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5 Oil Painting Tips You Can’t Live Without

If you think oil-painting is not worth trying, we beg you to think again! Oil-based paint can be your new best friend because of its potential. You ever wondered why oil paintings are held in higher regard by experts? Well, it has to do with a lot of things, but the main thing about oil based paint is that it dries very slowly. Because of that, you have to adjust to drying time and consequently, you’ll have to change how you approach painting altogether.

If you’re getting into painting, you’ll realize how oil-based paint is very versatile. With it, you can create the most realistic pieces of art! However, oil painting can also be very challenging. It has a steep learning curve and artists need a lot of experience to master it.

When a painter has experienced enough times the process of oil painting, he will take away a few things like color mixing techniques or the potential of realistic textures, but more importantly, the process of oil painting can be more fulfilling compared to others.

To know more about oil based paint and acrylic paint, check out this article:

The thing we have to always remind ourselves is that paint is just a tool for us artists. We are the ones who create the art. The paint is just a means to the end. However, as painters, we also have the responsibility of being prepared.

With that being said, here are 5 oil painting tips you can’t live without:

1. Get Organized

First thing’s first: your health. Some variants of oil based paint can be harmful to humans. It’s best to set up our workspace in a well-ventilated area. Keeping in mind the risks of oil-based paint, it’s best to be as organized as possible to prevent any accidents.

Since oil painting takes a lot of time, your workspace is bound to get cluttered. Being organized will also give you the opportunity to see and think about your work, even if you're not actually painting. It will make your process easier and more efficient since everything you’re looking for is already where they should be.

Painting can get really messy and it’s best to be organized. Only when you’re prepared for anything can you let your creative energy flow. With that in mind, we need to do our best to keep clean and be as efficient as possible.

Again, paint is just a tool artists use to create. And as painters, it is one of our obligations to be as organized as we can—for the sake of our paintings.

Keep as many paper towels close to you and be as tidy as possible. Always clean or change your brush when you’re drastically transitioning to another color.

How can it affect your painting? Well, if you’re not tidy in your entire painting process, you’ll find that your colors will contaminate each other. That’s one of the disadvantages of using oil-based paint.

Since it takes longer to dry, you’ll find that when you put your paint on the canvas, the colors will mingle with each other. Take in consideration how much paint you’re using and where you are using it.

2. Know your equipment

Again, we cannot recommend enough you know your paint before using it. Some paints may be toxic and the only way to counter that is to know what you’re working with.

Like so many activities in this world, the more we know, the more we improve. Knowing the quality of your equipment and how they operate is integral to your process. This has nothing to do with skill. Rather, this is a step towards competence and professionalism. Since one of the most important things in painting is the execution, we should make sure that there’s nothing holding us back.

Taking the time to be familiar with things like your brush and it’s quality can save you the effort of correcting mistakes. And being educated in the differences of the tools we use can mean we have more options to choose from!

Learning all about your equipment can be a challenge, but you can start by reading product descriptions before you buy. Most websites right now have a catalogue of their products for you to check out.

3. Understand Color Mixing

Color mixing is probably one of the hardest concepts in painting. This is because the only way to get better at it is to do it.

The thing you have to know about colors is that there are always other ways to get to a certain result. What I mean by that is that in mixing, there are a lot of combinations you can use to get your desired color. When your goal is to paint as much as you can, you’ll find that you’ll be depending on a specific number of paints to use.

Using colors right out of the bottle is never recommended in oil painting. We encourage you to always take the long way round because most colors right out the bottle can look fake or fabricated.

To learn more about color mixing, check out our site:

4. Understand Layers

Layers can be very important since they have the potential to make your paintings more realistic.

How? Well, if we think about painting something like a bird, we’ll often find that it’s feathers, no matter what color they are never consistent. Being wild and natural, their feathers tend to have colors within them.

As painters, our job is to recreate illusions like that to our canvas. And one way to do that is by using layers.

In oil painting, it’s often recommended that you start off with thinner and darker layers. This is because they are easier to correct and augment. You’ll usually find in oil painting, the more layers you add, the better it gets. Building thick over thin layers can give your paintings more variety and ultimately, it can give you the opportunity to create more realistic textures.

5. Composition

Composition is probably one of the most important parts of painting or any art medium in general. In oil painting, it’s no different

“Composition is the foundation of a successful painting.” That’s what they say. But what does that mean? As painters, we don’t inherently think of the work. We think being creative is spontaneous and fun. Well, that may be for some cases, however, to be better painters, we have to look at the practical side of things.

Composition includes planning and planning is the most important step in composition—but most people take it for granted. But when we plan efficiently and thoroughly, we can get stronger compositions and ultimately, better results.

Since oil based paint dries significantly slower than other paints, you’ll have to plan your steps accordingly. And because you will eventually be depending on layers upon layers of paint, you will have to spend more time waiting for it to dry. That’s not too efficient, right?

There you have it! 5 tips to get you started and to help make your oil painting experience more enjoyable.

When you’re just starting out, there’s probably a thousand things to consider, but what you have to know when you’re about to start your wonderful journey is that oil painting is mostly about the preparation. If you’re ready for anything, then you can paint anything.

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