How To Create Art

5 Essential Oil Painting Techniques for Beginners

5 Essential Oil Painting Techniques for Beginners

Are you an entry-level artist looking to get into oil painting? Here are your 5 essential oil painting techniques for beginners.

Keyword(s): Painting Techniques

Have you been wanting to dive into oil painting, but find the mere thought of it intimidating?

You’re not alone.

Oil painting doesn’t have to be scary. You just have to know your stuff and put in some practice.

To help you get started, we’ve put together this handy guide of 5 fundamental oil painting techniques you need to know.

1. Prime Your Canvas

Before you get started, it’s important to prime your canvas.

Canvases are thin materials to work with, so protection is important.

Some oil paints typically contain acids which can deteriorate your canvas over time. By using a primer, you’re giving your canvas protection while also giving your paint something it can easily adhere to.

2. Be Aware of Your Colors

This is an important element of painting techniques. You must be aware of your colors.

You’ll want to keep them “pure” or unmixed with one another. If left unchecked, you may end up with a muddy mess on your palette.

Before you move on to your next color, make sure your brush is clean and ready for the next color.

It also helps to know your color combinations when you’re looking to use the painting technique known as mixing.

Look to enhance your knowledge of colors and color combinations before you take them to the canvas.

Keep your mixing to only two colors and white.

3. Know Your Oils

You’ll need to know your oils in order to use the proper painting techniques to your painting.

For oil painting you’ll want to paint:

Thick over Thin

Using thinner paint and less oil in the first layers, saving the thicker pain and strokes for later layers. Think of the impasto style of impressionist painters.

Fat Over Lean

Or flexible over non-flexible. Lean oils dry quicker than fat oils, so if you paint fat oil first rather than lean, you run the risk of getting cracks in your art.

Slow drying over fast drying

Goes hand-in-hand with painting fat over lean and thick over thin. Fast drying should go under the slow drying layers.

4. Vary Your Pressure

The pressure you apply to your paintbrush can make all the difference in your brush stroke.

The more pressure you apply to your paintbrush, the heavier the strokes.

Heavier strokes mean your paints will blend more and ridges will be created at the sides of your brush strokes.

Keep this in mind when choosing what effect and style you’re going for.

5. Use Your Palette Knife

Did you know you could use your palette knife as a painting tool?

You can!

By using a palette knife, you can employ interesting strokes, like textural and unpredictable strokes.

Don’t shy away from trying different things with your tools. They may be able to cause the effect you’ve been looking for.

Which Painting Techniques Do You Use?

Have you ever painted something before deciding to try oil painting? Is there a technique you use no matter what style of painting you do?

Or if you’re an advanced painter who happened to stumble upon this article, do you have any tips that didn’t make this list but should have?

Comment and let us know!

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