May 30

Dos and Don’ts in Oil Painting

When you have finally decided to try oil painting, you need to remember important pointers to make your learning process easier. Oil painting can be a difficult medium, but the experience and the finished product are worth all the trouble.

Dos in Oil Painting

• Learn all the basics. You might want to review your lessons about value and color when you’re mixing colors. If you have had plenty of practice with other painting media, then this will be an easy transition for you. Vary the pressure on the paintbrush and try different strokes, so you can get an idea how the oil paint interacts with the surface before commencing with your first major project.

• Study the reaction of oil to solvent. One of the best qualities of oil paint is that you can control how it behaves on the surface by how you mix it with the solvent. Keep practicing until you master how to use this mixture.

• Study dry brush and wet-on-wet techniques. Try painting on a dry surface and then on a wet surface to see how the effects differ. You can also try mixing colors to see how they interact with dry and wet surfaces.

• Do use your palette knife. It is a useful tool for creating different strokes and textures that cannot be achieved by a paint brush.

• Remember the proportion of oil for each layer. Pay attention to the successive layers of oil paint on a project. The lower layers could crack if the upper layers are thinner.

Don’ts in Oil Painting

• Forgetting to clean the brush when using multiple colors. Make sure to clean your brush in between strokes when using different colors. It is important to keep oil paint colors are pure as possible, because it will be difficult to preserve the color’s intensity if it is contaminated with other colors.

• Using different colors in a mix. As a beginner, you will be told to use only three colors at a time when mixing. Using more than three colors can dull the colors, resulting in a less intense contrast of colors. Experiment with white and two other colors first.

• Don’t hesitate to use more paint. Oil painting supplies can be expensive, but that does not mean you should try to preserve as much paint s possible when working on a project. Use the amount of paint or paint mixture necessary for each stroke.

• Avoid using black. Most painters are advised not to use black on their painting and are instead encouraged to mix different colors to achieve a similar effect. That doesn’t mean black cannot be used at all, it just takes a long time for ivory black in oil paint to dry than most of the colors.

• Do not store your finished paint in the dark. If you are waiting for your painting to dry, do not store it in an area where it isn’t exposed to light.

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