Matt Miller 

My thoughts on painting

I have wanted to write an artist’s oil painting book for quite a while.  The problem with such a book is that it is next to impossible for the reader to absorb all the nuances of new ideas and in some cases understand what the author intends to convey by reading a few short sentences or paragraphs.

So instead here on this page you will find my ramblings, quick thoughts, teachings, instructions, and demos I have shared with my students in my in-person classes these past dozen plus years. Together, these ramblings make up the body of knowledge you need to deeply beautiful and sensitive representational art.

With an online-based venue you will be able to review these concepts as they are presented in multiple different ways and as often as needed for you to truly absorb the concepts contained herein.

This is an ever growing body of knowledge. New videos are added monthly, so sit back, enjoy, and come along with me on this wild and exciting ride of creation!

If we haven’t yet covered a topic you’d like to see let us know and we’ll add it to the list  Thanks! Send us an email

Free Videos

4 videos found
12 views
Are you driven nuts trying to get good photos of your paintings? Spending lots of money for someone else to do it for you? In this video I go over a simple, inexpensive setup and how-to instructions on how you can photograph your own paintings
26 views
This video is from the first couple hours of a live portrait painting workshop I recently gave.  In it I go over some of the basics of painting a portrait from life, how to work with the model, painting from memory, getting the all important first ...
33 views
In this video I discuss how to make colorful, visually balanced paintings with a limited palette.  I discuss color mixes, visual surround, value, layout, and much more. This is the edited version of a three hour Zorn Palette video I made that was ...
211 views
Search the web and you'll find a plethora of misinformation on how to care for your oil painting brushes.  In this short basics video I show you a simple and inexpensive way to properly wash and care for your brushes so that you can use them for ...

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Painting by Matt Miller

Silver Subscription Videos

Videos Added in the Past Three Months

3 videos found
2 views
In this video I delve into the concept behind the painting.  The concept is what drives the painting from start to finish.  It directs the choices in the layout of the composition, the control of light, shadow, value, color, edge, focus, and paint ...
3 views
In this video I discuss and demonstrate what it means to "deconstruct the reference". Deconstructing the reference is an easy concept to intellectualize, yet often very difficult to master. In this video I give three short demonstrations and a bonus ...
9 views
In this video we will demonstrate one of the most important lessons on how to make a flat object three dimensional.

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Painting by Matt Miller

Recently Added Videos

2 videos found
12 views
Are you driven nuts trying to get good photos of your paintings? Spending lots of money for someone else to do it for you? In this video I go over a simple, inexpensive setup and how-to instructions on how you can photograph your own paintings
26 views
This video is from the first couple hours of a live portrait painting workshop I recently gave.  In it I go over some of the basics of painting a portrait from life, how to work with the model, painting from memory, getting the all important first ...

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SPECIAL EVENTS:

Three Day Workshop: The Three P’s: Perception, Photography, Painting – This workshop will cover:

  • Day 1: Understanding perception as it pertains to art
  • Day 2: Understanding photographic errors, lies, distortions, perspective shift, and depth collapse
  • Day 2: Understanding how to successfully paint realistic three dimensional paintings from a photo – utilizing all we learned from the previous two day’s lessons
  • DATE and PRICE: TBD

Live Demonstrations: TBD
Live Critiques: TBD
Personal Coaching/Critique session:

The Basics

9 videos found
3 views
In this video we discuss the problems of "sinking in", when previously richly painted passages dry to a dull matte appearance, how to prevent sinking in, and how to mitigate it when it happens.
5 views
In this brief video I go over my standard painting palette, the colors I use, and their placement on the palette.  Paints should always be placed in the same location on your palette.  Their location becomes a muscle memory so you don't have to think ...
211 views
Search the web and you'll find a plethora of misinformation on how to care for your oil painting brushes.  In this short basics video I show you a simple and inexpensive way to properly wash and care for your brushes so that you can use them for ...
2 views
In this short video I discuss the various types of oil painting mediums, what to avoid, what I use, and how to use the medium.
1 views
In this basics video I demonstrate the proper way to hold and manipulate a brush
5 views
In this short follow up to our how to hold the brush video we again cover the basics, how to hold and move your hand to apply paint to the canvas.
18 views
In this short basics video we cover how to tone a board, how to hold the brush, and how to use it to properly apply paint.
5 views
In this brief basics video we cover the proper way to view your painting as you paint.
7 views
In this short basics video we cover the proper way to set up your easel (something commonly done wrong by beginning artists) and how to then face and use the easel to apply paint.

