Best Oil Painting Ideas

Oil Painting Ideas

However, don’t anticipate Old Master realism from your first few pieces if you’re just starting out. Before moving into the oil painting ideas, you should be aware on the different oil painting techniques, and on the different types of oil medium to escalate an awesome presentation of art.

Whether you’re a beginner painter or a seasoned pro who prefers acrylics painting or watercolor painting techniques, learning the characteristics of oil paint most notably its lengthy drying period and rigorous layering rules will take some time.

Furthermore, it goes without saying that oil painting is distinguished by pigments that are applied to a drying oil binder. Linseed, poppy seed, walnut, and safflower oil are some of the most often used drying oils.

Oil paint is a centuries-old medium with a wide range of applications. Do you need some ideas on what to paint? That means there are a plethora of tried-and-true tactics, strategies, and styles to select from. Many of them are simple to learn, but the others need some practice.

Some tips to start oil painting:

With oils, the possibilities are unlimited; and there are six basic phases to making an oil painting such

You simply need to walk into an art gallery to witness the vast array of ways in which oil paint can be used. 

  • If you are a beginner, simple topics, like still lifes, can help you hone your skills. Later on, you can move on to more complicated subjects like portraits and landscapes. 
  • Use a picture to work without having to monitor the time and to trace your model onto the medium if you don’t know how to draw.
  • Different angles will add to the painting’s appeal. Focus on a particular or take in the entire scene as you observe your subject. Use a window made out of cardboard or your hands to create a frame. If you’re dealing with a photo, reframe it with strips of paper.
  • Experiment with your ideas on paper: do as many studies as you need, varying the framing and shadow-light interaction.
  • To keep your paint clean, sketch your subject on the medium using charcoal; or very lightly with a pencil so it doesn’t show through the paint; or with oils or acrylics in a very neutral, diluted hue.
  • Do you have any doubts about your pencil stroke? If you’re working from a photo, use the grid technique or tracing paper to create the model’s principal lines.
  • Use broad lines to capture the essential aspects; if you try to perfectly recreate the scene down to the tiniest details, your painting will become overburdened.
  • A white backdrop enhances hues and is perfect for objects with a lot of colors. A colored backdrop unifies the picture by providing an underlying tone: pick the color based on the final tone you desire
  • Superimposing layers are used to color an artwork. Begin by creating regions of shade and light, and then fill in huge areas with color. Work slowly, layering on increasingly intense levels of color.

8 Oil Painting Ideas to Improve Your Art Skills:

Although oil painting techniques might be difficult for beginners, there are a variety of reasons why this art should be pursued. Oil paintings have a distinct air, and some consider them to be more distinguished than others.

At the same time you should be well-versed on the mediums to use for oil painting. It could be fine, if you know the oil painting supplies needed to carve the art with perfection.

1. Make a Simple Landscape Oil Painting Ideas:

Landscape Oil Painting

Oil is a translucent, slow-drying medium.  Using the alla prima approach, create a landscape. The alla prima approach, commonly known as “wet on wet,” is a quick and direct style of painting with oils.

Layering heavier paint on top of thinner paint makes sense. Thick paint may be used to create texture; use a stiff fan brush to build up the texture of the leaves on trees. Create angled rock forms using a palette knife.

Make oil drawings of landscapes; mix oil on the canvas for longer, make use of the slow drying characteristic of the paint. Landscape drawings are an excellent approach to plan compositions and swiftly develop abilities.

Landscapes can be as basic or as complicated as the user desires. Paint on oil paper with the largest brush you can find for the part you’re painting. This way, you’ll avoid obsessing over little minutiae. You can always frame your sketches if you like them. 

You can even create a hazy forest scene. Make a hazy woodland atmosphere. Learn brushwork methods, how to merge mist, and how to create depth to improve your talents. Misty woodlands offer a sense of calm; make your own forest oil painting landscape to place on your wall.

2. Simple abstract oil painting Ideas:

Simple abstract oil paintings

To add texture, you can utilize a variety of abstract oil painting techniques. Using a palette knife, apply modeling paste to a canvas. Wait for it to dry before painting over it with small coats of oil paint.

Experiment with this method by using a thick modeling paste to create structure before applying any color. Instead, you might mix your color with a medium like cold wax and then add texture to the canvas. 

To make distinct markings, use a range of instruments such as palette knives, catalyst wedges, and stiff brushes. To leave whitespace, pile paint on the surface, scrape portions away, flick paint with a spatters brush or mask regions with painter’s tape. Strive and be inventive.

3. Waves Oil painting Ideas:

Waves on Oil painting

Let’s have a look at how waves are created. As a result, we have a better understanding of how to paint a wave.

