Product Review – How to Paint Realistic Oil Paintings Step-by-Step


“Formal Orchids” by Delmus Phelps

Have you ever wanted to paint realistic paintings, but weren’t sure if you could, or even how to go about it? If you are a beginning or intermediate oil painter and you want to learn how to paint realistic paintings that jump off the wall, this just might be what you need to take that next step. I wasn’t looking for anything to buy, but I always want to learn. I stumbled upon what looked like really solid painting  e-book/DVD product on the web. It looked good, had a money back guarantee and I thought it was a bargain, so I got out my credit card…Why wait? Let me tell you more…



Use This Technique and Learn to Paint Realistic

If you are a painter and your aim is to paint realistic, this is a great place to start  because you’re probably not going to learn this in college. I actually bought two products. The main thing I bought was titled “A Real Art Lesson” and consisted of 4 different ebooks. I also purchased a DVD called the “The Yellow Rose – An Oil Painting Demonstration”. Both are produced by artist Delmus Phelps. I chose to purchase the DVD because I wanted to watch the demo on my TV, not on a computer. While this video demonstration uses a yellow rose as the subject, you could really use the same techniques shown in the video to paint anything you want.

"Rose of Sharon"

“Rose of Sharon” by Delmus Phelps

Here’s An Overview of  What I Got:

  1. A Real Art Lesson, 144 page PDF e-book download, Including 225 photos.
  2. Bonus 1 – Drawing & Anatomy by Victor Perard, a 165 page e-book download.
  3. Bonus 2 – Composition by Arthur Wesley Dow, another e-book download coming in at around 100 pages.
  4. Bonus 3 – Fun with a Pencil – How Everybody can easily Learn to Draw by  Andrew Loomie,  another e-book download coming in at around 124 pages of really good, practical drawing techniques.

Cost: $27 for all four.

• You can click here for more information directly from the artist himself


In addition, I chose to purchase the almost 2 hour DVD “The Yellow Rose – An Oil Painting Demonstration”   because I wanted to watch the painting process of these techniques on my television to really get a feel for it and see the painting unfold.

Cost: 12.97

A Real Art Lesson Product Summary

Here are a few of the main points of each e-book and the DVD:

1. A Real Art Lesson.  As I mentioned above this downloaded e-book comes in at 144 pages and a ton of photos. The  presentation of the information and the photos is very professional. This wasn’t cranked out in an afternoon while eating Twinkies.

  • There are two different paintings featured in the downloaded book.
  • There are 10 chapters plus bonus material. Included are chapters on canvas prep, transferring the drawing to the canvas, the layers of paint, tips, and materials.
  • There are many really useful nuggets of information in each chapter that I found extremely interesting; such as setting up a still life, lighting, edges, dew drops, the background, mixing paint, reflected light and a lot more. You know, the little things that you need to know to paint realistic.
  • To paint realistic takes some time. There is an emphasis on taking your time and doing things right so your painting will look good for a really long time. That I can appreciate.
  • The paintings Phelps is working on in this book are still life paintings, but I don’t know why you couldn’t use this process for just about any subject matter.
  • I am trying to think of something negative to give you some balance, but nothing is coming to mind.
"Blushing Pears"

“Blushing Pears” by Delmus Phelps


The Free Bonuses may not help you in your quest to paint realistic, but they will help you be a much better artist. I found them to be very informative and great for my reference library.

2. Bonus 1 – Drawing & Anatomy by Victor Perard, a 165 page e-book download. I found this to be fantastic. It doesn’t teach you how to paint realistic, but the more you know the better artist you will be.

  • A really good reference book for you on all things anatomy. Proportions, muscles, skeleton, presented in a simple and direct manner. You could refer back to this forever.
  • Many gesture drawings as well as line drawings with labels of bone and muscle, featuring  just about every angle you could imagine.
  • Separate sections on  the arm, the head & neck, the leg, the foot, the torso and the face.
  • I would say that some pages are a little hard to read, but the format allows you to enlarge a page to see the details better if you need to.

3. Bonus 2 – Composition by Arthur Wesley Dow, another e-book download coming in at around 100 pages. OK, so this is a copy of an old book first copyrighted in 1899. But I really don’t care as long as the information is good, and it is. Again, this won’t help you paint realistic, but every great painting starts with a composition, right?

  • The main themes of this e-book are Line, Notan (a Japanese word referring to light, dark) and Color.
  • Features a boat load of  black & white illustrations featuring landscape, design, the golden mean, rectangles, circles, proportions, exercises, and even a little on composition for pottery.
  • The look and feel of the book is dated, but the information is valuable, and that’s what really matters.

4. Bonus 3 – Fun with a Pencil – How Everybody can Easily Learn to Draw by Andrew Loomie. Very well done, easy to read with excellent information and illustrations.

  • Part One of this e-book is mainly about how to draw funny faces, expressions, old people, kids, babies, men, women and faces.
  • Part Two deals with putting the head on the body. Different poses, suits, dresses, hats, and foreshortening.
  • Part Three of this e-book is about a world for your figures to live in. Perspective, how to establish figures on the ground, perspective in the figure, furniture, the interior, and light & shadow.
  • The drawings are on the cartooning side, but another outstanding resource to pull from when needed.

The Yellow Rose DVDLast but not least“The Yellow Rose- An Oil Painting Demonstration.” Clocking in at just under two hours, this DVD is a step-by-step demonstration on a time-tested how to paint realistic technique.

  • 13 different chapters, from the still life set up, canvas preparation, transferring the drawing to canvas all the way to the signature.
  • It’s really interesting and valuable to see how another artist approaches their work. Sometimes it really is the little things can make a big difference in your work. That’s what a DVD like this can do for you.
  • There’s no getting around it, if you want to paint realistic, it is more time-consuming, but the results can be breathtaking.
  • I had never seen an oil painting process approached in the way shown on the DVD. It’s an old technique that has been around for a long time, and a good bit of research has gone into both the materials and technique.
  • The production and information in the DVD is very good, although watching someone paint is not my favorite thing to do. I would rather be painting myself.
  • If you want to learn to paint realistic, this is a complete lesson and very affordable.


Wrapping it Up – How to Paint Realistic Paintings Step-by-Step

Every artist I know of wants to continue to learn and improve their work, especially me. For $38, I learned several little things that I feel will help me quite a bit. I think that is worth a lot more than 38 bucks. Someone else may feel differently.

Who should consider buying the downloadable e-books and the DVD listed above: If you are a beginner or intermediate painter who wants to paint realistic and needs some help from an artist who is willing to show you how. If you think you need some painting tips to get better and you don’t want to spend a lot of money.

• Click here to get more information from the artist.

Who should not buy these painting materials: If you have no interest in painting in a realistic, tight manner, the main course of these materials is not for you. If you want to be more expressive and loose with your work, you would be better of going in a different direction.

Good luck in your painting, whether you want to paint realistic or paint like the eye of a tornado. Who am I? See my work at

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