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Oil Painting

Val says, “I love working with oil paint; it can be controlled unlike water colour, and it can be used to create thick or thin layers for texture.”

Oil paint is a versatile medium and can be used with a light touch for glazing or used in a thicker consistency in a technique called impasto.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.”  ~Scott Adams

In the Beginner’s Bag


Oil Painting Tips for Beginners


Get into the habit of laying your colours out in the same order so you can develop an instinct in your colour selection with time.

When you layer your oil paints increase the ration of oil in each layer you paint on, as the layers at the bottom extract oil from the layers on top of them. If you do not add extra oil and the top layers dry faster than the lower ones it can cause them to crack.

Colours that have cobalt, lead and magnesium dry the fastest. You can mix them with other pigments to accelerate the drying process or use them on your bottom layers.

Linseed oil dries the most thoroughly, compared to other oils and is ideal for using on your bottom layers. Be careful about using it for blues and whites as it is likely to yellow and will be most noticeable with light colours. For light colours poppy oil is the least likely to turn yellow but it can take a while to dry.

Let your oil paintings dry in the sunlight as drying them in the dark can result in a thin film of oil coming to the surface and causing a yellow tinge.

If the paint forms many wrinkles as it dries you have probably used too much oil.

Learn the “fat over lean” technique as this reduces your chances of paint cracking as you layer it. oil paint drying times can range from a few days to two weeks and you have to take care that the top layers do not dry faster than the bottom ones.

“Fat” oil paint comes straight out of the tube and adding oil will make it “fatter”. This increases the length of time it will take to dry. Even if it feels dry to the touch the under areas will still be wet.

“Lean” oil paint has been mixed with more white spirits or turpentine than oil and dries faster than “fat” oil paint.