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Still Life Oil Painting

Learn the critical foundations of painting a still life that will allow you to interpret your own compositions onto canvas.

This four-week online course begins by exploring the basics of still life composition. You'll learn to draw thumbnail compositions and create a drawing for painting based on proportion and placement. You'll then strengthen your ability to see color values by executing a tonal value painting of your still life. From there, you'll move deeper into color theory and color mixing to create a final painting from your own still life set-up. 

The interior space around us is filled with everyday wonders. This course will strengthen your observational skills, along with your technical painting skills, motivating you to paint what is all around you. 

This course is for all levels of painters who want to learn the basics of still life composition and dive deeper into color mixing of oil painting. It is recommended that you have some prior knowledge or studio work in oil paints or have completed Interlochen Online’s Introduction to Oil Painting course. 

What you will learn:

✔ Identify and put into practice 6-10 different strategies for creating strong compositions        
✔ Set your own still life of colored objects including background draping        
✔ Identify line, shape, and color in your still life subjects        
✔ Draw a still life to paint, with an understanding of why it is important to draw your composition before it is painted        
✔ Understand the concepts of transparency and translucency and use them in your paintings         
✔ Mix shades of gray without using black and create shadows with complementary colors        
✔ Create a still life by balancing tonal values, working on shadows and highlights, and putting finishing touches in place

Join our visual arts courses online and take your skills to the next level.

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What you need to participate:

  • Computer or mobile device with Internet. Internet speed must be at least 1.5Mbps download and 800Kbps upload. For students using a mobile device, download the Canvas mobile app and select “Interlochen Online” as your school.
  • Oil paint in 37ml tubes:
    • Titanium White
    • Cadmium Yellow Hue
    • Lemon Yellow
    • Cadmium Red Hue
    • Alizarin Crimson
    • Ultramarine Blue
    • Cerulean Blue Hue
    • Raw Umber
    • Burnt Umber
    • Yellow Ochre
    • Burnt Sienna
    • Dioxazine Purple
    • Magenta
  • Other supplies:
    • Burnt Sienna acrylic paint, 4 oz tube
    • Palette knife (flexible metal, blade about 2.25" long)
    • Palette paper, 9" x 12" pad
    • Linseed oil
    • 6 brushes: a selection of flat, round, and filbert bristle brushes in small and medium sizes
    • 4 canvases, 9”x 12”
    • Paper towels
    • Dawn dish soap
    • Black extra fine Sharpie marker

How the course works:

Interlochen Online courses are designed to be inspiring and flexible with weekly learning units that combine video segments and guided instruction that you can complete on your own schedule during the week. You will interact regularly with your teacher and peers inside the learning environment. 

You can also participate in an optional weekly hour-long video class meeting, where you can learn from the teacher and interact with your classmates in real-time. At the beginning of the course, you will complete a survey indicating your preferred times for the class meeting. The teacher will make every best effort to identify a meeting time that works for everyone. The teacher will also post recordings of the meetings and you can view them when it is convenient. 

The goal is that you walk away not only with practical skills and friendships but that you are inspired and motivated to pursue your art and realize your potential.

Upcoming Course Dates

April 1 - 26, 2024 | Teen and adult sections

May 6 - 31, 2024 | Teen and adult sections




Teens: Grades 7-12

Adult Learners: 18+

Future Sessions

Academic Calendar

Meet the Faculty

Jeannette Pomeroy

Instructor of Visual Arts

Questions? Speak with an Advisor.


Phone: 231.276.5990 

You can also schedule an appointment.

The Premier Source of Online Arts Education

Learn on a schedule that works for you

Expert instruction and personalized feedback

Connection with peers from around the world

Coursework that supports your creative expression

Learn more about Interlochen Online
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