Discover the Best Oil Painting Classes in San Francisco
Oil painting uses oil paints, which are made by mixing drying oils and powdered pigments. The type of oil used will impact both the color of the paint and its consistency. Linseed oil is the most popular choice of oil for oil paints. It will thin your paint, which can make your painting more fluid. Solvents are used to break down the oil in your paint, so they’re needed if you’d like to dilute the paint or to clean your brushes.
Oil paints are thicker and heavier than other mediums. As a result, oil paint dries slowly. This allows mistakes to be corrected more easily than other, faster-drying paints. Oil painters have also used this to their advantage and use the “wet-on-wet” (aka alla prima) technique. This painting technique requires you to apply new layers of oil paint on top of a still-wet layer and can be done over several sessions.
Why You Should Learn Oil Painting in San Francisco
There are several benefits to learning how to paint. It can help to regulate your emotions, as you exercise your creativity and focus on creating a finished project. This has been shown to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression in adults and children. Creating a painting also boosts your confidence and self-esteem.
Oil paints dry slowly. Although you may use a wet-on-wet technique when oil painting, you’ll still need to practice patience while waiting to see your final product. Oil painting will also help improve your focus and attention to detail. You’ll need to be able to work at an easel for a prolonged period and think about how each brushstroke will impact the work you’re creating.
In-Person Oil Painting Classes in San Francisco
If you’d like hands-on instruction in oil painting, sign up for an in-person oil painting class in San Francisco. Classes are taught by expert instructors who will give demonstrations on basic oil painting techniques and principles. You’ll also receive feedback on your work and have the opportunity to socialize with other students.
The Art School of SF Bay, located in the Sunset District, offers several painting classes with a focus on oil painting. In Oil Painting, Old Masters Technique, you’ll spend four classes mastering the old masters’ technique of oil painting. This technique is one of the oldest traditional oil painting techniques around and can be applied to any genre of realistic painting.
Oil & Acrylic Painting is another class offered by the Art School of SF Bay. The first class will be dedicated to learning the basic principles of oil painting before you begin creating an impressionist piece, a landscape, a still life, a portrait, and your choice of final project throughout the remaining classes.
Over in Richmond, California, the Richmond Art Center hosts oil painting classes for students of a range of skill levels. The class Fundamentals of Painting will teach you oil painting techniques as you work on painting a realistic still life. Beginners are welcome to take this class to learn how to oil paint, while intermediate-level learners are welcome to come and brush up their skills. There is a list of supplies that you need to procure before the first session posted on the class page.
The Richmond Art Center also offers Paint Sketching, an intermediate painting class. You’ll work on two paintings per class as you explore different painting process elements. Any painting medium may be used in the class, but there’s an emphasis on oil.
Virtual Oil Painting Classes
If you can’t make an oil painting class in the San Francisco area, look into the virtual oil painting classes available to you. Virtual classes are taught by expert instructors from around the country. These classes are taught remotely using an online video platform, so you can take your class from any interruption-free environment with a stable internet connection. This makes virtual classes ideal for learners who can’t commute to an in-person class or who would like to learn from the comfort of their home or office.
Sign up for Pastimes for a Lifetime’s class, Online Oil Pastel 101, to receive a basic understanding of oil paints. This class will also teach you the basics of color theory and color mixing. Be aware that their online Intro to Drawing class is a prerequisite.
The Richmond Art Center’s class, Abstract Painting, is for intermediate painters who would like to work on abstract pieces. You’ll have your choice of medium in this class, including oil paints, however, ensure that if you’re using a solvent in your home without supervision, you’re using it safely. Instruction for this class is also available in Spanish.
The Evanston Art Center’s oil painting discussion and critique class will allow you to share your ideas and get feedback from an instructor and fellow painters. This class encourages you to discuss your creative concerns, roadblocks, and works in progress in the hopes of receiving useful advice and encouragement.
Private Group Oil Painting Classes in San Francisco
Is your business or organization interested in booking a private group oil painting class as a team-building activity? Or do you have a group of friends that would like to learn to paint together? Whatever your group’s goals, CourseHorse can deliver oil painting classes to you.
CourseHorse’s website has a contact form that you can use to contact them about the oil painting classes they can offer to your group. You can discuss the group size that can be accommodated as well as potential class customizations. If you’re unsure of your group’s size, they’ll let you book your class using the minimum group size and allow you to update your headcount later.
If your group would like to explore other painting mediums CourseHorse offers a virtual watercolor workshop and a virtual acrylic workshop that you can book. At the end of these 90-minute interactive classes, each member of your group will have created artwork inspired by another piece or photo that your group has chosen.
CourseHorse does not charge booking fees. You can also reschedule a class within 48 hours or less for a $150 rescheduling fee or cancel your class for free two weeks beforehand.
CourseHorse accommodates several online video platforms through which their classes can be taken. They recommend using Zoom, but if you provide the meeting details, they can also teach a class using Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, or WebEx.