How to Paint Reflective Objects Like Silver in Oil

Skill Level : 1 Beginner

Medium : Oil Painting

Subject : Still Life

Tutor : Nolan Clark

Class Length : 2 hours

Avg Rating :

Gold Level or Higher Class

Class Description

In this online art class we will paint a silver pot surrounded by tomatoes.

During this still life painting lesson you will learn :

1) How to paint shiny or metalic surfaces so that they look like they have just been polished.
2) Painting items like silver and stainless steel will never be a problem again.
3) How to paint tomatoes
4) Why there is no such colour as silver - it is an invisible colour
5) and much more...


Note this class is part 1 of a six part series on painting still lifes. You can go to the other parts of the course here:

Part 1 - Introduction to Still Life Painting

Part 2 - Painting Shiny Metal (This class)

Part 3 - Painting Folds in Fabric

Part 4 - Painting White Objects

Part 5 & 6 - Painting a Classic Still Life

Latest Reviews

I had to do the class to beleive I could paint metal without metalic paint. As all the previous classes, the instructions are clear and detailed.


Class Tutorial


sketching the drawing onto the canvas

First, determine the basic shapes that will make up the composition.  In this instance, you'd have an oval, a rectangle, and three circles.  Start by roughing in the rectangle first, then add the oval, and finally circles.  Now refine the details.

Mixing the colours

colors used for painting the pot

Lay out the colours you will need.  Note that you will be mixing the three primary colors to create black.

Painting the pot

painting the top part of the pot

Begin at the top and block in the various colours  in the oval area, adjusting the colour tones as work down from the rim.  Then blend with vertical strokes and adjust the details around the rim.

painting the sides of the pot

Follow the same procedure as above for the body of the pot, carefully avoiding the tomato shapes.   Once the basic colours are on the pot, move on to the tomato reflections.  Note the technique Nolan uses to dull them.  Adjust the paint on the pot and rims (bottom and top).

Painting the tomatoes

painting the tomatoes

Block in the colour tones of the tomatoes.  Blend.  Add highlights and shadows.

Painting the background

painting the purple background

Prepare a mixture for the dark background and add a bit of medium so it will flow smoothly over the large area.

painting the white background

Apply the paint to the background, adjusting the tone as you move down the canvas.

Prepare a light background mix for the bottom of the painting and apply it fairly uniformly.  (In a future lesson, you will learn how to paint the folds in the fabric.)  Add in the shadows.

Final overview

painting silver objects

Go back over your painting to touch up any areas that need attention  Don't be afraid to use your finger to blend in spots where a brush just isn't enough.  It's okay to use your fingers, really!


About Nolan Clark

Read more about Nolan Clark

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