Oil Painting Essentials

The Essentials of Creating Captivating Oil Paintings

Create oil masterpieces using techniques from the old masters while applying your unique style. Suitable for both beginners and experienced artists as you’ll learn new strategies.

Oil Painting Essentials Course

What You Will Learn

  • Foundational skills from the Old Masters of the Renaissance

  • Using color temperature to influence your color mixing methods

  • Creating subtractive underpaintings and glaze with transparent paints

  • Adding opaque paint for highlights and finer details to bring your painting to life

Dimitra Milan took the art world by storm by the time she was 15. In this course, she shares her approach to oil painting along with Elli Milan, Dimitra’s mentor and founder of Milan Art Institute. These professional artists teach key techniques to start oil painting as a beginner before progressing into tips to improve your painting skills dramatically.
The course starts with an introduction to oil painting techniques. It’s geared toward beginners but can also help experienced artists refine their approach. These fundamentals apply to all painting styles, advancing your skills and empowering you to show the world your voice.

Course Structure

Oil Painting Essentials

SECTION 1: Classical Old Master Glaze Painting

Subject Matter: Landscape

Lesson 1: Subtractive Underpainting
Lesson 2: Glaze Layer
Lesson 3: Opaque Layer

Oil Painting Essentials

SECTION 2: Indirect Painting

Subject Matter: Lion

Lesson 1: Opaque Underpainting
Lesson 2: Subtractive Glaze Layer
Lesson 3: Opaque Layer

Oil Painting Essentials

SECTION 3: Fat Over Lean

Subject Matter: Floral Arrangement

Lesson 1: Underpainting with Thinner
Lesson 2: Transparent Layer
Lesson 3: Fat Layer with Palette Knife

Video lessons include 3 painting projects that will take you 6 to 8 hours to complete.
What You Get:
  • Video Lessons with Step-by-Step Instructions to Complete 3 Paintings
  • FREE Reference Photos to Inspire Your Oil Artwork
  • Downloadable PDF Workbook
  • Lifetime Access to Watch Anytime & Learn at Your Own Pace
  • Connect with Our Artist Community on the Milan Art App

Meet Your Instructors


Elli Milan

Founder, Instructor

As the founding owner of Milan Art Institute, Elli has been a professional artist since 1996. Elli sold more than 10,000 pieces of art throughout her thriving career. She has transformed the lives of thousands of artists from around the world—helping them find their voice and turn their love for art into a profession. She is passionate about the role of an artist in contemporary culture and is a leading voice of the current Art Renaissance.


Dimitra Milan

Professional Artist, Instructor

Dimitra generated over a million dollars of artwork sales before she turned 16, and her paintings are collected worldwide. She is pioneering a new age of artist influencers on social media, spreading beauty around the planet. She is a mentor at Milan Art Institute and teaches this oil painting portrait course with passion because she loves equipping artists with the tools to change the world with their art.

What Artists Are Saying...

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Our Student's Work

Examples of our student's artwork.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know this school is reputable?

Milan Art Institute is an art academy that turns your artistic passion into a profession. Thousands of students worldwide have taken the Mastery Program and are living the creative careers of their dreams. Taught by professional artists with over 50 years of combined artistic experience, you’ll learn everything from foundational skills to marketing your brand.

Visit MAI Facebook page to read reviews from students and see their artwork and growth from the classes at MAI.

I have no experience with oil painting. Are these videos for me?

Yes! In this course, you start with the basic oil painting techniques. Follow the steps to complete an oil painting by the end of each video. Beginners will discover exactly what they need to do to create a masterpiece.

I have been painting for years; are these classes too basic?

Our classes are taught by professional artists who want to empower you to learn unique and innovative techniques inspired by the old masters. Elli and Dimitra put their spin on concepts like color theory and color temperature to give your paintings more depth than you’ve seen before. Through this course, experienced painters will elevate their skills to enhance their style.

What supplies will I need?

When you register for the course, you’ll get a confirmation email with a supplies list, which includes:

  • Oil paints, various colors both opaque & transparent
  • Brushes: small, medium & large brushes
  • Glazing medium (Galkyd or Liquin)
  • Solvent to clean brushes
  • Canvases

What do I do if I don’t have enough art supplies?

You may not need every supply listed, but they’re commonly found at art supply stores. You can also purchase complete kits curated by Elli and Dimitra directly from the Milan Art store.

I don’t have too much time now. Can I access the information later?

Once you purchase the course, you’ll have lifetime access. You can watch it whenever you have time and revisit lessons as necessary.

About Milan Art Institute

Shine Your Art.
Change The World.

Milan Art Institute brings passionate hearts and creative minds together to actualize creative visions. The founders, John and Elli Milan, have been working as successful collaborative artists for over 25 years and have made a living during that entire period solely through art.

Their daughter, Dimitra Milan, became a professional artist and, before turning 16, had generated over a million dollars through the sales of her artwork. The family’s works are featured in galleries around the world. And now, the Milans are sharing their insights about the art industry with everyone through their comprehensive online painting and drawing school.

Beginners and professionals come to master skills, learn new techniques, and join an ever-expanding community of artists. The purpose of the Milan Art Institute is to enlighten and educate a worldwide audience about the transformational power of the visual arts.