Learn Painting with Gayle Levee, a very complete art course.

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Wow! Where do I start!  You will learn how to oil paint with this course.  This is such a massive course, it has taken me over a month to go through it.  With 20 DVD's that contain 26 full blown lessons and 3 CD's of music to paint by, it covers the subject very well!

Lets get started.  

To paint like the Masters, both contemporary and of past ages takes continuous training on the part of the artist.  As you already know, I endorse but a few products here, and only after I've reviewed them fully, do I place a review page up, and only if it has helped me to learn painting better in some way.  

When I buy a dud, it never makes it here.

Simply put, my money, and your money are hard earned.  So that you don't waste your hard won dollar on instruction that's under-par, I limit only the best that I find here.

Here's what I found within this course on Learn & Master painting.   

You are getting a full art course.  This course is especially suited to the beginner and you will learn painting using it.  It discusses things that for me, have become second nature, but to the beginner and some intermediate artists, will enlighten you (and explain things that every artist does, but maybe doesn't realize they are doing it!).

If you've been painting awhile, these lessons could be helpful in explaining things that you've been doing wrong for a long time.  I'll talk about the gold nuggets I personally got help from within the course here in this article.

I'll also give you the scoop on things I disagree with, that way, you can make up your own mind on how to handle those situations within the course should you decide to go for it.

She mentions techniques in which you can oil paint without solvents.  This can open the door to oil painting for so many that presently have issues with solvents!  More about this at the end of the article.

What is so very nice about these lessons is that they apply to not only oil paints, but acrylics and water-based oil paints too.  Gayle (your instructor) discusses many important things to get you started when using any of the materials!

To begin with,

  • How to set up your studio, and why.

Studio Setup with Lights

Studio Setup with Window

  • Materials you will need for each lesson.
  • Paints that you should buy, and mediums.
  • How a paint brush is made and why it is made the way it is.
  • And how to make certain strokes with the paint brush.

And here was one of those golden nuggets I got out of the lessons.  

  • How to paint a straight vertical and horizontal brush stroke without a guide using the correct body position and motion of the body to get it done right! (And it ain't what you might think, part of the secret is in not sitting while painting, get the course to see the rest of the story)
  • Gayle also taught me a technique in varied brush strokes that have really helped loosen up my paintings, and will improve how I create my backgrounds in future works.

    All this in just the first 4 lessons to learn painting.

Varied Brush Stroke Technique for a simple tree

You learn painting with hard, soft and lost edges.

Lesson 5 teaches you hard, soft and lost edges.  With the lost edge, Gayle shows a great technique that insures success when you paint skies, or smooth round objects where you need a gradation.

Now this is a real bonus, in how to learn painting because unless you've seen a really smooth gradation done by hand, you can't appreciate it.  It is a difficult thing to achieve on a large surface, but the effect is wonderful for skies. And Gayle makes it easy!

Lessons 6-8 with the information you've learned thus far, you start a serious painting.  You've done several exercises, (and some of these could be considered finished works)(especially the lolly pop trees!)  but here is where the rubber meets the road.  This lesson will conclude with the completion of your first really nice still life.

You'll learn painting in how to :

  • set up a still life
  • determine a great focal point
  • create the under-painting
  • (and here's another golden nugget for you)  You'll learn the time honored traditional method of sight sizing your drawing/painting. 
  • The video show you step by step how to use your brush handle, your arm, and your eye sight to measure and transfer what you see onto the canvas accurately.

Sight Sizing using the paint brush for accurate measurements and image transfer.

Learn Painting Color with color charts that you create!

Lessons 9-13 Cover Color, color theory, gray-scales, value scales, and color charts.

The gold nugget for me were these last lessons on color charts.

They were instrumental in my better understanding of my brands of paints and how they reacted when I added complements, whites and blacks.  I also learned several ways to make some very intense blacks, neutrals, and various color schemes.

She goes on to explain analogous, monochromatic, complimentary color schemes.  Double complements, triads, and color temperature and mood were thrown in the mix.  She even touches on abstract painting techniques and the use of color within this genre of painting giving several demonstration examples.

Lessons 14-17

Here we get into composition in more detail, focal points, perspective and right into another very complex still life painting.

(This is a beautiful demonstration that will result in your 2nd wonderful painting when you are finished)

Lessons 18-20  cover the landscape painting, linear perspective, 2 point perspective and introduction of people and animals into your work.

Lesson 21-25 You'll learn about using photography in your work, thumbnail sketches, and walking you through an entire process from an idea to a completed painting.  This included critiquing your work, making adjustments and final varnishing.

Lesson 26 the final chapter discusses how to get involved in the local artist community and getting your work displayed and into galleries!

Learn and Master Painting

Some of the things I disagree with.

There are but a few, so here they are. 

Early on in the program Gayle mentions the use of baby oil in the cleaning up of brushes.  She doesn't mention cleaning the baby oil residue out of the brushes before starting her next paint session.  You are led to believe you can leave it in the brush and it is a miniscule amount.

Baby Oil is a mineral oil with fragrances added to make that baby bottom smell nice.  It cuts and removes oil paint great, but it is a NON-DRYING oil, which means, unlike your oil paints and the type oils they are mixed with that DO DRY.

Mixing even miniscule amounts with your paint I believe would be detrimental to the painting.  I have found however, a great alternative that is just as good, and is with a product that you will find in some of your white oil paints. 

Safflower Oil.  A whole quart will set you back only $6.  And it does just a good a job at cleaning your brushes as turps, OMG, or the baby oil.

It's inexpensive and available everywhere (mostly grocery stores).  This is a semi-drying oil, which means it just takes longer to dry.  What misiscule amount is left in a brush after washing won't hurt your paint film.  I know, I've used this and the paintings come out fine.


The 2nd issue is also near the beginning of the lessons where she explains that paints with the words "Hue" in them are of no value. 

My own research shows that rather than using a rather expensive and toxic "Cadmium" color, paint manufacturers are using a synthetic or alternative color compound. 

The color is the same to the human eye, and mixes similarly as the more expensive "Cadmium's" (In red and yellow). 

I have found that irregardless the color, it will mix slightly differently from manufacturer to manufacturer. 

My advice, find a color and brand you like, and stick with it.  You'll need to relearn less when you are painting as once you've built a few color charts with your paints, you'll understand their behavior much better.

As far as permanance and color load within the paint, the professional grade paints are highly loaded and permanent.  The student and cheaper brand paints are not.  Start with the student grades until you have a few paintings under your belt.  If you like painting, then get with the professional grade paints. 

To learn painting Conclusions

Overall, this is a great course for the beginner and intermediate artist.  

I've been painting for over 30 years, and I learned a few great tricks! 

You will learn painting in oils, water-based oils and acrylics using these techniques. 

The obvious advantage to a DVD course like this rather than a seminar or private lessons is simple.  You can view these over and over again. 

Also, the art community she refers to is real.  An online forum where folks gather and discuss issues about their art. See their website for more details.

Learn and Master Painting

Please realize also that if you purchase this course after visiting my site, I will receive a small commission.  It's a token of thanks which the publishers grant me for sending them such great folks as yourself!

If you gonna paint, treat yourself to an entire coarse and add this one to your library of DVD courses.  I did, and am very happy for it!  Just click the ad box to the right to get started!


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