Still Life Oil Painting by Mokhtar Ibrahim

Mokhtar Ibrahim painted this beautiful still life oil painting below. He is currently studying the Drawing and Painting Online Art Diploma Course and the Oil Painting Online Art Course with us. Mokhtar quite often posts his artwork and questions on our student forum. If students haven’t found our forum yet, its a fabulous place  to chat about artwork, gain hints and tips and discuss the assignments and any questions students may have about their course. It has excellent resources too and you can and visit and bookmark it here – The Common Room >> 

Mokhtar posted one of his recent paintings which we absolutely love and so we asked Mokhtar if he would write about it for our college news blog. We were thrilled to receive the text below and hope that our students enjoy reading about Mokhtar’s painting and would like to officially thank him here for working with us on this post. We hope it also gives students inspiration to set up their own still life and have a go themselves. If you do…let us know!

Still Life Oil Painting

“This work is the first true try for me of a still life subject. I did carry it out using the wet-on-wet technique for oil paint on A4 size ready primed canvas.  The subject matter is based on a photograph (not by me). I have started the drawing of the subject using a color pencil on a stained canvas. For staining the canvas I have used burnt umber and white (1:3 ratio approximately) thinned using normal turpentine.

In preparing colors, I did consider the three primary colors only (yellow, blue, and red) in addition to white and burnt umber.  I have prepared colors in advance in three groups, a group for each figure, with all possible shades of the three peppers appearing in the subject. 

I completed the whole work in around 5 hours including the background. During painting, I was keen not to blend different shades as much as possible, in order to avoid mudding colors to reflect a bright painting.  For still life subjects, I believe that excessive blending does not help to reflect realistic paintings.”

Mokhtar Ibrahim

still life oil painting

Still Life Online Art Course – Ailsa Long

The London Art College run a popular Still Life Online Art Course. Student Ailsa Long has been creating colour studies both as practice pieces in her sketchbook and more finished studies as you can see below. This one was completed to go along with one of Ailsa’s assignments for her tutor to view. Tutor Alan Dedman is the personal tutor for the Still Life online art course and he himself enjoys painting and drawing still life artwork.


Still Life by Paul Cézanne

Alisa’s painting and study actually reminds me of a painting by Paul Cézanne – Still Life with Water Jug circa 1892-3 which is an oil on canvas. You can see the similarities between both paintings, in the style of mark making and the colours too. Paul Cézanne Still Life artwork can be viewed on the Tate website – Paul Cézanne Still Life and you can also see an abundance of other artists still life paintings on their still life page and gallery too.

Viewing artists works when learning to paint and draw can be very beneficial. It can not only spark ideas for your own work, but also help students to look at the composition of the paintings along with the tones and colours used. As we already know, Paul Cézanne created his paintings from a number of view points and we can see this technique being used in his still life painting below.

Paul Cézanne painted a number of Still life paintings similar to this, there are a few using this actual jug too. Some are more in depth as this one is more of a study and perhaps can be classified as an unfinished piece. If you would like to see more of his paintings, there are some fabulous pieces displayed on the National Gallery Website.


Photography Online Art Dipoma Course – Alan Schreiber

Did you know we have a Photography Online Art Diploma Course available to our students?

One of the most used pieces of equipment for artists is a camera – whether it be an old fashioned film camera, an up to the minute digital SLR – or a mobile or tablet. We all take photos for a multitude of reasons.

We take photos of…..

  • Our paintings and drawings for posterity – or to send for critique!
  • Photos for reference to paint or draw from
  • If we are allowed, we take photos in galleries for inspiration
  • We take photos of animals and people for portraits
  • Macro photos for botanical artwork
  • Capturing the movement of water in streams or the sea
  • Photos of landscapes, sunsets and sunrises
  • Photos of misty eerie days, great for illustrations…


But do you really know how to get the best out of your camera? Could your photos be better? If you move to the left or right a little, would your photo have been better? In turn, if you were painting or drawing from it, would you have ended up with a better composition for your artwork?

Rona Cox can help you with all of these points and more if you join her, just like student Alan Schreiber has. Alan’s photo of his orchid below is beautiful. For our artists studying botanical art, watercolour, drawing and painting diploma etc we can see how this photo would translate beautifully into a painting or drawing.

Why not pop over to our website and see Rona’s Photography Course Page and drop us a line if you have any questions today…


Drawing & Painting Online Art Course – Leanne Smith

Todays Drawing & Painting Online Art Course post is about a fabulous painting by student Leanne Smith who has just completed the Drawing and Painting Online Art Diploma Course. Students are set a variety of briefs throughout the course and Leanne has interpreted this one beautifully. We love the unusual composition  which gives a very dynamic and bold statement to the painting.

If students are looking to practice their life drawing and are unable to attend a drawing class, there are lots of resources online for students to work from. One of our favourite websites is where you can choose from thousands of examples of life model poses to draw or paint from. Ideally they are designed for students to practice in between life drawing classes as there is no comparison to drawing form life, however they are excellent for practice in the comfort of your own home.

Have any of our students drawn or painted looking at reference on their computer or tablet screens? This is a great way of working, many professional artists, including myself, work from computer screens. If you have any kind of graphics software it will enable you to zoom into the image, rotate the photo, turn in into greyscale to help see tones etc.

If you work from your pc, iMac, tablets etc – why not take a photo of your sent up so we can post it here on our blog for students to see!


Drawing with your Eraser – by Aaron Blaise

Aaron Blaise is a proficient artist and has made many ‘how to draw and paint’ videos, which are available to view on his YouTube Channel. We have chosen the one below for our ‘Video of the Week’ this week. It shows how you can draw using your eraser. Aaron is using a photo of a Gorilla, however you can choose any subject or object to work from.

This is actually a great exercise using a still life style set up too. Choose some interesting objects with strong shapes and edges and place them on a table next to your easel or drawing area.

You might like to do a few preliminary sketches to see which composition of the objects you prefer. Then cover your paper with charcoal and start drawing the outlines and tones of the objects using your eraser.

Lighting can be important and why not make things a little more dramatic by adding a light source onto the objects. For instance an angle poise lamp will work well, so you get some lovely strong shadows and bright highlights.

A putty eraser is most often the ideal to use as an eraser in these kinds of exercises, as Aaron explains in his video, however did you know you can also use bread as an eraser too?! Mould the soft part of bread and start erasing away.

This can be quite a messy project so always be prepared and cover / protect your floor and work area as required. Most of all have fun and we hope you enjoy the video!


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