Updated: Apr 7, 2021

5. Paint darkest colors very thinly, especially in the shadows. (Tip: Initially, I use all paints thinly using maybe a small amount of solvent and no medium. I use non-toxic solvents like lavender spike oil and citrus painting solvents. Also, it is best to use transparent paints in the initial stages of a painting and opaques last.)

6. Paint the local color which are often the half-tones (the area where the light bends around the image). In other words, all the colors between the darkest darks and highlights (not lightest highlights). (Tip: Avoid mixing white with paints at this stage or the painting will look to pasty. Instead, use a lighter shade of a color or mix the color with a yellow or toned-down white.)

7. Add the highlights but not the lightest highlights. (Tip: If the paint is so thick that you have problems painting over the earlier layer of paint, lightly lay a lint-free paper towel on the painting to remove some of the oil and a little paint.)

8. Paint the lightest highlights but use sparingly. Do not use color in these few highlights unless you want a smaller value range.

9. After painting is somewhat complete, you can make corrections or additions like glazing and scumbling within the next few weeks. (Tips: If you know that you will need to make changes, you are advised to scrape, with the side of a palette knife, the areas of your painting that need changes before it dries so you are not struggling with unwanted texture. Also, you may need to wait for your painting to dry to the touch, depending on what you need to change. After a few weeks, do not add paint for several months or you may end up with cracked or wrinkled paint. Most paintings, after dry to the touch, can be cleaned with a lint-free rag lightly dampened with a solution of water and small amount of ammonia…to make a solution like the strength of a window cleaning product. Make changes on your painting with the same paints and mediums you used to create your painting. For instance, you can “oil out” your painting and thus bring out the color of the paint when wet, with a thin application of the same painting medium.)

10. Do not varnish your painting until it has dried from six months to one year, depending on the thickness of and types of paint. (Tip: Different colors dry at different rates.)

These are the colors on my palette, although I will add some custom colors occasionally. Most of these colors are transparent.


Hansa Yellow Lemon (Primary)

Phthalocyanine Blue (Primary)

Quinacridone Rose

Zinc White

Ivory Black


Azo Yellow

Cerulean Blue

Pyrrol Red (Primary)

Titanium White

Burnt Sienna

Burnt Umber

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