Exercise 1

Your first Painting

Let this be your first painting.
Take your time, it is simple.
Keep your background white.
Keep your corners dark.
Put the tree off center.
Hold the brush in two fingers for branches.
Paint in Oils or Acrylics.
The colors for this painting
Burnt Umber and White.

One color and white is called monochrome:- By painting a few pictures in monochrome you will quickly learn to use the brush without becoming confused with color.
We also learn how the different tones give us depth in our paintings.
3 1/2 minute video.

Watch this short video here for free – or – DOWNLOAD ‘Why Download?’ this video to your PC for $2. Buy Now

Go To Exercise 2 click here


14 Responses to Exercise 1

  1. Mayajane says:

    I came across you on the painting form…about.com. this is a great video. I will check back when you have more.

  2. Kath says:

    Many thanks Len for these GREAT exercise lessons, you make doing them so easy.
    You explain things so well which is really good for us just learning.

    Love your art, it truly is the best.The more outback Australia paintings the better !

    Thanks a million,

  3. Hi Len,
    very nice to see your lessons. its a great help to learn this art. i have a question. the acrylic colors i am using get dried up instantly…i see your brush flows so smoothly and fluently…but mine not… Are you using any water or something else to make the colors thinner?
    thanks and have a great day.
    Jawad from Pakistan.

    • lenhend says:

      Hi Jawad – My paint dries very fast also. I sometimes need to spray a little water onto the painting, but not onto any detailed work. I find a retarding medium is helpful.
      A warm breeze causes the paint to dry quickly, so I try to paint on cooler moist days.
      You might like my new website http://www.paintwithlen.com.

  4. Mark Behnen says:

    Hi Len many thanks for the lessons…..Im using oils could u point out some differences please..
    …question do i need to let my paint dry on some lessons to proceed ? I sometimes it looks a little muddy. i clean my brush often. Also ok to use a little medium to get the brush to flow like yours.?
    love your work.!

    mark b.

    • lenhend says:

      Hi Mark – sorry for the late reply – Oils are better to use but the smell makes me sick and they are messy – acrylics dry too quick and cause some problems but all in all there is not much difference when you get into it.
      With oils you must have all your colors at the right viscosity. If you have thin wet paint on the canvas and try to brush thick paint over it, the thick paint on your brush will pick up the thin paint off the canvas.
      It is up to you if you paint wet-on-wet or let the paint dry at stages.
      Paint looks muddy if you do not wipe your brush clean each time you load it. Don’t clean your brush, just pull it through a rag while squeezing. Pick up fresh crisp paint each time; do not let the white get near your other colors on the palette
      A few drops of your favorite paint thinner in the thicker paints is the way to go. I do not know about all brands of paint but I remember thinning about 80% of the colors when I used oils. Burnt Umber always seemed to be the right viscosity but that was years ago. Vandyke brown was sometimes like rubber when it came out of the tube; I would put a whole tube into a sandwich bag, add about a desert spoon of ‘kero’ or whatever, seal the bag and roll it between my hands to mix the paint. I stored my plastic bags in an airtight tin.

  5. Zheila says:

    Thousands thanks Len, you are jhelping beginners so well.

  6. Julie Stewart says:

    Hi Len, I found your website on you tube. Fantastic. You are a great teacher with a really easy to listen to pleasant voice. I’ve been painting for five years but I haven’t had lessons before. I’ve just done my own thing. I’ve never painted a reflection on water and that’s why I was on You Tube and found your easy to follow lesson (and website). Wow. I wish I’d done it sooner. Painting is really relaxing but once I know what I’m doing it’s going to be even more so. I’ve never used a fan brush but you make it look really easy so tomorrow I’m going out to buy a fan brush and give it a go.
    I can’t wait to see the rest of your lessons.
    Thanks Len. Best wishes for the New Year.

  7. ANYA says:


  8. zulfi says:

    excellent tutorials for the beginners!!! blending made so easy, thanks

  9. Tyanna Petty says:

    I am just learning how to paint and I am basically teaching myself, I would like to become an artist one day and, videos like these really help and inspire me.

  10. Len ol mate. You are a great painting teacher but I feel your web site lets you down.
    My wife and I got ours done by Deter Luske. He put a good one together for us then makes sure we are seen by the masses.
    Deter owns “Usenature.com”. I suggest you email him and see what he thinks.
    Alternatively I believe I have a disk or two on doing your own web page.

  11. Julie Stewart says:

    Sorry Garry but as a learner artist I think Lens web site is fantastic. I have connected a few of my friends to Lens pages and we all think it’s terrific. Easy to look at and easy to find your way around. Some web pages are too busy and others are boring to look at but this one is just right.

  12. Sharon Franco says:

    Thank you so much . you painting lessons has helped me go forward .

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