Kelly Sullivan Logo

The Basics of Oil Painting
with Kelly Sullivan

Hello! I’m happy you are here.

I love to see students go from wanting to paint to learning to paint, to understanding WHY we paint. Yes, you will learn how to use the materials, create value structure, play with color harmony, explore composition, and it will open up a world of discovery for you that will spill into your everyday life.

Your eyes will begin to find beauty in familiar places. You will notice how light falls on the world and creates your perception of it. You will have a heightened sense of observation and exploration, and a solid foundation for the expression of it.

The state you enter when you create is ancient and hard wired, and to be in it is transformative. I will help you find that place through the deliciously colorful art of oil painting.

I have chosen to lead a life that is driven by inspiration and adventure. I am told that it is palpable in my paintings and in my teaching style. I hope you join me.

“Kelly is an outstanding teacher, she not only leads you on the process but builds your confidence as well. Kelly helped me to fall in love with oil painting years ago and always is an inspiration for me.”

— Yelana Maksina

The Basics of Oil Painting with Kelly Sullivan

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, …commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music,…”

– John Adams


“A society that studies art has less need to study war. The arts create peace, in people and in nations, but that doesn’t meant that we don’t have to fight for them. So I fight in the most peaceful and powerful way possible. I practice the arts and I do my best to help others understand their ability to shift perspective and heal what ails us.

– Yours Truly

Wielding the Power of Art

Wielding the awesome and fun power of art is my labor of love. I’ve taught in my studio and at live events all over the world. I’m looking forward to returning to that with the passing of Covid and the renovation of my new studio at the old Lambertville Strand Theater in New Jersey.

In the meantime, I am excited about this new platform! I can record and customize content from anywhere (like from the sprinter van Tommy and I converted into the coolest possible painting RV) and I can get it out to a wider population who may need a little creativity and inspiration now more than ever. Thanks for joining me in this wild colorful adventure.

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, null given in /home/imajinxane/public_html/kellysullivanfineart/wp-content/plugins/hide-uncats-1/hide-uncats.php on line 10

28 – Continuing to Paint, Finding more Beauty, and Living an Artful Life

I hope you have enjoyed this class. Putting it together was a lot of work and a lot of fun. Thanks to film maker Katherine Kahrs for helping to make it a fun project that…

27 – Painting from Photograph Demo in Studio

Here is how I might start the process, and bring it to a finish. We had to break it up into three videos. You will notice that after the light and shadow are laid in,…

26 – Painting From Photographs

Surely, life will teach you more than a photograph will. But… most of us use them for reference, so let’s take a look at the differences; You will always see more true color from life…

25 – We don’t always get it right, for sure!

Taking a little break… I got the last section of this workshop loaded up and then I went to Maine to paint for a week. We got up early and hoped to beat the rain.…

24 – Independent Play with Some of your Favorite Painters

Find your muse(s) in books, other painters, museums, instagram… I have stacks of art books in my studio. The first one I ever bought was huge Norman Rockwell book that I paid $300 for when…

23 – Comparing Block in to Finish

Let’s compare! I brought the piece into the studio to bring it to a finish. I spent about 40 minutes just looking, feeling, (perhaps a little singing), thinking about color, and painting. It was quite…

22 – Painting Moms Barn en Plein Air

Ok – wahoo, let’s get to it. We spent the day at Katie’s family farm. Katherine Kahrs (Katie) is shooting all of this fun video for us and she’s wonderful! It’s been way more work…

21 – Composing Outdoor Paintings

Composing paintings outdoors We’ve done a lot of work on composition already. We’ve had the fun adventure of finding our own objects and using our own imagination to set up a still life under controlled…

20 – Plein Air Painting – Going Out!

Plein-air Plein-air is a french term that refers to a style of impressionist paintings from the 19th century that were created in the ‘open’ air. The term is used broadly these days to mean ‘painting…

19 – More Indipendant Play

So much fun to be had in this section! We covered a lot of ground here, and if you repeat these exercises on your own you will be so happy for it in the long…

18 – Guest Mojo Maker from the Road

Artistic friends are a hoot. Meet Sean Murphy. Sean is an extraordinary photographer who I’ve known for many years. We worked together in a radical bar in San Francisco, CA 25 years ago. We were…

18 – Value Sketches to Color Harmony

NOTAN, Line, Shape, Color… let us make a little Harmony! Now you’ve done a slew of NOTANS and several value sketches, so now we are going to play with some color. The object here is…