I am working on a new painting, and as with all my paintings, I am dissatisfied. I work full time and am the only one who cooks, so generally I don't have a ton of free time to paint, as well as having a couple other projects I want to work on that aren't art related. Then, too, my job is very mentally and physically taxing, so I don't always feel up to working on painting. All this adds up to not enough practice which is totally my fault and something I just need to make the time for. However, I'm becoming more and more frustrated as I try to paint because I lack a lot of knowledge and skill. I watch tutorials, things SEEM easy, then I try and realize I have no idea what I'm doing. So now I have about 50 paintings in my head that I'm basically scared to start on because I'll just fuck them up.
So my question is this: Does anyone have technical knowledge of using oil paints in a somewhat realistic fashion and want to share any insights? Are there certain color combinations that you use that make really beautiful skin tones, foliage colors, or stone? Are there specific ways you paint? Do you start with washes? Do you underpaint in brown, or opposite colors? Are there any really quality tutorials (free!) that have helped you improve your skills? Please let me know!