Oil Painting Techniques – Painting for Beginners

Here are some do’s and don’ts for oil painting techniques that I’ve compiled as a starting list for the hobby of painting for beginners. Before you begin oil painting do a little research like reading articles like this one because painting with oil can be frustrating and even hazardous to you health.

Here are my Do’s for Oil Painting

  1. Do paint fat over lean. Fat over lean simply means that the first few layers need to be applied thinly. This is done so the layers dry faster. The faster dry time keeps the finished painting from “wrinkling”. One way of achieving this is to use more oil in the paint in subsequent layers to ensure they don’t dry before the lower layers do.
  2. Do use water mixable or water-soluble oil paint. Water mixable and oil sounds contradictory but they aren’t. These paints do not contain water but water can be mixed with them. Clean up of brushes is unbelievably easy using soap and water. In addition you are not exposing yourself to harsh and harmful solvents as cleaning supplies. I highly recommend using water mixable oil paints.
  3. Do allow yourself time to let layers of your painting to dry. Unlike acrylic paint, oil painting requires more patience and time to complete.
  4. Do work in layers. Due to the nature of oils, artists need to build layers. It’s easier to do this if the first layer has had time to “dry”. You accomplish this by applying thin layers in the beginning of your work.

Here are my Don’ts for Oil Painting

  1. Don’t expect a painting to be complete in hours or short periods of time. The oil paint does take time to dry because it is not a simple evaporation process that causes the paint to dry. A chemical reaction is taking place and depending on what type of oil you have used, it may take days or weeks for parts of the painting to be dry enough to continue working.
  2. Don’t use toxic or flammable solvents and paint thinners. Make sure to request a Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS when buying solvents or thinners if you choose to use traditional oil paints versus water mixable oils. Remember that even citrus scented thinners can be toxic and harmful to your health. A MSDS will describe all the hazards associated with the product. If there are odor or inhalation or physical hazards such as flammability simply purchase an odorless or less toxic product. I recommend buying water-soluble or water mixable oil paint.
  3. Don’t give up. Painting is trial and error and lots of practice. Keep reading and studying and you will enrich your experience with each article, book, or study course you complete.

Source by Julie Shoemaker

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Irish Artmart.

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