Out of my realm!

Hi all, as an introduction I only recently started art in 2015 with an online course in graphite. I moved on to colored pencils and now trying pastels. I like pastel the best so far.

 I recently found Mark’s YouTube channel and loved his work, watched a few and love his teaching style, which led me here. Started looking at the work produced by you folks in this forum and all I can say is wow! Perhaps I’m in the wrong place and need to look for a more beginner level place.

Never touched oils before, but I just picked up the Gamblin artists grade introduction set, along with cheep brushes and canvas panels, and white Gesso, knives…  I made Mark’s easel and color checker. I’m ready to go. 

One review stated that one of his courses was great but that he started to stop teaching during the actual painting process. Not sure that would be appropriate for someone who never touched oils, a brush or canvas before and would love to know your take on it. Are these courses for the absolute beginner or does it assume some painting knowledge?

thanks for your time.


  • Welcome Barry to the forum. 
    You are at the right place no matter what level.  
    Follow Marks instructions and you will do well.  I look forward to seeing your work.
  • Yes, I suggest you follow the instructions, but I also suggest you play around with the paints.  Experiment, 
    Mark helps to shortcut some to the learning process many of us fumbled through on our own, but often mistakes are the best way of working out what works for you and what does not.  
    ...and at all times, remember, we do this for fun!!!
  • Hi, @BarryC. Welcome to the forum. It's clear from your pastel work that you already have some highly developed skills so getting to grips with oil pint should be a breeze.   :)
  • Welcome! I would follow all the free video and course and take your time to do each step properly :)
  • BarryC

    Welcome. What fun you’ll have.

  • Hello and welcome,

    No prerequisites here, 


  • You'll do great, follow step by step and watch each free video when he says to.  

    There's more than enough guidance and info to do a painting right.
  • Mark's teaching process is designed specifically for the beginner!  What you need are his videos and the self-discipline to follow them precisely.  Check and double check each step.  

    In my opinion, Mark's processes for using the proportional dividers and for "mixing any color" from the fthree primaries plus a brown and a white should be pre-requisites for all beginners in oil painting.  The Gamblin introductory set on Dick Blick has the five colors you need.

    The free videos give you all of the information you need.  Follow them as closely as you can.  The only thing left out is that he only paints one object in the free videos.  However, To really "get" Mark's teaching process, you should be sure you understand how to paint that one object according to his process.  

    Once you understand the process, you can begin to speed up.  In the beginning, following Mark's teaching process is quite slow.

    One thing you are going to find in the beginning is that your paint is going to dry on the palette as you are painting if you don't first mix it with a slow dry medium.  Mark has a recipe in the "Materials" section of his website, but you can make a simpler one by mixing clove oil with linseed oil in a ratio of 5% clove oil to 95% linseed oil.  You can get clove oil at a health food store.  If you squeeze a 1 inch "worm" of paint, just add a few drops of you slow dry medium and mix it in.  

    If you want to see the entire painting process after watching the free videos, buy the still life video.  It is VERY worthwhile to work your way through it to see the other objects in the painting and the textures.

    The process that Mark uses in his teaching is based on following "the basics" exactly and meticulously at the beginning.  Be patient and self-disciplined at first.  Then you can speed up.  

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