Best Oil Painting Tips and Steps for Beginners

Do you want to try your hand at oil painting but don’t know where to begin? Are you concerned that oil painting will be too expensive?

Difficult? Follow these beginning oil painting instructions, and you’ll enjoy the beauty of oil paints in no time.

There is a lot of information available for beginning oil painters. When you search for beginner’s tips, this blog post will be another in a long list of results. But

I’m hoping to have a somewhat distinct tone. So many painters advise beginners to prepare their canvas, use a medium, overcome the fat-over-lean rule, and so forth. The majority of these suggestions are enough to put anyone off.

Instead, I believe that many aspects of oil painting may be simplified, making it more enjoyable and faster to learn. Many accomplished oil painters follow the recommendations given below.

If you want to experiment with oils, make it easy and pleasant! (Gerstman, M.K., 1976)

10 Essential Oil Painting Techniques for Beginners

Paints 

Choose a well-known, well-regarded brand rather than an obscure or specialized one. If you want to save money, choose a student painter like Daler Rowney or Winton.

If You are not new to painting (you may have already used watercolors or acrylics), Better paints, such as Winsor & Newton Artists Oils, might be used to begin.

Brushes

Get a simple brush collection; you don’t need more than 4 – 10 brushes to get started.

Purchase a range of bristle and synthetic brushes in a variety of shapes. Buy no specialized brushes, such as fan or rigger brushes.

Canvas

Purchase a modest student range canvas from a reputable brand, such as an art materials shop’.

Colors

Get your hands on the primary colors of red, yellow, blue, burnt umber, and titanium white and burned Sienna. Buy fewer colors because they will simply complicate and complicate your painting.

Experiment

Experiment with both thick and fragile applications. Experiment with little and large paintings. Experiment with different topics. Try using a palette knife and larger brushes. Wipe everything down and start over.

Medium

Be gentle with yourself and avoid using a medium.

Clean-up

To clean your brushes after your sessions:

  1. Use brush soap or a low-odor solvent like Sansodor.
  2. Do not clean between painting sessions.
  3. While working, learn to clean your brushes on kitchen rolls or rags properly.

Palette

Unless you want to clean up a wooden palette, use a disposable one.

Keep it Clean

Oils are not the same as poster paints, which may be splattered on you. Oils are difficult to remove, some are hazardous, and they are somewhat expensive. So, after squeezing a little paint onto your palette, replace the caps on the tubes. Keep your brushes away from any other surface except for your painting and the palette area. Do not use your fingers, and do not let your children or dog play with your paints.

Drying

It takes time for oil paint to cure. It is one of the properties of oil paints. Don’t resist it; instead, utilize it to your advantage. You may work on a painting while it is still wet!

How To Oil Paint In 5 Simple Steps

First and foremost: What exactly are oil paints? Oil paints are pigment powder and oil, most commonly linseed oil. They dry slower than most other paints and require specific handling and cleaning.

Here are the five stages you should do when starting with oil painting. (reference from skillshare.)

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Oil paints, brushes, canvas, and a few additional items are required to produce an oil painting.

You’ll need the following supplies to get started with oil painting:

  • Oil paints 
  • Canvas or another surface to paint on 
  • Solvent (ideally odorless) and/or linseed oil to thin your paints
  • A palette to mix your colors on, such as a thick piece of card, and a palette knife for mixing (do not use your brushes).
  • Old rags and/or paper towels
  • A table easel

Begin with simply a few primary colors while learning to paint in oil. This will allow you to experiment with color mixing more, giving you a solid sense of the properties of oil paints. Begin with the primary colors plus white and black, then on to other colors once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of oil painting. Starter kits offer an excellent selection for beginning oil painters.

Most high-quality paintbrushes will state whether or not they are suited for oil painting. As with paints, you may purchase a beginning package or individual brushes. Collect a variety of round, square, and fan shapes in various sizes. As with paints, it’s best to start with a modest collection and then expand once you’ve had a chance to explore.

A stretched canvas or canvas board is the greatest surface for oil painting. Whatever surface you pick, you must first prepare it with gesso (see Step 3 below).

Step 2: Create a Secure Work Environment

Many individuals believe that oil painting cannot be done at home. This is incorrect, but you must use caution. The solvents which are used to dilute the paint and clean your brushes are poisonous, as are the oil paints.

Search a location outside or in a well-ventilated area. When working with paints, it is also good to wear latex or nitrile gloves because some contain hazardous compounds that can be absorbed through the skin.

Step 3: Prepare the Canvas

There is one step you should not omit while learning how to paint oil on canvas. Oil paint is thick, and if you don’t use gesso beforehand, the oils will soak into your canvas or other surfaces. This also affects the appearance of your completed artwork, but it can also cause the canvas to degrade over time. Gesso also facilitates the application of paint to the surface.

Some canvases and boards come pre-primed with gesso; if not, you’ll have to prepare it yourself. Gesso is a chalk, gypsum, and pigment combination that comes in acrylic or rabbit-skin glue versions. Gesso takes approximately an hour to dry and usually requires two applications.

Step 4: Sketch Out Your Painting

You are now ready to begin the oil painting procedure after prepping your canvas. Oil paint painters typically begin by coating the canvas in a thin wash of the hue that will make the basis of the painting. Then, using a pencil or a light coat of black paint, they draw the dominating forms, lines, and focal points into the canvas.

After that, you’re ready to start mixing colors. Color mixing principles apply to oil paints just as they do to other forms of pigment. By adding Solvent or linseed oil to the paint from the tube, you may thin it to get a distinct look.

Step 5: Begin Layering Your Paints

After you’ve prepared your painting, you’ll need to layer on the paint and color. The “fat over lean” guideline is one of the fundamentals of oil painting.

This keeps oil paint from breaking after drying (or from taking an eternity to dry in the first place). The more oily the paint, the “fatter” it is and the longer it takes to dry. Always apply leaner (thinner) paints first, followed by fatter (oilier) coats to avoid cracking. How long does it take for oil paint to dry? It depends on the thickness, but it might take three months or longer.

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