Live Painting Class | Mini Landscape Oil Paintings

by | May 5, 2020 | All Things Home, Art, Artistic Endeavors, Oil Painting, Tutorials | 17 comments

On Friday, we had another live oil painting class on Facebook.  Those have been so much fun and have given me a good excuse to make painting more of a priority.  I really got out of it after my shoulder surgery and this has helped ease me back in and practice almost every day.

Last week, we painted four mini landscape.  They are so quick and low-pressure and I’ve really enjoyed painting them.  I have learned so much already through just experimenting, trying new-to-me things, and working outside of my comfort zone.  Here are the paintings I completed for the class…

We started out with a summer landscape with interesting clouds…

And moved onto one with stormier skies…

We then experimented with texture…laying down the paint and just leaving it.  I wanted to try some different things with the participants, so they can discover their own style…

Mini Landscape | miss mustard seed |

And we finished up with a seascape by request…

Mini Landscape | miss mustard seed |

Mini Landscape | miss mustard seed |

If you missed the live class and you’re interested in painting one or all of these, I have three different video options for you!

Here is the video directly from Facebook with more chit-chat, but a clearer picture…

Here is an edited version on YouTube…

And here is the short-and-sweet 4-minute timelapse for those just interested in seeing a quick overview of the process…

I asked participants to send along pictures of their paintings and I received so many good ones!  I am constantly impressed by the talent out there, especially from those who are new to oils or new to painting.  Here are a few of the paintings that were shared with me…

Mini Landscape | miss mustard seed |

Mini Landscape | miss mustard seed |

Mini Landscape | miss mustard seed |

Mini Landscape | miss mustard seed |

So, good, right!?  I’ve shared more on my Instagram feed this week as well.

In last week’s class, I also shared a couple of books I like for painting minis and landscape studies as well as a book for still life paintings in oil.  Here are links to those books…

The first one is the Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne.  This is a classic book for artists but is out of print so the copies on Amazon right now are pretty pricey.  I would hunt around on some used book sites to see if you can find a copy.  It is mostly text, but has some very helpful thumbnail references and color studies.

Think Big Paint Small is a great book for painting minis…

The Art of Still Life is a wonderful, comprehensive book for still life painting that I have absolutely loved…

So, this Friday, we’re going to work on a still life.  I have been thinking through how to do this and I think it’ll be best for us to all work on the same photo and I can share some tips for setting up a still life for practice.  This is the picture we’ll be painting, so I would suggest printing it up or saving it to your photos, so you can use it as a reference during the class.

The supply list will be the same as our last few classes, with a couple of additions and changes (those are in bold)…

  • Oil Paints – Buy the best you can.  This is where you want to spend your money, because artist-grade paints have more concentrated pigments, so you can mix the colors without making mud.  I like Windsor & Newton and Gamblin.  (See below for some alternatives.)
  • Gamsol (This is to thin the paint and clean brushes.  You can also use turpentine, paint thinner, etc.) – Gamsol 14 oz bottle
  • Container for Gamsol/solvent (You can also use a glass jar with a screw-on lid) – Leak-Proof Solvent Container
  • 5 x 7 or 6 x 8 canvas or canvas board.  If you are painting on something else, that’s okay, too!  
  • Palette – I use a wood palette, but you can order a glass one (white or gray), a paper palette (again, white or gray), or use a paper plate, a piece of cardboard, or even a piece of glass in a cheap/old frame.
  • Paper towels
  • Ziplock bag
  • Soap to clean brushes & hands – I use Murphy’s Oil soap to clean my brushes and baby oil to clean my hands.  You can also use an olive-oil-based soap or any soap that will clean off oil and grease.
  • Easel – You don’t have to buy an easel, but could purchase an inexpensive tabletop easel.  If you want to get a little fancier, you can buy a pochade box that has an easel and palette built-in.  Really, though, you can paint flat or just prop your canvas up on some books or a cardboard box.  Don’t let the lack of an easel stop you from joining us!
  • Brushes – The bushy brush I’ve been using is actually not an Eclipse, but a Master’s Choice Long Filbert No. 4.  You can get it HERE, too.  The stiff-bristled brush I use is the No. 1 Ivory Long Flat (you can get it HERE, too) both from Rosemary & Co.  Both of these shops (one in the US and one in the UK) are shipping to customers.

