Classical Oil Painting Techniques

“At its core, Atelier Lack stressed ‘learning the language,’ so as to understand what’s important and give students the varied skills to ‘say it well,’” Jeffrey T. Larson explains. “I worked hard to develop techniques of different traditions, including bistre (transparent brown washes); Venetian (monochrome underpainting or grisaille); direct (block-in using full palette); and Impressionist (limited palette of six colors: two blue, two yellow, two red, plus black and white).”

Click here to find out what bistre is.

Click here to learn more about the Venetian method
Another link about the Venetian method.

Click here for an explanation of the direct method.

Click here to find out about the Impressionist palette.


The first-place still life winner in our 2008 annual competition with his painting Electrolux (see www.artistsnetwork.com/article/2008-StillLifeFloral), Jeffrey T. Larson is a well-respected instructor who counsels budding artists to train their eyes to see both honestly and correctly: “Since paint is so limited compared to light and nature, learn to push it to its boundaries so that you can better re-create what you see.” Larson’s work is represented by Tree’s Place Gallery in Orleans, Massachusetts, and every two years the artist hosts his own show in the Twin Cities. To see more of his work, visit his website, www.jeffreytlarson.com.


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