Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the binder. Commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, and safflower oil. The choice of oil imparts a range of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of yellowing or drying time.
Why is Oil Painting so Popular?
Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516) once said, "It's the depth and richness of tone and color that could be had with oil paintings." Painting with oils is very versatile and can be manipulated in a lot of different ways. This is one of the reasons why it's so popular. What makes it so versatile is the fact that it dries slowly, which allows the colors to be modified and move around the canvas for a while after they have been painted on. You can paint an oil in one sitting because of this technique, known as wet-in-wet. When you have an experienced artist, they will accurately reflect what we see onto a canvas, bringing life to the canvas as it dances with all the colors your naked eye sees.The benefits of oil-based paints include the ability to apply paint to a canvas and not have the paints quickly run into one another. When paints run into one another, they tend to alter the desired color and can cause a painting to turn out far different than the original idea planned for it. The drying time is longer than with water-based paints, so mixing colors directly on a canvas is possible. The paints can be thinned with a medium to get the consistency desired to help in the flow of how the paint going onto the canvas. The benefit of painting with oils compared to water is the drying time. No fear of messing things up with paint drying too quickly. You'll feel more creative with the time you have to capture your thoughts and colors to create your masterpiece.
For typical oil paintings, they are sketched out onto the canvas first and then color is added later. Charcoal is most often used. One can add turpentine or mineral spirits to the paints to increase the drying time of the paints. When starting out an oil painting, clearly you'll start with one layer, but as you increase the layers of paint, the richness will begin to show. By adding multiple layers of oil, this reduces the risk of cracking and peeling that sometimes happens.
Types of Oils
If you're looking for less yellowing during the drying period, you may want to use a Safflower oil. This is a big help with yellowing. Lighter colors tend to hold their color better with this particular oil, plus it has a longer drying time. The most common oil to use in oil paints is Linseed oil. This oil comes from the seed of the flax plant. However, paintings created with either of these oils cannot be cleaned up with water. Now you can purchase oil paints that are already mixed and also pre-stretched canvas can be fund at most art supply stores. This is an easy option, especially for beginners, but the novice painter likes to mix their own pigments personally. But no matter what you choose, you will have the freedom to create endless possibilities on canvas with oil paints. The experience is well worth the investment.
The benefits of oil-based paints include the ability to apply paint to a canvas and not have the paints quickly run into one another. When paints run into one another, they tend to alter the desired color and can cause a painting to turn out far different than the original idea planned for it. The drying time is longer than with water-based paints, so mixing colors directly on a canvas is possible.
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About the Artist : Anita Carson
Throughout her life, Anita was a “dabbler” in various art mediums. She took some art courses at Fordham University, but never oil painting, and was never “serious” about learning to paint. Then she studied with Max Horbund at the Art Center of Northern New Jersey, and will continue to apply herself to oil painting for the rest of her life, until she masters it!