Virgil Elliott

Virgil Elliott: Traditional Oil Painting Hardcover Book

Traditional Oil Painting is a unique and irreplaceable sourcebook for those who want to master the techniques and concepts of advanced oil painting. With step-by-step demonstrations, Virgil Elliott reveals the methods used by Masters from the Flemish school to today to create highly realistic, deeply meaningful art.

As more and more artists today look to the past, there has been a tremendous resurgence of interest in painting realistically--in creating convincing illusions of three-dimensional depth on two dimensional surfaces. How did the Old Masters create their masterpieces? What kind of education allowed these great artists to create such beautiful work, and how can an artist learn these lessons today?

Painting answers those questions and many more. This comprehensive sourcebook explores the most advanced levels of oil painting, with full information on the latest scientific discoveries. Author and distinguished artist Virgil Elliott examines the many elements that let artists take the next step in their work: mental attitude, aesthetic considerations, the importance of drawing, principles of visual reality, materials, techniques, portraiture, photographic images versus visual reality, and color. Traditional Oil Painting helps artists master the secrets of realistic painting to create work that will rival that of the masters. 

These lessons are grouped by topic into chapters on:

  • The Importance of Drawing,
  • Principles of Visual Reality,
  • Color,
  • Techniques of Painting in Oils,
  • Oil Painting Materials,
  • Portrait, Landscape, and Still-Life Painting, and more.


Throughout, Elliott guides the ongoing education and development of your own artist’s voice and aesthetic sensibility. Students of art will appreciate highly detailed explanations of the Masters’ varied methods, made possible by recent scientific advances and by Elliott’s own expertise in oil painting materials and technique.

VIRGIL ELLIOTT is one of only 24 artists worldwide to be certified by the American Portrait Society. A highly sought fine artist, portraitist, teacher, lecturer, art show judge, and writer, Virgil has spent his career at the forefront of the revival of representational art. His atelier is located in Penngrove, California. The Art Renewal Center has certified him a Living Master.

Traditional Oil Painting by Virgil Elliott, 21 years in the making, has developed an enthusiastic following among oil painters. Used copies of this work regularly sell for over $150 on Amazon.

“The human psyche includes many intrinsic qualities beyond the influence of fashion. Art that touches them will endure.
— Virgil Elliott


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