Realistic oil painting

academy realistische oelmalerei 01 - Realistic oil painting

Realistic oil painting is my passion!

It is fascinating to look at an oil painting that is an imitation of nature. Whether it is a still life, or a portrait, or a landscape or an historical event, we like to look at it and to lose ourselves in the feelings that the painting awakens in us. We are amazed by the details in the realistic representation, by the composition, the relationship between light and shadow as well as the resulting colors. They make us linger in front of the oil painting and just stare at it.

Anyone who is an oil painter and has dedicated himself or herself to realistic oil painting knows the challenges and high standards of this artistic craftsmanship.

Strong foundations in the realistic drawing are, of course, required because that is crucial to paint what you see.

Nature is our biggest source of inspiration. First, you learn to draw proportions and shapes faithfully to the original. Then you´ll be confronted with how to represent lights and shadows on objects and bodies. You have to understand what tonalities you put in which place, in order to create a 3D work from a 2D image. At first, you do it by only using black and white. Painting in oil enhances complexity and artistic ability. Understanding and choosing the right colors, mixing the tonalities to reproduce the exact shades, but also the part of painting the background, the different layers, the refining and correcting, the last details and the finalization can be really challenging and require great artistic and technical skills.

So it is not surprising that we are fascinated by a realistic oil painting and look at it intently.

Watch the video of Pieter Wagemans, a realistic painter of our time. In this video, he wants to share his fascination for realistic painting with us and we become part of the painting process.


Pieter Wagemans studied life drawing and painting, addressing nude and landscape subjects but increasingly focusing on still life at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. In the 1970s, he became quite notorious thanks to a series of large ceiling paintings he did in the 16th century home of the Antwerp artist David Van Noort. Throughout his career, he has received several international and prestigious awards such as from ARTDEPT and Le Trente d’Or.

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