Many beginners have questions about how to oil paint, that's wonderful.
That's the way we learn. Here are the answers to common questions about oil painting.
There are many good brands of oil paints.
You may be wondering why you need professional quality paint. Student grade paints are less expensive because they contain less pigment.
Less pigment means the paint
doesn't cover as well. So you may have to use several coats to get bright, juicy colors.
quality paints have more pigment, so you will actually use less paint per painting. They
actually are a better buy after the initial investment.
High quality paints produce good quality paintings.
When your are learning how to oil paint start out small with a limited palette of the three primary colors, plus white.
Or you may use a full palette with a warm and cool version of the six basic colors. Go Here
Oil painting brushes generally fall into one of two categories, soft or stiff.
Stiff brushes move the paint around better and make it easier when you are learning.
When you are learning, get the feel of using your paints before you invest in more brushes.
Save paint by mixing your paint colors with a palette knife.
When you are learning how to oil paint, you have a choice of three painting supports.
Stretched canvas is the traditional oil painting support. The canvas is stretched over and around wood bars.
Cotton canvas is best for everyday oil painting. Linen with its smooth texture is great for portraits, but it is more expensive.
Panels may be made from wood or synthetic woods such as Masonite. They need to be primed with gesso in preparation for painting.
Gessobord is an archival panel ready for painting.
Canvas boards are the third option. They are suitable for student work and practice when you are learning how to oil paint.
Oil paints contain oil and you will need a solvent to clean your brushes.
Modern day artists use odorless mineral spirits or odorless turpentine.
An apron or dedicated paint clothes are a good option when you are learning how to do oil painting. Baby oil is noted for taking fresh paint off your clothes.
Clean your brushes with Masters Brush Cleaner or a gentle dish detergent after you finish painting for the day.
Have rags or paper towels available for clean-up.
A dedicated painting area will encourage you to paint more often. Leave your supplies out, so you can paint at any time.
A north window is considered the best light.
Otherwise use daylight bulbs with full-spectrum lighting.
Regular incandescent bulbs provide a warm light. Paintings done under regular bulbs will appear cool and dull in daylight.
A drop cloth will protect your carpet or floor.
Ready-made stretched canvas and canvas panels from the art stores are primed with gesso. The gesso keeps the paint from sinking into the canvas.
Start an oil painting by putting a line drawing on the canvas with paint that has been thinned with your solvent.
Alternately do a light pencil drawing directly on the canvas or on paper first and then transfer it to the canvas with graphite paper.
Paint thin to thick. Or some people say, "Paint fat over lean"
Painting thin paint over thick, wet paint may cause cracking after a period of time.
Oil paints are manufactured with linseed oil, so you may want to add a little extra linseed oil to make the paint flow easier.
The various colors dry at different rates. For example Burnt Umber, Raw and Burnt Sienna dry faster. The Cadmiums and Quinacridones dry slower. Some colors dry with sheen and other are flat without any shine.
Alkyd paints are made with the same pigments as oil paints. The pigments are carried by an alkyd resin instead of linseed oil.
Alkyds handle and look exactly like oil paints. If nobody told you, you wouldn't know the difference.
Alkyds have a good painting consistency right out of the tube. Use them straight out of the tube without adding any other mediums. If necessary, they may be thinned with a little odorless mineral spirits.
Griffin alkyd paints made by Winsor and Newton have been my 'oil paints' since the 1980s. When you use alkyd paint all you need is the paint and some odorless mineral spirits to wash your brushes.
When you are learning how to oil paint choose a simple subject.
Simple paintings are fun!
Paint from the things you see around your environment.
Use your own photos.
Be wary of using commercial photos or paintings that have copyrights.
A good place to find photos without copyright restrictions is at - Pixabay.