For an artist, learning to paint with oils is an art that has a strong connection with history. Whether you are a hobbyist or your painting experiences are simply from when you were in elementary school, you want to read through this article. It is going to help you get a good grasp of what you need to know, when it comes to learning to paint with oils.
The first thing you are going to learn about is choosing the right materials. You know you are going to want to invest in paint itself, but you also want to be familiar with any other supplies you will need, when you start your masterpiece. The second thing you want to learn about is the technique of priming your canvas. Finally you want to know about the “fat over lean” technique common to oil painting.
You are going to need the following for a successful oil painting session: a canvas, paint primers for your oil paints, painting brushes, thinners/solvents for cleaning, and oil paints themselves. When it comes to picking your canvas, choose a size you are comfortable with, one too big or small might end up involving a lot of detail work you aren’t really ready quite yet.
As to canvas quality, when you are just starting you don’t want to invest excessive amounts of money into the highest quality, however, you might end up absolutely loving your piece, so make sure it isn’t of such a poor quality it will deteriorate immediately. Your canvas will also not be primed for use with oil, so you need to invest in a primer for your canvas.
Both your primer and your painting need brushes. You should use brushes made of hog’s hair because they stand up to the thickness of oil paint. You will want a variety of shapes and sizes, when it comes to brushes your own experiments with them are going to tell you what looks good to you. Cleaning up your workspace after-wards can be just as important as the other materials. Paint thinners are going to help you get the extra paint off you, your desk, maybe the floor. Make sure you read the labels for any warnings or materials it should not be used on prior to using them.
When it comes to the actual oil paints, you want to go for quality paints. Buy a few really good quality primary colors to begin with, and you can add to your collection as needed. There is also the possibility of making your own oil paints, this involves using linseed oil, wax and pigment, but you will probably want to experiment with ready made paints to start.
Now that you have all your material handy, you want to start by priming your canvas work surface. If you have stretched your own canvas or bought one already stretched you can use this technique: shake your bottle of primer first! Then consider if you are going to apply more than one coat, one will give a rough finish. Use an old brush that is very wide to apply the primer, start at the bottom and move up, move from left to right in parallel strokes. When you get to the end of the canvas, rinse your brush and let your canvas dry!
So now it is time to actually paint. When you are painting with oils you go with the idea that “fat over lean” works best. This means you want to use big blobs of paint straight from your tube. Don’t mix them with anything, and this way you are going to get a consistent look to your painting, as well as a standard drying time.
Different colors dry at different times and depend on the type of oils used with the paint you are using. Make sure you check the manufacturer’s suggestions and give it enough drying time! There, now you have your first masterpiece, it wasn’t so bad? Of course, practice makes perfect and next time try something new!