Welcome to the Online Art School

Learn how to paint with oils and improve your technique with professional artist Michael James Smith. Whether you are new to oil painting or a more experienced artist, Michael’s oil painting tutorials will guide you to painting your own beautiful, photorealistic paintings.

The Art School

Michael James Smith is a professional artist with over 20 years of experience in oil painting. His unique painting technique enables him to achieve outstanding photorealism in landscape, seascape and still life oil paintings. You can explore a small selection of Michael’s artwork in our gallery.

The Online Art School was established in 2017 to enable everyone from the complete beginner to the more experienced artist to learn Michael’s oil painting technique, with step-by-step, online video tutorials.

Michael’s tutorials are here to help and guide you to improving your oil paintings. Whether you are looking for help with colour mixing, learning which paintbrushes to use, or you would like to learn the more intricate oil painting techniques and styles, you will find all that you need right here in the Art School.

There are 18 comprehensive oil painting tutorials to choose from, including stunning landscapes, picturesque seascapes and beautiful still life subject matter.

Michael covers everything from the preferred paintbrushes, the paint colours required and how to mix them, through to explaining his own tried and tested techniques to help you achieve his photorealistic style of painting.

Each full-length oil painting tutorial, which can range from between 3-11 hours, is broken down into shorter videos so that you can easily follow and absorb Michael’s guidance, tips and techniques.

You will also find an equipment list with every oil painting lesson, together with a downloadable reference photo and sketching guide to help you plan out your initial sketch on your canvas or board.

Michael believes that everyone has the ability to learn how to paint. It doesn’t matter how your first attempt turns out, painting with oils takes time and plenty of practice. With Michael’s guidance, you should start to see a difference in your artwork within a short space of time. 

Preview a selection of tutorials from the Online Art School

Thatched Cottage

How to Paint a Thatched Cottage

Lesson 5

How To Paint A Lily Flower

Lesson 3

How To Paint Water

Lesson 6

How To Paint A River

Lesson 2

How To Paint A Seascape

Lesson 4

How To Paint An Apple

Lesson 1

How To Paint A Landscape


How To Paint A Winter Tree

Snow lesson Painting Photo

Winter In Austria

Cloud Tutorial

How To Paint A Cloudy Sky


How To Paint An Eye

Champagne painting photo

How To Paint A Champagne Glass


How To Paint A Puddle

wave 13x13

How To Paint An Ocean Wave

Autumn Tree

How to Paint an Autumn Tree

Rose Tutorial

How to Paint a Rose

Horse painting photo

How To Paint A Horse

Mountain Painting

How to Paint Mountains

Ready to join?

You can take your oil painting skills to the next level by joining my online art school, where you can access full length oil painting tutorials and learn tips and techniques to improve your work.

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