Oil Painting Techniques

Alla prima

To paint directly on the surface or canvas without an underlayer. This allows you to finish faster, and it is good for quick studies.


To apply a thick layer of paint on the canvas to retain the texture of the brush. Visible brush marks are very beautiful and unique and are only possible when using a brush loaded with thick paint.

Knife painting

Use a painting knife instead of a brush, which gives you a textured layered look.


Start your painting with a thin layer of paint to change the tone of your canvas. You can also buy a tinted surface to paint on.


To smear a layer of broken-up paint over a dry or a semi-dry layer of paint, and allowing the bottom color to peek through. Make sure to apply the “fat over lean” rule when using this technique.


To paint lightly over a textured surface with only a small amount of paint on your brush.