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Max Hale's Top Tips for Oil Painters

Here are some top tips for oil painting from artist Max Hale.

Tip 1 - Your Easel

max hale looking at a sturdy wooden easel for oil painting

Use a sturdy upright easel. Easels are often seen as expensive luxuries, they are the opposite, a necessary way to hold your canvas or board and vital in allowing free movement for the artist to step back from their work.

Browse our range of easels here.

Tip 2 - Your Palette

large artist palette in wood with thumb hole

Prepare your palette carefully, use a flat wooden or plastic one and as large as you dare. A decent palette will allow areas for your reservoirs of paint on the perimeter plus space in the centre for mixing.

Our palettes are available here.

Tip 3 - Draw Outlines

three charcoal sticks and drawn marks

Draw out on your canvas using a brush or charcoal. Just the outlines and a few carefully measured lines of dynamic gesture. Don't fuss with detail you'll not see it once you start to paint.

Tip 4 - Darks First

painting a dark outline with oil paint on canvas

Block in your darks first - use thin paint but not runny. Keep your paint to a medium viscosity but mix well with a little dilutant. Refined white spirit or water if water-mixable oils are used. This way you'll be ready to build your painting in no time at all.

Tip 5 - Step Away

Max Hale stepping back from painting on canvas

Step back from your work as you paint. In other words avoid working close to your canvas all the time you're painting. It's vital to take a couple of steps away to view the whole canvas. Only then are you in a position to judge your progress.

We sell an extensive range of oil paints ~ browse our collection here.

Want to Know More?

Max Hale often leading various classes here at Pegasus Art ~ if you want to learn how to paint in this versatile medium, then check out the upcoming workshops and masterclasses from Max.

View our full range of workshops and masterclasses listed here.

For more information about Max Hale, visit


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