Oil Painting For Beginners: What Classes Are The Best Fit For You?

Oil Painting For Beginners

Oil Painting For Beginners: What Classes Are The Best Fit For You?

Ready to try your hand at oil painting? Many beginners, just like you, are curious about diving into the world of oil painting, intrigued by its timeless appeal and versatility. But with so many options out there, how do you know which class is the best fit for you? That’s where we come in. In this guide, we’ll help you sift through the various oil painting classes for beginners, making sure you find one that suits your style and helps you grow as an artist. Let’s get started!

What is Oil Painting?

Oil painting involves the use of pigments mixed with a drying oil, typically linseed oil, to create artworks on a variety of surfaces, such as canvas, wood, or paper. Artists use brushes or palette knives to apply the oil paint in layers, allowing each layer to dry before adding subsequent layers. This technique results in vibrant colors, subtle blending, and rich textures that are characteristic of oil paintings.

History of Oil Painting:

Oil painting has a long and storied history, with roots dating back to ancient times. However, it wasn’t until the 15th century in Europe that oil painting as we know it today began to flourish.

One of the earliest known oil paintings is “The Arnolfini Portrait” by Jan van Eyck, painted in 1434. This masterpiece showcases the exquisite detail and luminous colors that became hallmarks of the oil painting technique.

During the Renaissance period, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael embraced oil painting, using it to create some of the most celebrated works of art in history.

The invention of the collapsible metal tube in the 19th century revolutionized oil painting, making it more portable and accessible to artists. This innovation allowed artists like Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh to paint en plein air, capturing the beauty of nature directly onto their canvases.

Facts About Oil Painting:

  • Oil paints consist of pigment particles suspended in a drying oil, such as linseed oil or walnut oil. The choice of oil affects the drying time, consistency, and finish of the paint.
  • Oil paints can be thinned with solvents like turpentine or mineral spirits for a more transparent application, or mixed with mediums to alter their texture and drying time.
  • Oil paintings can take days, weeks, or even months to dry completely, depending on factors such as the thickness of the paint layers and environmental conditions.
  • The flexibility and slow drying time of oil paint allow artists to blend colors, create subtle transitions, and make adjustments to their compositions over an extended period.
  • Oil paintings are prized for their durability and longevity. Many masterpieces created centuries ago still retain their vibrant colors and exquisite detail today.

Interesting Stats:

According to a survey by the National Endowment for the Arts, approximately 2.4 million adults in the United States engage in painting with oils or acrylics as a hobby.

The global market for oil paints and mediums was valued at over $3 billion in 2020 and is expected to continue growing in the coming years.

Some of the most expensive paintings ever sold at auction are oil paintings, including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” which sold for over $450 million in 2017.

How To Get Started On Oil Painting?

Understanding Your Skill Level

Before diving into oil painting classes, it’s essential to assess your current skill level. Whether you’re a complete novice or have some experience with other painting mediums, understanding where you stand will guide you in selecting the appropriate class. Most classes offer different levels, from beginner to advanced, with prerequisites for each level. Take some time to evaluate your familiarity with basic painting techniques and your comfort level with oil paints to determine the best starting point for your journey.

Exploring Class Formats

Oil painting classes come in various formats, each offering unique benefits and considerations. Traditional in-person classes provide hands-on instruction and interaction with instructors and fellow students. Online courses offer flexibility and convenience, allowing you to learn at your own pace from the comfort of your home. Workshops provide intensive learning experiences and specialized instruction on specific topics. Consider your preferences for instruction style, schedule flexibility, and access to resources when choosing the format that best suits your needs.

Identifying Your Learning Goals

What do you hope to achieve with your oil painting classes? Identifying your specific learning goals is crucial for selecting classes that align with your aspirations. Whether you aim to master basic techniques, develop your own artistic style, or prepare a portfolio for future endeavors, clarifying your objectives will ensure a fulfilling learning experience. Look for classes that offer curriculum and instruction tailored to your goals to make the most of your time and effort.

Researching Class Offerings

With a plethora of oil painting classes available, thorough research is key to finding the right fit. Explore reputable institutions or platforms offering classes for beginners and delve into their offerings. Consider factors such as instructor credentials, class curriculum, student testimonials, and reviews to gauge the quality and suitability of each class. Don’t hesitate to reach out to class providers, ask questions, and request additional information to make informed decisions.


Selecting the right oil painting classes is essential for beginners embarking on their artistic journey. By assessing your skill level, exploring class formats, identifying your learning goals, and researching class offerings, you can find the perfect fit to nurture your creativity and unleash your artistic potential. Remember, the right classes can provide valuable guidance, instruction, and inspiration as you explore the captivating world of oil painting. 

At Atelier School of Art, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from experienced instructors, explore a variety of techniques and styles, and connect with fellow art enthusiasts. Our oil painting classes provide a structured and nurturing environment where you can develop your skills, express your unique artistic voice, and take your creativity to new heights.

So why wait? Enroll in Atelier School of Art’s oil painting classes today and take the first step toward realizing your artistic aspirations. Let us help you unlock your potential and unleash your creativity with the timeless and versatile medium of oil painting. We can’t wait to welcome you to our studio and see the beautiful artwork you’ll create!