MAY, 2021

Painting Techniques

Original Art

One of my favorite places to visit in the summer is Martha’s Vineyard. I have painted many scenes from the island with Menemsha being one of my favorite spots.

Menemsha is a picturiesque fishing village where you can get fresh seafood right off the boat docks. I came across this scene of a small boat on a trailer near a shed adorned with nautical treasures.

The nice afternoon shadows created a interesting composition so I decided to use a 12″ x 16″ stretched canvas with oil paint for this painting.

quick sketch of a shed and small boat.

Marker Sketch

I always start a painting with a sketch. Here I did a quick marker sketch to get an idea of the composition.

underpainting done in yellow for this oil painting

Starting with an under-painting

Paint a layer of paint that is thinned with odorless turpentine, this can be any color. I often use Yellow and Quinacridone Rose.

This step adds color and value to the white canvas. I often leave small amounts of the under-painting showing to add pops of color.


oil painting step by step in images

Add thicker layers of paint

I usually start painting the sky and background first. From there I work forward in the painting. Sometimes I may add my darkest value at this point. This establishes my value range in the painting.


oil painting step by step

painting the shed

At this point I am starting the shed and the nautical treasures that are hanging on the side of the building. Always keeping in mind the value and temperature of a color.  Sometimes a shadow may have warmth in it. Here I paint the shadow side of the shed with a warm grey.


oil painting step by step foreground

painting the foreground grass

Continuing into the foreground I start painting the grass. The sun is bright here and I want to use warm, intense color to have the foreground come forward in the scene.


oil painting step by step demo by PJ Cook Artist.

Finish painting the details

I finish painting the boat and trailer then the rest of the finer details throughout the painting. I have kept my brushwork noticable in places for added interest and texture.

In conclusion, each image above shows an oil painting step by step as I work on the various stages. Starting with thinner applications of paint to the thickest layers towards the completion of the scene.

Hope you enjoyed this demonstration and please leave any painting questions below in the comment box. Happy painting!