Have you ever wanted to paint beautiful, expressive paintings with oils? Here are some basics to guide you into the wonderful world of oil paints. Once you’ve got the basic techniques down, the world is your canvas!
1.Choose a place to work where there is good ventilation. A window or door can be opened, or good ventilation can be turned on, and/or you have a fairly open space where air can circulate and move around. If you paint outside, remember that you will need to set up securely so the wind won’t blow things over. Note that insects, especially bees,love Citrus Thinner.
2.Adjust your easel so that you can easily touch the painting surface without bending down or standing on tip-toes while holding the brush. Hold your brush at or behind the bulge behind its ferrule (the silver part). You will stand for hours, so make sure you won’t strain your back. Standing is better than sitting, but if you must sit, paint at arm’s length from the easel.
3.Put down a drop cloth, plastic bag, or tarp. Secure the edges with masking tape to keep it from bunching up or blowing away. Your work area is going to stand entirely on the drop cloth, so make sure you have covered enough area to have plenty of elbow room. If you plan on working at a table with a table easel, cover the floor below you and the table top.
4.Put on your painting clothes.
5.Set up your paints. Have enough room for your palette, brushes and palette knife, solvent and solvent/oil containers, rags and paint tubes to be comfortably displayed, readily available for you to use.
6.Paint. This part really depends on what you want to produce. However, there are certain things to keep in mind no matter what you’re painting.
For example, oil paints have a short blending life on the canvas. It is not hard to turn an area into a dull brown mud spot if there are a lot of repetitive layers and alterations made. If you try to alter something and it doesn’t work immediately, grab a rag and wipe it off. All the paint from that area will come off.
Oils take a while to dry, so you have time to remove paint for almost 24 hours after the application. Just like any other paint, if you make the first coat too thick, it won’t dry all the way.
7.Clean the brushes well between color changes. When you are ready to remove paint from your brush and use a different color, wipe as much paint off with a rag as you can before putting the brush into the thinner. This will make your thinner last longer and will remove more paint from the brush. Swish your brush in the thinner container, then dry it off with a rag.
8.Give your work of art its space. When the first layer is complete, it will be about 48 hours before it will be dry enough to do the second application without smearing your first day’s work. Don’t leave your work in an area that is especially hot, or humid, and keep it in an area where it won’t get smeared, scraped, touched, brushed up against, smooshed, etc.
9.If there is a good amount of paint left on your palette that can be used next time, use your palette knife to scrape the “good” paint together, then dampen a clean rag with thinner just slightly and wipe the rest of your palette clean. Use a piece of saran wrap to cover the leftover paint, wrapping it fairly snug.
10.Wipe dirty brushes off as much as possible with clean rags and then swish in the thinner, until there doesn’t appear to be paint coming off of the brush.
11.Put the lid on the thinner container and leave it until next time, regardless of how cloudy it is. When the thinner settles, the pigment in the paint goes to the bottom, and clean thinner settles on top. The next time you want to paint, you can pour the clean thinner into a clean container, wipe the pigment from the bottom, then pour the thinner back into your thinner container,this process saves a lot of money!