Top 6 Oil Painting Tips for Beginners

Posted on 24 December 2018 (0)

Experimenting on different types of paint or trying out something new can be both exciting and overwhelming as there’s so much to learn. Getting started with oil painting isn’t as complex as you might think. Oil paints have a slow drying time which makes it easier for you to blend and work areas of your painting. Now, before you put that brush to your canvas, you want to familiarize yourself with the medium. Here are tips to help you get started with your oil painting.

Paint Safely

The first thing you should consider is the medium you’ll use for your painting. Be careful when using highly flammable mediums such as turpentine. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated space and wear protective clothing and gloves. It’s also important to have a safe means of disposal. All these precautions and safety measures will protect you from the hazardous chemicals contained in the oil paint pigments.

Know your Materials

After securing your safety precautions, the next step is to determine which tools and materials you need. Your materials for the job should include a palette knife, supports, turpentine, a medium, tubes of paint, a primer, and a selection of high quality brushes. It’s recommended to buy your brushes in-person at a store so you can check the differences in quality before purchasing them. You don’t have to invest in expensive paints. Always remember to paint lean to thick to ensure the layers of paint dry evenly. To prevent cracking layer oils over acrylics and not the reverse.

Prime your Painting Surface

No matter the painting surface you choose, be sure to apply a primer (gesso) so the oil doesn’t seep into the surface. Applying a primer also allows the paint to adhere to the surface more easily. Alternatively, you could purchase a pre-primed canvas or board and use it for your painting.

Use a Limited Painting Palette

Rather than purchasing every color you’ve ever imagined and would like to have in your painting, start or experiment with a just few. This approach allows for color harmony as you’re able to get the feel of the paint. You can see through the colors “in between” the tube colors.

Focus your work on a Central Idea

As mentioned, you should paint fat over lean and thick over thin. What does that even mean? Well, the idea is to save thicker paint for the later layers. What should be used for the first layers is the thinner paint. By so doing, the earlier layers of your painting will dry first and prevent any cracking. Don’t forget to subordinate everything you’re working on to the central idea of your painting. Whatever you’re adding to your paint should not only support the idea but be part of what inspired you to come up with the artwork in the first place.

Be Objective with your Work

For you to grow as an artist, you must always be ready and willing to pick the brush and go on. Never be overly forgiving or overly critical to yourself. There’s always an area you can work on to improve yourself. It’s, therefore, important that you strike a balance and keep growing.