New! Absolute Beginners Water-Mixable Oils Course


New! Absolute Beginners Water-Mixable Oils Course

Have you ever fancied trying Traditional Oil paints but the thought of using strong-smelling solvents in a small room put you off?

Then you might find that Water-Mixable Oils are a perfect balance – the blending time of oils with the super easy clean up of water.

Water-mixable oils are real oils, they are water mixable, not water-based. They can be mixed and applied using the same techniques as traditional oils but whilst wet they can be removed from brushes and palettes with soap and water rather than using a solvent.

Don’t water and oil repel each other?

Well, yes they do. But water-mixable oils have an added ingredient that acts as an emulsifier, so the oil droplets are suspended within the water.

Water-mixable oils are relatively new to the market so I wanted to create this new Absolute Beginners Water-Mixable Oil Painting Course, to address some of the most commonly asked questions and help aspiring oil painters understand the theory and practice of painting in this medium.

Water-mixable oil paints can be mixed with water, low odour mediums or natural drying oils so if you paint in an enclosed space without good ventilation or you’ve developed a sensitivity to turpentine, working in a fume-free painting environment makes them really appealing.

They have a lovely buttery consistency, a long working time which enables you to make changes over a longer period of time, blending colours, adjusting shapes, or working wet-into-wet with thick impasto marks.

What does the Water-Mixable Oil Course Cover?

On this course, we’ll cover the best oil techniques to use, the different mediums and levels of sensitivity of some products that have been specially developed, so you can take a safe approach for you.

With over 5+ hours of tuition, you’ll slowly and methodically be introduced to the theory and practice of painting in water-mixable oils.

The course covers materials and setup, absolute beginner basics, moving on to more advanced classical oil painting methods from underpainting to impasto. I want you to fully understand fat over lean, know when to work alla prima or indirect – practice palette knife techniques and introduce classical oil mediums.

And also oils can get messy! So throughout this course, you’ll see me demonstrating clean working methods.

You’ll complete 3 paintings tutorials, with downloadable reference images for you to work along from and each look at different techniques and methods. I show every stage from drawing out, colour mixing, brush handling and edge control, always being aware of the handling of the paint, drying times and toxicity.

  • The first is an impressionistic alla prima cloud study where we compare and contrast acrylics and water-mixable oils.
  • The second is a master copy of a section of a Vermeer painting ‘The Little Street’ where we build it up in layers with an indirect approach so I can demonstrate the fat-over-lean principle.
  • Our final study is a classical still life painting bringing all the principles together, working through the underpainting, colour mixing to creating form and edge control.

Designed with the Acrylic Painter in Mind

If you’ve ever painted in acrylics and have struggled to achieve lovely smokey blends because the paints dry too quickly – then using water-mixable oils will make the blending process so much easier. And this course has also been designed with the acrylic painter in mind.

We look at how water-mixable oils compare to acrylics, the pros and cons of handling and opacity and how the speed of acrylics drying can be used to your advantage in underpainting, blocking in and canvas preparation. Utilising the best of both worlds.

Sensitivity to Solvents

Because there are varying degrees of sensitivity to consider from painters with multiple allergies and asthma – to painters who can tolerate low odour solvent or others that work in a well-ventilated studio space, I’ve designed this course bearing 3 different levels of sensitivity in mind.

  1. Hypersensitive with allergies – We create a completely solvent-free painting, just diluting with water and oil
  2. Less sensitive and can tolerate low odour solvents – We mix our own mediums using a low odour water-mixable thinner
  3.  Low sensitivity/paint in a well-ventilated room – Discover advanced pre-mixed mediums you can use to manipulate the drying time of the paints

Over 5+ hours of tuition

This is a simple, easy-to-follow downloadable video course with over 5 hours of tuition where you will discover the essentials of how to create an oil painting aimed at the absolute beginner.

It has been designed as a step-by-step rounded learning experience bringing together all my knowledge as a student, painter and teacher.

What’s in the Course?

  • 3 x water-mixable oil paintings demonstrations taking you step-by-step from drawing, mixing and matching colours through to the final brush strokes.
  • 9-downloadable video lessons, split into separate chapters that follow on sequentially.
  • Over 5 hours of detailed video instruction so that you can follow along at your own pace.
  • Downloadable reference jpeg images, line drawings, and a full materials list.
  • Lifetime access, downloadable on separate devices.

So why don’t you grab a brew, maybe a couple of biscuits and join me on this New Absolute Beginners Water-Mixable Oils Course and discover your inner oil painter!

New! Absolute Beginners Water-Mixable Oils Course

p.s Let me know if you have any more questions about the course and I’ll add them to the FAQs

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Ralf

    Hi Will. Thank you for your great courses! I’ve already learned a lot from them.
    One question: Is it OK to use Artisan paints. The others are not easy for me to buy.

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Ralf, so pleased you’ve been finding them helpful, Yes, sure, you could work with Artisan paints on the course. I use alot of the Artisan mediums so it will work great.


  2. Helle

    Hi Will. I also have a comment/question about Artisan paints. Is it also your experience that they don’t have that creamy buttery texture that is so desirable in oils? Mine (some colors more than others) feel stiffer than they should. If I don’t want to invest in other brands, is there a work around for this or something to do to compensate?
    Many thanks and really excited about this course.

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Helle, So pleased you’ve been looking forward to the course, you can add more thinner or oil into the paint to improve the flow, but this would also alter the drying time and handling because you would be diluting the paint, so it wouldn’t be as opaque but would have an improved consistency.

  3. Trudy

    I am so happy to see the ‘vermeer’ in this course! I am curious and looking forward to the course material. Have a nice day and greetings from the Netherlands, Trudy :)

    1. Will Kemp

      Really hope you enjoy the Vermeer lesson Trudy.

