The Basics of Oil Painting

Oil paint is a form of painting that consists of pigments mixed with an oil base, usually linseed oil, to form a thin, transparent film. Although acrylic paints have come along to challenge this method, oil paint still retains its dominance over acrylics because of its versatility and slow drying time. This medium is also the best choice for fine detail and layering, as it enables the artist to blend colors and create a more realistic effect.


The first step in painting is to choose a subject that excites you and that expresses your interpretation of the subject. Use color and paint to express your passion. Make your journey enjoyable, no matter where your destination is. While there is no rule or pattern for painting, it is important to focus on the focal point – the area of most interest to you. Using a color wheel can make it easier to achieve your goals. When you’re done with your canvas, you’ll be glad you took the time to plan and execute your masterpiece.

After deciding on your subject, it’s time to mix your paints. While mixing your colours, you should use a palette. A traditional palette is made from mahogany, but you can also use glass-top tables, metal palettes, and ceramic palettes. If you’re painting outside, you can use disposable greaseproof-paper blocks to avoid spills and other messes. As with other forms of art, it’s best to experiment with your materials and paint methods until you’re satisfied with the results.

Oil painting is the most popular type of painting. It’s usually done on canvas, wooden panels, or prepared paper. Using brushes for oil painting are typically made of hog bristle, and knives are also used for application. The process starts with a lean underpainting and finishes with a richer, thicker paint. Then, you may use heavy impasto in special passages. Once your painting has dried, it is ready to be varnished.

Before painting, you need to make several decisions. These decisions will help guide your creativity. Once you’ve decided on the subject, you should decide on the medium and the color of the painting. Then, it’s time to choose the color palette. Before beginning, choose a color scheme that fits your needs. You can also decide on a palette of colors and other elements, depending on where you want to place them. This way, you can choose the paint colors that will work well with the subject matter.

The paintbrush is the most versatile tool in a painting. A paintbrush allows you to paint realistically and expressively. For example, a water-colour with a wash will produce a painting that is largely opaque. For oil-colours, bleeding occurs when one colour is dropped on top of another while it is still wet. This is a common problem in oil-colours. When it happens, you will have to apply more layers of the same colour to achieve a balanced effect.