Top Professional Tips For Amateur Oil Painters

Oil Painting Overview

1. Make sketches to see visualize the overall composition
2. Use charcoal or pencils to block out the tonal range ie dark to light
3. Make a few oil sketches to experiment with color mixing
4. Prepare your canvas with Gesso or white acrylic paint, then set out your brushes and colors.
5. Use your discoveries from steps 2 and 3 and get to work!
6. Varnish, frame and Hang your painting

Because of the versatility of oil paints, you can explore a variety of ways to use them. You can layer thinly in glazes, or "direct paint" thickly in an impasto style. The most important thing is to "play" and experiment with what works best for your taste and style. But to enhance your playtime, here are some tips you may find helpful. Enjoy!

Oil Painting Tips

1. Learn to place your colors in the same position on your palette so that you will soon be able to "lose yourself" in the process, with out looking too much at the palette
2. "Fat Over Lean" This means that each layer of paint should be increased with each layer. This is because the lower layers absorb oil from the top layers. If the upper layers dry faster than the lower, the paint may crack.
3. Do not use Black as an under-layer as it drys slower than all other colors.
4. Pigments containing lead, cobalt, and manganese speed up drying. Great for mixing with other colors to speed up drying time and perfect for under-layers.
5. Linseed oil is your best option for an under-painting, or primary layers, as it ensures speedy and thorough dyeing.
6. Try not to use Linseed oil as a medium for whites and blues as it tends to yellow. Use Poppy oil instead, although it will dry slower.
7. Dry your paintings in the light. Drying them in the dark causes a thin film to arise on the surface.
8. If wrinkles happen on the canvas, it is a sure sign that you have used too much medium.
9. To avoid harsh chemical exposure opt for more natural solvents such as "Turpenoid"
10. To keep your hands clean without destroying them, use a hand cream that is applied before you start to paint. It forms a protective layer that is easily removed with water at the end of a work session, taking any oil stains with it.

Alternately there are non-toxic solvents such as "disolv" Just ask your art store assistant.

Hope this was helpful. Now get painting!