  4. hannah

    Hi Will. I have just bought this course for my mum. I want to get her some materials to start out with. Could you let me know what would be good to put in a starter kit for her please. Thanks

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Hannah, nice to hear from you and thanks so much for your purchase.

      I don’t use a specific beginners starter set for the course.

      I demonstrate with a wide range of different materials to show the options that are available so students can make descions based on their own preferences and working style.

      However, as a start, the three painting demonstrations could be completed using a Cobra (from Royal Talens) starter set. (10 x 40ml tubes)
      A small bottle of water-mixable thinner and water-mixable linseed oil from the Artisan range from Winsor & Newton, to be able to practice mixing medium ratios.

      I use artist quality paints, which are initially expensive than student grade, but offer a higher pigment to oil ratio.

      Hope this helps,

  5. Artemi

    Hi Will,

    Firstly, thank you very much for a brilliant course. Several years ago I used your acrylic courses to teach myself painting. That time I found your materials gave me much more than any other sources one can find short of face-to-face tuition. This course is of the same superb quality.

    I’d like to ask you about one aspect I do not think you covered in the course. However, please excuse me as I may have missed the explanation in the videos. Do you have any advices regarding vanishing paintings done in water mixable oils? I would assume the approach is similar to varnishing traditional oils, however there may be some peculiarities due to the medium. Besides I do not have any experience with oils and your professional advice would be much appreciated.

    As an example take the first allaprima cloud study in the lesson #3. How much time would you allow before varnishing a painting like that? I also heard that there are different types of varnish for oil paintings. One type closes pours and must be applied only to a completely dry painting and there are also varnishes that can be applied much earlier as they breath. Not sure how accurate my understanding is.
    Any advice regarding a particular brands of varnishes? I use the same Cobra paint as in the course. Frankly speaking the variety of different varnishes is a bit overwhelming.

    Thank you,

    1. Will Kemp

      Hey Artemi, great to hear from you and so pleased you’ve been enjoying the new course.

      Do you have any advice regarding varnishing paintings done in water mixable oils? I would assume the approach is similar to varnishing traditional oils.

      I approach varnishing water-mixable oils in exactly the same way as traditional oils.

      As an example take the first Alla prima cloud study in the lesson #3. How much time would you allow before varnishing a painting like that? I also heard that there are different types of varnish for oil paintings.

      It depends if you use modern or traditional varnishes. You’ll find more info in this article on oil varnishing Modern varnishes such as Gamvar from Gamblin can be applied when the painting is touch dry. Traditional varnishes you would need to wait 6-12 months for the paint to fully cure before applying the varnish.

      Any advice regarding a particular brands of varnishes?

      I like Gamvar from Gamblin. It comes in gloss, satin or matte. I’d test a small piece first to see which aesthetic finish you prefer.

      Hope this helps,


  6. Artemi

    Thank you very much. It does help a lot. I now have much better idea of what to do and expect.

  7. Toni

    Hi Will. I have purchased the course and am watching all the lessons before I start painting as I have asked for materials as Christmas presents. I have never worked in oils or layers before. How do I choose which of the three methods, all prima, fat over lean or acrylic/oil combo, to use in my paintings? For example, does one method lend itself better to a landscape or portrait or still life? Or is it personal preference?

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Toni, it’s personal preference really, some artists will paint in one session, others in a couple of layers and some in multiple layers. I’d try out both to try and find what suits you best.

  8. Franck

    Hi Will, I got the course a few months ago and it is very well organised and full of useful information – thank you!

    I wanted to ask how to control the viscosity of the paints. I seem to have a hard time getting the paint to move around, and be as pliable and ‘soft’ as I do for example with acrylics. I have this both with WMOs (I got Cobra) and with regular oils, including when I tried more oily brands like Rembrandt. No problem with the base layer using solvent, but for subsequent layers, the paint does not collaborate.

    This is in contrast to demos I see online, where oil appear soft and pliable, almost like fluid acrylics.

    I must be doing something wrong, could you please advise and how to get a good ‘feel’ when using oils and water mixable ones in particular? Thanks :-)

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Franck, pleased you enjoyed the course.

      Could you please advise and how to get a good ‘feel’ when using oils and water mixable ones in particular?

      What are you currently using to dilute the oil when trying to achieve a nice flow?


  9. Frank

    Hi Will, I tried a few. For the WMOs I used water, walnut oil or artisan thinner or cobra painting medium. Water, walnut oil and thinner were kind of ok, the painting medium i didn’t really like as it was tacky. For normal oils I tried sansodor or linseed oil, or liquin. All seemed to work ok-ish, liquin in particular, but still the paint did not have the same responsiveness and fluidity that I find with acrylics or that I see on painting demos online.

    That why I think I might be doing something grossly wrong… or maybe I just prefer the feel of acrylics and need to give oils more time to get used to



    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Frank, I would start with a few experiments so you can personally note what you prefer.

      Squeeze out a few blobs of paint onto a tear-off palette, an acrylic, water-mixable oil and traditional oil.

      Then to start with just use water for the acrylic. Measure out (using a measuring spoon or plastic pipette) 1/2 the amount of water to the volume of the paint, mix in with the acrylic. Note the fluidity and consistency.

      Repeat the experiment with the artisan thinner for the WMO and Sansodor with the traditional oils.

      Then you can see how each paint behaves with the same amount of diluent as the acrylic.
      From here you can start to judge if you’d need to use more or less of each dilutant depending on the medium you’re using.

      Hope this helps,

  10. Frank

    Thanks Will, you’re very helpful. I will give it a shot as you suggest!



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