flats #2,4,6, maybe 8 or 10 or rounds in these sizes if you prefer rounds
  • mineral spirits or thinner
  • jar for mineral spirits or thinner to clean brushes
  • a few throw-away bristle brushes from hardware store in 1″ and 2-2.5″ sizes
  • canvases – quantity: 2-3 5″x7″, 2-3 8″x10″, 2-3 10″x20″ or 12″x16″ or 16″x20″ (or whatever size desired for larger paintings)
  • and anything else student needs to help them paint well and feel comfortable

Please prime all canvas with a thin coat of thinned-down Cad Red Light and Permalba White to make a pink or light red tone on canvas.

 Class Tentative Outline:

Day 1

1st hour: Welcome/Overview of Class & Terms

2nd hour: Review Supplies and how to set up and get organized to paint, setting up the palette, and how to get started.

Lunch: Brown bag

Entire Afternoon: Paint in studio

Day 2

1st half hour: Overview/Review Specifics

All of second day: Paint in studio at your own pace on set-ups Douglas arranges.

Lunch: Brown bag

Last hour: Select and display various paintings accomplished / a small class show with discussions and summary by Douglas – ends workshop on a very high note.

Monday & Tuesday, January 22 & 23, 2024, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

2-day workshop, $423 / $345 Annual Donors

Class meets at 900 Dunlop Road. To register, call 239-395-0900.


Douglas David InstructorDouglas David has painted his way across the country, capturing the beauty and spirit of the things he loves – tranquil country landscapes, sunrises and sunsets on his favorite beaches, a simple pitcher of spring lilacs or peonies, a slice of watermelon on a checkered tablecloth. His paintings are beautiful, simple, and timeless.

After graduating with honors from Herron School of Art, Indiana University, Douglas went on to study for several years with Frank Mason, famed instructor from the Art Students League of New York and student of Frank Vincent DuMond. A recipient of numerous regional and national awards and honors, Douglas is a member of many art associations and clubs including Hoosier Salon, Naples Art Association, Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, Salmagundi Club, and Southern Vermont Arts Center.

Douglas’ teaching is a way of giving back and sharing some of his journey with those who choose to study with him. He loves to share insights into the DuMond Palette with his students and bases all his teachings on classic principles.

Douglas’ work has been chosen for many private and public collections, including the Vice President’s residence; the United States Embassy to Sierra Leone; and, most recently, by request of Ambassador Donnelly, the United States Embassy to the Holy See (Vatican City).

Instructor Website

CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellations made more than one week prior to the start of class will receive an 80% refund.

-Or- funds can be transferred to any other workshop of your choice during the current season.

Registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable for cancellations made less than one-week (7-days) prior to the start of the class.


January 22 @ 9:30 am
January 23 @ 3:30 pm

Call for details/to register

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BIG ARTS Sanibel
900 Dunlop Rd
Sanibel, FL 33957 United States
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(239) 395-0900
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