How to Use Oil Paints

Tips on How You Can Use Oil Paints to Bring Your Feelings to Life

Oil painting involves the application of lots of colors and excessive use of pigment. Blending and shading are the hallmarks of oil painting. Read on to know more about the details.
Oil painting was practiced much, much before the 18th century, when Pablo Picasso's cubism gave a new form to art. Works of Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci have remained unparalleled till today. Their paintings are expressions of their imaginative mind. Therefore, painting is a form of art that is entirely dependent upon what you think, what you imagine, and how aptly you can bring it out on canvas. Amongst a wide range of painting mediums, oil painting has its own charm.

The greatest advantage of using oil paints is, the painting can be corrected and changes can easily be made on the canvas. Although painting comes spontaneously to the artist, there are certain painting tips and tricks, that have the ability to make the image technically correct. And if you are a beginner, these tips shall definitely help you out.
  • Arrange all the tools in order. Keep the brushes, colors, palette, oils, pigments, water, and cloth at hand. Organize the colors on your palette before you start.
  • The colors are merged and blended with the help of oil. To get perfect results, the technique applied is 'fat over lean'. The initial coats absorb more oil, therefore the proportion of oil is increased with subsequent quotes.
  • If you have used darker colors, make sure you wash the brush in turpentine oil. You should use separate brushes for different colors. Dip the brushes in oil to avoid hardening of the tips.
  • If you want to dry your painting fast, mix the colors with pigments containing lead, cobalt, or magnesium.
  • Oil paintings should never be dried in the dark. Once you are done painting, keep it under indirect sunlight or inside a brightly-lit room.
  • You can use linseed oil for under-painting with dark colors. Avoid using linseed oil if you are shading with white or any of the light colors. It can also be replaced with poppy oil or turpentine oil.
Oil painting is an art that has the ability to instill life in the images. The more you practice and experiment, the easier it becomes. Eventually, there would be no doubts in your mind about how to use oil paints on paper canvas. Follow the guidelines mentioned below and watch yourself transform into a perfectionist in no time.

Selection of Colors and Tools
Since you are a beginner, spending a lump sum on expensive paints is not a great idea. There are many good quality, low cost paints available in stores, especially meant for new hands. Oil painting involves the application of many coats of paints. Therefore, you can apply the base color with acrylic paints for quick drying. There are two types of brush, hard and soft. Soft brushes are used for finer touches, especially for smooth finishing, while hard ones are meant for long, dry, and crude strokes.

Application of Colors
Sketch the image on the canvas with soft pencils. Figurative paintings need to be sketched out if you are yet to get a hang of it, while landscapes can be directly painted with colors. First decide what would you like to paint. Form an image and a rough idea of a painting in your mind. Studying and scrutinizing works of famous painters shall help you understand the art in a better way. Once clear with the basics, mastering the art won't take a lot of time.

Now is the time to materialize your creative instincts. Apply the base colors with a broad headed brush. The best thing to start with is landscapes, preferably one which has all the components of nature. The most randomly used oil color is white. Appropriate shading with white brings out the effects clearly. Try mixing pigments once you are thorough with the basics. Blend the colors by mixing them with oil. Initially, you are bound to make a lot of errors, therefore, practice with dedication to bring out the best in you.

Your painting should be your sole work of art and a representation of your thoughts and emotions. Oil painting is one of the best form of art that can make objects look alive. To define painting, Picasso's quote is worth mentioning, "I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them."
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