How-to Airbrush, Oil Step-by-Step, Oils

Oil Painting landscapes over airbrush

Some of the questions to a world wide phenominon of standing stone circles are, “how did they do this for and what was it created for? As an artist, I have to ask “how do I paint” something like this?

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to do this very thing. Today I will show you how to create your own stone circle ruin using the airbrush and oil paints. I will show you how to do this in layers from the furthest the eye can see to the closest the eye can see. So grab your brushes and let’s get to it.

Stone circle by Anh Pham
  1. Begin by layering in the bright blue sky with the airbrush and Lake Blue paint, gradually moving lighter as you approach the horizon line. The sky is as endless as the sea, so I paint these two first. Using tape as a straight line, spray out the actual horizon line or ocean line, also using a layering technique. Instant horizon and blue skies!

2. Now, using a transparent blue and indigo blue mixture, I begin adding in the shadows of where white clouds are going to live. Stay loose and have some fun doing this. Keep in mind that these are only the shadows of some clouds, so you can add how ever much you would like to your sky.

3. Now using white in your airbrush, begin creating your clouds on top of the shadow clouds. This looks more tricky than it is, as all you are doing is adding white swirls just above of the dark clouds. This gives them roundness and mass. Have fun with it.

4. I am showing you how to paint in layers of depth and dimension. First was the endless sky and the ocean line, then the clouds, and now the rainbow. We have to add everything in the right order like, we cannot begin the landscaping and mountains until we are done with everything before that process. Here I am using of course, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. I might even add a rare double rainbow to show how rare this stone circle painting will be.

5. Now it is time for the oil painting to begin. Here i am using some light greens for some distant looking hills. Notice that I have covered up a lot of the ocean line view but, I did leave a little slice to show depth. It also shows what a beautiful site the ancients chose for your amazing stone circle. I am using a 1 inch brush for this distant hill.


6. Now I take a small #2 detail brush and add some very distant coastal bushes on my wonderful little hill. I add only some here and there to give the painting some greenery. Looking nice.

7. I can now use my palette knife, some Phthalo green and hunter green and really begin to chop out my next layer. Here I am cutting out where it will go as I want the next hill to enclose my stone circle: making a platform for the stones to rest on.

8. Again, I am adding in some coastal bushes and shrubs to give my hill some life. Notice that I am using a lighter green to create my bushes as this separates them from the hill behind them. I am using a #6 round brush for this so I can continue the grassy platform all the way down to the bottom of the canvas.

9. Here I am just creating some shadows along the bottom of the new bushes i just created. For this is loaded my brush with some payne’s grey and hunter green and just adding a small amount of paint under the bushes for this effect.

10. It is time to begin adding in the beautiful standing stones with the palette knife. I load the knife with only grays and white and then start adding the more distant stones. Practice using the knife or brushes on a side practice sheet or cardboard, it helps out a lot before making big decisions.

11. After all of the background stones have been placed, you can add black to the cracks, crevices and crags in the stones. Doing this really gives dimension to the object.

12. I am adding some drop shadows to give light source intentions.

13. Now I am creating the foremost stones of the circle. I am using the same techniques as before only, I am making them appear bigger by painting them bigger. They are going to overlap some of your little rocks but, that’s ok as this will also add to the overall depth. Take your time as the stones will be standing there forever, frozen in time.

Final. Congrats, you have just completed an advanced level painting and I am so happy you joined me today. Amazing painting but, we still have that great big question, “What are they?”.

Airbrush & paints – ABD KIT-3AB-20

Acrylic paints –USA PS-071

For in depth videos on how to clean your airbrushes, please see the airbrushing section. To help you along with your free-handing skills, please see the post called Beginner strokes in the airbrushing section.

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