Quick Studies: Studies in Under an Hour (in Oil) with Craig Nelson

Artist: Craig Nelson
Producer: Creative Catalyst Productions
Runtime: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes


Learn more in less time with Quick Studies.


Craig Nelson's exciting one-hour sessions help you hone your skills without spending days on a single painting.Craig's dynamic approach works with any subject matter.


In this workshop, he paints a floral from life and a figure from photo reference. In both demonstrations, you'll see a time-tested approach to developing oil paintings. Craig breaks his process into five basic stages, allowing you to identify your weaknesses at every step. You'll learn to pick the right brush, evaluate color, and rework problem areas. As you gain confidence, you'll begin to eliminate unimportant details and say more with less. As Craig says, "For painting skills, it is far better to paint 30 one-hour paintings than one 30-hour painting." Get started on your first exhilarating hour in Quick Studies in Oil with Craig Nelson.

Materials List

A Few of hundreds of comments on Craig Nelson DVDs:

"I have several of Craig Nelson's DVDs and books. I love his style. "
- Aiko D. – Bremerton, WA -

" Very helpful and interesting. I enjoyed this video. Especially the running commentary on your though process on color selection and modification. Thank you!"
- KM Tolles – Lacey, WA -

" Loved it. This is comprehensive & easy to follow with a wealth of knowledge. And I'm going to buy a couple more. "
-Robert F. – LaCrosse, KS -

"I rate your videos 10+. Thank you for the instruction!! Too little is done for those of us who don't primarily paint. "
- Dawn H. – Lehigh Acres, FL

" Loved it – he is a great teacher as well as an artist. Please, please do more videos and books. "
- Pamela P. - Spendora, TX

I don't often have the time to watch art-instruction videos but I was rather taken by the title of this one and so checked it out.
Craig's strict one-hour approach really does force you (in the best possible way) to go straight in and start painting the big shapes, while by-passing all the finer details and highlights until later on.
He demonstrates how the big shapes are picked out and then painted with confidence, which shows up in his brushwork. The subject grows in front of your eyes and you can see how the shapes begin to gradually form into the saxophone player, or the jar of flowers.

His thought processes are spoken aloud, so you can understand how and why he is choosing his route through the painting....I think this is very important, even more so than techniques.
I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to work faster, looser and get more "energy" into their work; anyone who wants to overcome the dangers of producing a painted copy of a photograph; and anyone who hates spending weeks on one painting.- Christine 1/12/2013 -

Agree with Christine's review. I'm a beginner and have bought/watched some very expensive videos but learned more from this one than any of those. Highly recommend. Obviously this guy is an art teacher.- June 6/24/2015 -

BONUS CLIP: Eggs & Orange

In this clip from his DVD workshop, Quick Studies in Oil, Craig Nelson adds colorful shadows and eye-catching highlights to key elements in a still life painting. Craig explains how to accurately reflect the light sources in your scene and how to build a painting using grays instead of glaring colors.




Since 1970, Dr. Craig Nelson has been depicting figures landscapes and various environments in rich vibrant oils. His passion for the subjects relates directly to his brush work, weaving mood and emotion into each work of art.

After graduating from Art Center College of Design with distinction, Craig began his career working in Los Angeles for recording companies and motion picture studios, creating portraits and other subjects with strict deadlines. Craig's countless movie posters include "The Cowboys", "Slapshot", and "Homeward Bound" among many others. His album cover credits include, "Sammy Davis Jr. Live", "Rick Nelson, Country" and "Natalie Cole, Thankful" along with many more.

Collectors include, James Garner, Neil Simon, Toyota Corporation, UCLA Dental and Law School, the U.S. Air Force, UCSF Dental School and many more. He has won over 200 awards of excellence and several gold medals. The "Arts for the Parks" national competition awarded Craig the Grand Teton Natural History Award for a painting entitled "Dining Alone". His work is collected in the United States, Asia as well as Europe.

In 1974 Craig began teaching at Art Center College of Design and for the past 23 years has been sharing his knowledge at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where he is Director of Fine Art MFA & BFA, Drawing and Painting.


Craig created seven art videos with Creative Catalyst:

Quick Studies: Studies in Under an Hour (in Oil) with Craig Nelson

Learn more in less time with Quick Studies. DVD PREVIEW Craig Nelson's exciting one-hour sessions help you hone your skills without spending days on a single painting.  Craig's dynamic approach works with any subject matter.  


A Quick Studies Oil Portrait From Life with Craig Nelson

Craig Nelson uses his quick studies approach to develop a portrait of an in-studio model, in a logical manner, from a line drawing to a beautiful three dimensional portrait. Craig discusses and demonstrates: lighting; preparing the painting surface; developing a...


Drawing with Pastel and Charcoal: Tips and Techniques with Craig Nelson

This DVD drawing workshop with Craig Nelson is great for anyone interested in drawing, whether you want to improve your painting skills or just enjoy knocking out a quick sketch. DVD PREVIEW Part of what you learn is how to...


Drawing a Duotone Portrait with Craig Nelson

Master the art of portrait drawing with professor of illustration, Craig Nelson. With this instructional DVD workshop, Drawing a Duotone Portrait, you will soon master portrait drawing, following the logical and intuitive progression Craig has refined. DVD PREVIEW Craig Nelson...


Drawing Gesture in Charcoal & Pastel with Craig Nelson

A reference photo of a dancer allows Craig Nelson to emphasize gesture in a charcoal drawing and capture an exciting pose not possible with a live model.


A Solid Start in Oil Painting: Still Life with Craig Nelson

Stop staring at blank canvas and start painting. With Craig Nelson's simple method for still life, you'll overcome your hesitation and kick start your career in oil. DVD PREVIEW You'll develop foundation skills, create a path for improvement, and even...








Plein Air in Oil with Craig Nelson

Capture the mood of a moment with Craig Nelson's Plein air oil painting techniques. In this oil DVD workshop, you'll learn to be observant and decisive enough to paint inviting landscapes within the time constraint of a shifting sun. DVD...


Register for our FREE bi-weekly newsletter