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COMING SOON:

  • Mixing paint
    • Mixing paint 1: Understanding how to mix colors – what colors mix and what colors don’t
    • Mixing paint 2: painting yellow on a blue sky
    • Mixing paint 3: on the palette
    • Mixing paint 4: on the easel
  • ​Carving shape with warm and cool color
  • How to properly apply shadow
  • Warm vs cool shadows
  • How to make something come forward or recede in a painting
  • Why warm colors come forward in the light but recede in the shadow, and how to use this to your advantage
  • Color: Hue, Saturation, and Chrominance
  • Why purple exists as a color: it shouldn’t and why a color wheel works
  • edge perception and enhancement: how our eyes preprocess and enhance edges before our brain is involved and the impact that has on painting three dimensions.
  • Why we are blind to gradual value changes
  • Color theory: Part 1
  • Color theory: Part 2
  • Mixing colors: The basics
  • How to avoid muddy and chalky color and how to fix it if you need to
  • How to properly apply varnish to a painting
  • The solvent free studio: how to paint without OMS or Turp
  • Speed of Light Part 2: cloth textures
  • Simplify simplify simplify
  • Simplification Demo: painting an orange slice
  • Painting from photos: the problems, distortions, and issues
  • EDGES: the heart and soul of a painting
  • Lost and found edges
  • EDGES: how to let light flow through a painting
  • How Edges affect value
  • How to make a painted object glow
  • How to make something look bright with paint
  • How to paint a sunset
  • How to paint a recognizable portrait: important features to recognize a face
  • Painting skin tone: with geometry
  • Building geometry with temperature not value
  • How to describe a turning form
  • Core shadow
  • Selecting a shadow color
  • The quality of shadow: how dark should it be
  • How ambient light effects your shadow
  • Finding / selecting skin color in a portrait
  • Painting from a photo and all the prerequisites needed to know before painting from photos
  • Understanding warm and cool color
  • First color dictates…
  • What is background vs foreground in a painting
  • The color of the air
  • Photographic distortions and how to mitigate them
  • and much more

Short Instructional Demos

10 videos found
9 views
In this video we will demonstrate one of the most important lessons on how to make a flat object three dimensional.
2 views
Here we discuss the type of light, how you position it, and the affect the direction light comes from has on your painting.
8 views
In this video I finish an already started painting of pink and white roses in a vase and demonstrate painting white roses.
3 views
In this lesson I go over laying out and blocking in a simple still life, laying out flow through the painting, developing form with simple shapes, paint density, color, and edges.  You can use this exercise to paint along at your own pace. Part 1
2 views
In this lesson I go over laying out and blocking in a simple still life, laying out flow through the painting, developing form with simple shapes, paint density, color, and edges.  You can use this exercise to paint along at your own pace.  Part 2  
5 views
Here is a little demo to show how to paint grapes as a mass without "drawing" each grape.  This is part of a continuing lesson on how to approach painting "complex" things.
33 views
In this video I discuss how to make colorful, visually balanced paintings with a limited palette.  I discuss color mixes, visual surround, value, layout, and much more. This is the edited version of a three hour Zorn Palette video I made that was ...
2 views
In this three part video I demonstrate how to describe the texture of the material you are painting by controlling the speed of the viewer's eye as it flows across the painted subject. In this demonstration I paint four different textured hard ...
2 views
In this three part video I demonstrate how to describe the texture of the material you are painting by controlling the speed of the viewer's eye as it flows across the painted subject. In a later video I will do four different textures of cloth. This ...
3 views
In this three part video I demonstrate how to describe the texture of the material you are painting by controlling the speed of the viewer's eye as it flows across the painted subject. In this demonstration I paint four different textured hard ...

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Important Lectures

3 videos found
12 views
Are you driven nuts trying to get good photos of your paintings? Spending lots of money for someone else to do it for you? In this video I go over a simple, inexpensive setup and how-to instructions on how you can photograph your own paintings
2 views
In this video I delve into the concept behind the painting.  The concept is what drives the painting from start to finish.  It directs the choices in the layout of the composition, the control of light, shadow, value, color, edge, focus, and paint ...
3 views
In this video I discuss and demonstrate what it means to "deconstruct the reference". Deconstructing the reference is an easy concept to intellectualize, yet often very difficult to master. In this video I give three short demonstrations and a bonus ...

^

Full Demos: Every Brushstroke Shown

9 videos found
26 views
This video is from the first couple hours of a live portrait painting workshop I recently gave.  In it I go over some of the basics of painting a portrait from life, how to work with the model, painting from memory, getting the all important first ...
1 views
In this eight part full demonstration I paint a self portrait from start to finish.
2 views
In this eight part full demonstration I paint a self portrait from start to finish.
2 views
In this eight part full demonstration I paint a self portrait from start to finish.
2 views
In this eight part full demonstration I paint a self portrait from start to finish.
1 views
In this eight part full demonstration I paint a self portrait from start to finish.
1 views
In this eight part full demonstration I paint a self portrait from start to finish.
1 views
In this eight part full demonstration I paint a self portrait from start to finish.
2 views
In this eight part full demonstration I paint a self portrait from start to finish.

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Epiphany Fine Art