Outline the foamy parts and the wave’s form. Outline the wave’s eye as well as where it overflows over. Make a mixture of blue and green and paint it on the wave’s face. Scrub the paint on with scrubbing strokes.

In the direction of the wave’s eye, paint thinner and lighter. Don’t worry about the foam or the eye just yet. On the spill-over region, paint the opposite. The paint will be lighter near the bottom of the spill-over as the water thins as it flows down the spill-over.

Blend the yellow into the green as you paint down the eye. Blend the two colors together until there is no visible difference between them. Down below the wave’s base, keep painting the same dark hues. For the sunny parts of the foam, combine a bit yellow and white. Fill your brush with the combination of sunshine. 

Apply the sunshine color on the tops of the foam rolls. Make a couple of flicks up with a clean, dry brush, as though the foam is being caught by the wind. Use your brush strokes to depict water movement when learning how to paint a wave.

4. Flower Oil Painting Ideas

Paint a simple flower

Flowers are a lovely and delightful sight to behold; everyone has a favorite! There are crucial tactics and approaches for painting flowers, whether it’s daisies, daffodils, or wild sunflowers.

Painting a flower would be a fantastic project for someone who is new to painting and wants to learn about easy and inspiring Oil Painting Ideas for Beginners.

You may choose any flower you like but stay away from intricate patterns and blooms that require a lot of shading. The effects of a flower painted with bright-colored oil paint will be exquisite and stunning.

Because the paint must spread uniformly throughout the entire flower, painting it using oil colors is straightforward. It’s simpler to correctly recreate the form of the flowers if you know their basic shape, which is either circles or cones. It also assists you in determining which brushes you will use to produce specific shapes.

5. Oil Painting Ideas with a Palette Knife:

Palette Knife Painting

Would you like to try your hand at an unusual yet popular method of painting? Learn how to use a palette knife to paint. The more you practice with this tool, the more realistic your paintings will become. Using the impasto technique, create textured palette knife paintings. This method is easy to learn and enables artists to use their creativity when painting. The outcome is a sloppy, impressionistic appearance. Get some palette knives or stiff brushes to try the impasto technique and you can use a medium like Cold Wax to thicken the paint if desired. 

To produce an impasto painting, start with a sketch on canvas to choose your composition. After that, start filling in the basic shapes and colors. You may either let the paint dry between coats of paint wet on wet. Using a smaller palette knife, add the details and brightest highlights last. Try this method to see what you can come up with.

6. Sunset Oil Painting Ideas

Sunset Oil Painting Ideas

It is always recommended that someone who is starting to paint should focus on natural scenes and vibrant colors. Oil paintings have a distinct advantage over acyclic paintings in that they are more vibrant and appealing.

Before moving on to professional paintings or any other form, use your creativity and start with natural paintings.

For painting sunsets, there are two main secrets:

  • Adjust your settings so that the sun has a lower value than the rest of the sky. 
  • Control the saturation of the backdrop sky to make the bright colors of a sunset stand out.

These two suggestions will enhance the vibrancy and excitement of your sunsets.

7. Clouds Oil Painting Ideas:

Clouds with Oil Paints

To make a cloud painting, you don’t need a lot of materials or colors. It takes effort and a little ingenuity to learn how to paint clouds.

Clouds form gorgeous shapes in the sky, but they frequently appear out of place when painted on canvas. The portions of clouds distant from the sun should be the darkest, while those closest to the sun should be the brightest. 

But don’t forget to alternate between soft and harsh edges. Strong brushstrokes with firm edges can be used to represent thicker or whiter clouds, while more delicate markings can be used to suggest thinner or paler clouds.

8. Simple still life Oil Painting Ideas:

Still Life Painting

Anybody can create a still life with items found in their house, but there are a few pointers that can make the process go much more smoothly. Make your own setup by collecting various items from around the house. Fruit, flowers, crockery, and vases are all popular still-life topics. You could, however, paint anything. 

Just Play with the lighting and the background until you’re satisfied creating your still life setup is almost as much fun as painting it. Painting from real-life objects and themes is an excellent method to hone your observation abilities. Observe colors in real life rather than in a photograph or on a screen. You might start with a simple composition if you’re a newbie.


  • Creativity can come at any time, yet it only comes once in a while.
  • Above all, have good fun. Oil paintings come in a variety of styles.
  • It’s best to learn each one individually and thoroughly.
  • There are several sorts of oil painting techniques that are both successful and created specifically for novices.
  • They guarantee immediate and spectacular effects.
  • Once you’ve gotten your hands on these paintings and honed your talents, you’ll be better able to tackle your own subject matter.
  • With enough patience and effort, anybody can master the art of oil painting.
  • These oil painting ideas can show you how to improve your skills in a variety of ways.
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