Oil painting: tips for every aspiring artist

Oil painting: tips for every aspiring artist


Oil painting, with its depth and vibrancy, has enchanted artists for generations. If you're an adult just stepping into this world or aiming to fine-tune your technique, the realm of oil painting offers endless possibilities. Here's a compilation of suggestions and insights to guide you on this artistic journey.

1. Understand your medium

Tip: Immerse yourself in the unique properties of oil paints. Unlike quick-drying acrylics or watercolors, they allow extended working time for blending and manipulating.

Technique: Before starting a masterpiece, play with the paints on spare canvases. Explore how they mix, spread, and interact.

2. The right brush makes a difference

Tip: Each brush in oil painting has its distinct role.

Technique: Equip yourself with a variety, from sturdy bristle brushes for bold strokes to the finer sable for intricate details. Post-session, clean them diligently to ensure longevity.

3. Prime to shine

Tip: Priming your canvas is crucial in oil painting to prevent the oils from deteriorating the material.

Technique: Opt for canvases pre-primed for oils or manually coat unprimed ones with acrylic gesso.

4. Layers: the heart of oil painting

Tip: Depth, detail, and blending in oil painting thrive on layering.

Technique: Start with a monochromatic underpainting to set values. Progressively add layers, allowing each one ample time to dry before the next application.

5. Dive into the world of glazing

Tip: Glazing imparts luminosity and depth to your artwork.

Technique: To achieve the glazing effect, dilute the paint using a medium like linseed oil. Play with colors to grasp the depths and effects possible.

6. A clean workspace is a happy workspace

Tip: Given the potential messiness of oil painting, cleanliness ensures no unintentional marks end up on your canvas.

Suggestion: Designate a workspace with newspapers or drop cloths. Always keep rags or paper towels nearby for swift clean-ups.

7. Embrace the waiting game

Tip: The charm of oil paints lies in their drying time, urging patience both in technique and waiting between layers.

Suggestion: To keep your creative juices flowing, consider working on several paintings at once. As one dries, you can continue with another.

Final thoughts

The journey through oil painting is one of patience, discovery, and ongoing education. Relish each step, understanding that every dab and swirl contributes to your evolution as an artist. Dive deep into the radiant universe of oil paints and let your inner artist soar.

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