If the paints are sold out or back-ordered, try BlickJerry’s Artarama, or Utrecht.

Mini Landscape | miss mustard seed |

Here are links to all of the other live painting classes…

Cow Grazing

Still life with glass & flowers

Under Painting & Still Life Pear

Still Life Pear

Mini Landscapes

Index Card Art | Seago Study

mixing color charts & books for beginners

painting clouds in oils for beginners

landscape oil painting for beginners



  1. Debra

    I would love to purchase one of your paintings. Your talent in all areas amazes me!

  2. Dara

    I am pleased this painting sessions has helped your shoulder But it also has greatly helped my corona virus quarantine.. thank you so much for doing this❣️

  3. Gloria

    I want to thank you so much for these painting classes. They have been such a great thing in my life. This is a personal request but I think one others would appreciate: Could you show us a close up of your brush on canvas as you paint you rows of crops. I just didn’t get that part. Mine ended up being lava rock and sage brush!!!! I am really looking forward to this weeks class of the pear. I would also like to have a class with a building in it. So many shadows!!! Thank you young lady for making so many people have a happy time during this big pause in our everyday lives.

  4. Cathy

    You are a good teacher! You taught me several things and I’m thankful for it!

  5. Kimberly

    Thank you! I’ve discovered how much I love painting!

  6. Margaret Lerner

    Can you please tell me what you use to clean your wood palette in the center when you are done?

  7. Jean

    I was an art major in college (ceramics) but have learned more in your short classes than in a year iof painting classes. And your book recommendations have been wonderful as well- informative, instructive, and inspirational. I’m retiring next month and have a whole new world of learning in front of me and time to explore! Thank you. And thank God for the intersection of our paths through life!

  8. Theresa

    I echo all the thanks from everyone! I haven’t been able to be there “live” with you due to my work schedule, but have so enjoyed painting along with you every week, with the replays. Thank you so much for doing this, sharing, teaching, encouraging and telling great stories! (Loved hearing about your job at Disney!)
    This has truly been a treat and the community feeling as we all paint together has been a gift during this time especially- you really are wonderful to do this for us!
    Blessings to you and thank you again!

  9. Babs

    Your enthusiasm is intoxicating! With many thanks…

  10. Marilyn Kilgore

    Those clouds! I have been watching the sky more now after seeing your little paintings. Thank you for sharing your talents. I would love to have one of your paintings!

  11. Janet

    French market basket for sure. Thinking of Farmer’s Markets this summer. So cute!

  12. Joyce Washor

    Love your enthusiasm and your paintings! And thanks for plugging my book! I was surprised! Especially after Edgar Payne’s book which I greatly admire! I will friend you on FB and follow you on Instagram and sign up for your blog!
    You are so generous to do this !
    Stay safe and healthy!

  13. Katie

    Just subscribed!

  14. Heather Dalling

    How could one choose? Each photo was breathtaking! I’d have to say the blue fruit cafe au lait cup… I have just the spot!

  15. Lucinda

    Yes I would love to buy one also

    Do you have an Etsy store where available?

  16. Terry A.

    Marian, is there a way to tell from what is printed on a brush if it would work for oils or not? I still have not received my “bushy” brush, and I was going through the collection of brushes my kids collected over the years to see what they had. I don’t know if the brushes were used for watercolor, acrylic or oil, though. Is there a way to figure that out? Thanks.

  17. Kelly Martino

    I just wanted to say thank you for teaching us on Friday’s . I have always wanted to learn and try oils and you have given me the spark to paint again! Your home and all you do is very inspiring. Thank you


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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