Oil Painting Demo with Lena Danya

Watch as Lena Danya demonstrates Strathmore Oil Painting Paper with a beautiful portrait. See the material list and steps broken out below.


► Strathmore 400 Series Oil Painting Paper
► Princeton Aspen Brushes
► Oil Paints - we recommend Maimeri Puro
► Gamsol
► Galkyd



1. Tone the Background
Lena starts by mixing gamsol with burnt sienna. This dilutes the paint similarly to how water would dilute watercolor. Then she covers the entire sheet. As Lena states, toning the background is not necessary, but she prefers to work on a colored background versus a white background.

2. Sketch in the Subject
Then she sketches her subject lightly in pencil.

3. Paint the First Layer
She paints the basics in first and saves the details for later. The idea is to get all the main components of the face down before going back in later to refine. Lena gradually adds mediums to the paint as she goes. Her medium mix is made up of 50% galkyd and 50% gamsol.


4. Let Layer 1 Dry for a Few Days
Lena let her first layer of paint dry for a few days before going back to the face to refine details.

5. Paint the Background
Once Lena felt the face was polished, she proceeded with painting the rose and the background of the painting.

6. Dry Time
Lena allows the entire piece to dry for a few more days.

7. Oiling Out
Lena uses a technique called "oiling out" to help her see color values more accurately. The process involves applying a medium over the dried paint to allow you to even out all the colors.

8. Refine Details
While the new oiled-out layer is still wet, Lena goes back in with her colors to add details. The medium makes the paints buttery in its application. At this stage, Lena is adding in all the final details and refining her painting.

The 400 Series Oil Painting paper in pads provides artists with a convenient alternative to canvases and boards.

It's perfect for use with oil paints or oil pastels and no gesso is required to prevent oil saturation. The paper is pre-primed in the manufacturing process so you can simply tear out a sheet and start painting.

The linen surface mimics canvas with the right texture to help blend and hold layers of paint.
215lb (350 gsm)

Available in 3 pad sizes:

and large sheets:

See more work from Lena:
Lena's Instagram
Lena's YouTube Channel
Lena's Website

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