Learn Oil Painting - Basic Beginner Steps
Oil paint dries very slowly, unlike acrylic paints which dry very quickly. Acrylic paint was initially created as an underpainting medium.......Read on.
By Bryon Zirker
Oil paint dries very slowly, Unlike acrylic paints which dry very quickly. Acrylic paint was initially created as an underpainting medium for oil painting.
It is perfectly stable to put a base of acrylic and then place oil paint over it. Linseed oil added to oil paint will extend color, increase flow and increase workability. Oil paint with added medium is called long, oil paint used directly from the tube is called short or stiff.
You place you oil paints on a wooden board called a palette the very best palettes are made of pear wood.
It is very important to understand your paints and know which colors are:
Transparent (see through) Semi Opaque (slightly see through) and opaque (not see through) getting started put as much oil paint on your brush for two strokes three maximum always end your brush stroke on the canvas.
Make sure that you use linseed oil only when you are painting with the wet on wet method or process.
Do not confuse yourself with all of the many other mediums. Wait to discover those when you are more experienced. If you can actually afford the professional paints, definitely go ahead and buy them. You will notice immediately that they are completely different from the student paints.
Always buy the best brushes that you can afford. The Da Vinci brand brushes are the best professional brushes. Buy long handle bushes. The technique is to hold near the end of the handle. When developing talent one point to consider is the ability to take risks. Just play around with your paint however first understand it, only paint at an easel and make sure to stand back from your painting all the time. Never put your expensive brushes in turps when you are working in a session. Go ahead and wipe them clean with paper towels or cloth wash out your brushes in turps or a similar solvent at the end of a session and then be sure to clean immediately with soapy water.
Preparing the canvas the foundation of you piece
It is quite essential that you put on the first underpainting or wash on your canvas. This takes away the glare of the white (which will reflect back at you, quite annoying) and the more layers of paint you get onto your canvas the better and the more professional looking your painting, the more luminous the paint ant the more the painting will sing out with color and texture.
Traditionally an earth color of a burnt umber or raw umber, raw sienna or an ochre was painted on as a good first underpainting. Sometimes it can be pretty exciting to paint on a bright red or dark blue as your first underpainting especially when you are in the habit of putting on three or four layers and seeing the underpainting come through your painting. Use a big wash brush to apply the first underpainting it you use acrylic as your underpaint it will dry quickly and get you started quicker.
How to apply oil paint in two methods
1. Wet on wet or All Prima (in one step)
2. Stage Painting or Glazing Fat over lean
Wet on wet is applied by using the paint stiff, which is directly from the tube Or thinned to the consistency of salad dressing with linseed oil the essential part of painting wet on wet is making your brushes and painting knives do the work for you.
You definitely want to have full control of your brushes and experiment with different brushes to see the marks and texture streaks that they make.
Never work with turps unless you are working with the glazing method.
Never ever stand your brushes in any turps working in your painting session.
Turps will burn the bristles and inevitably there will be some left in the brush when you start to use color.
This will make it difficult to keep control of the flow or thickness of paint. The glazing technique is a process of building up your painting in a series of layers of the thinned paint.
I found this specific method for the glazing technique with oil paint it is called fat over lean
A Lean 1st layer thinned with solvent
A Lean 2nd layer thinned with less solvent
A Lean 3rd layer thinned with less solvent
A Fat 4th layer straight from tube
A Fat 5th layer thinned with little linseed oil
A Fat 6th layer thinned with more linseed oil
It is very essential that you this process exactly follow or the layers of paint will dry at different levels and possibly crack the paint. Granted, it is a slow method and you absolutely need some patience however the results are spectacular tonal values which are essential in painting. This glazing method gives you full control of creating tones in acrylic paint. Here there is no mystery about paint.
Remember that paint is just pigment with a binder. In the case of oil paint, it is just a pigment with a drying oil usually linseed oil is used for this. The very best professional oil paints you will find are Michael Harding and Old Holland. Windsor and Newton and some other makes are good as well just make sure they are called professional paints and not the lesser quality student paints.
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