Oil Painting Tips

Oil Painting Tip 1:

It would be better to start a drawing on a paper and when you have the drawing ready you can traslate it to the canvas in that way you avoids corrections that can foul the canvas

Oil Painting Tip 2:
The proportion of oil should be increased for each subsequent layer of paint , because the lower layers absorb oil from the layers on top of them. If the upper layers dry faster than the lower ones, the painting will crack.

Oil Painting Tip 3:
Avoid using linseed oil as a medium in whites and blues as it has a marked tendency to yellow, which is most notable with light colors. Pure oil paint is recommended for light colors .

Oil Painting Tip 4:
To create the illusion of distance in your artworks paint receding objects with cooler less intense color. Objects that advance are warmer and more intense
Oil Painting Tip 5:
When you start an oil painting, it can take some time for that initial layer to dry. Starting your painting with an acrylic underpainting however is a wonderful time saver as acrylic paint dries quickly and oil paint can be applied over the acrylic.

Oil Painting Tip 6:
Draw something with the correct proportions. Proportion, is simply the size of an object in relationship to other objects around it. The easiest way to ensure this is to learn how to measure. The most convenient unit of measurement when drawing a person is the head. It is not the largest part of the body, nor is it the smallest, so it’s a very handy thing to compare other things on the body with. For example, some artists hold up a pencil or their paintbrush handle and estimate distance that way, while others use viewfinders with markings on the side.

Oil Painting Tip 7:
Some oil paints have too much oil content, squeeze them out on a newspaper first. The newspaper will absorb the excess oil, then you can put the colors back to your palette as needed for mixing.

Oil Painting Tip 8:
The colors change depending on the background which is being painted. The colour orange is different on a white background that one blue. One yellow brushstroke on a red background is different over white. Blue over yellow orange tint gives a much warmer than blue on white, You can prove in parts of a canvas by applying cold and warm colors as a base and then applying the switched colors.

Oil Painting Tip 9:
When I paint a nude I prefer to mix the colors in reduced quantity so every time a mix more colors I will get small variations in skin tones, because every mix is different.

Oil Painting Tip 10:
The oil paint is an excellent material for applying layers of transparent paint, also called Glazes. The effect is totally different from what would be obtained by mixing the two colors. The light that passes through the layer transparent and is reflected in the color opaque below that produces a special depth and luminosity.

Oil Painting Tip 11:
It should be noted that the lights and shadows are differentiated by their tone warm or cool, if the lights are warm then the shadows are cooland if the shadows are warm lights would be cool.

Oil Painting Tip 12:
Take a standard color wheel, now look at the color of the object in your painting that you want to create a shadow for. Match it to the color closest to it on the color wheel, now, Look directly across the wheel at the “complimentary” color to the one you are using.
Mix or find that complimentary color and add just a speck of it to your objects color on the palate. You will notice that a slightly darker value of your color appears. You can adjust the value by adding more.
This works well when you want to shade something without adding gray or graying the object. It takes a little practice but it isn’t difficult. You can mix it on the palate or even scumble it in on the canvas and adjust it as you go to create an increasingly darker shadow value.

Oil Painting Tip 13:
It is preferable to begin to paint a nude in mid-tones and then apply the shadows and lights at the same time to define the shape and volume figure.

Oil Painting Tip 14:
A very important aspect of oil painting is learning how to control your brush. Without good brush control and technique, your effectiveness as a painter is truly limited.

Oil Painting Tip 15:
When you finished your painting, wait about two weeks and returns it to re-apply lights, the oil painting lights need more layers than the rest of the colours.

Oil Painting Tip 16:
Test your paint looking through a mirror, I can assure you will see details and uncover errors that may not have seen with the naked eye, I use this technique when I have the drawing ready, before starting to apply oil.

Oil Painting Tip 17:
If you make a mistake painting do not try to cover with more oil paint it would be better take out the paint from that area with an palette knife, and re-painting over.

Oil Painting Tip 18:
One way to work the tone skin of a nude painting is starting the body with just one color let say green , work the nude with lights and shadows with green and after the paintings is dry you can aply on it skin color in thin layers in that way you will get a transparent skin

Oil Painting Tip 19:
If you are going to paint outdoors would be advisable to underpaint the canvas with color depending on whether you’re going to paint the ocean or a landscape, paint the canvas with the predominant color, if it is the ocean it could be blue light, if it is a landscape could be green or yellow.

Oil Painting Tip 20 :
If you are triyng to do a photorealistic painting, you’ll pretty need any size and type of soft brushes on the market. It is impossible to depict each aspect of a photorealistic painting without the exact tool necessary for the job.

Oil Painting Tip 21 :
To clarify the skin tone of a painting without re-fillings, apply a transparent layer of white and wait that dry well at least two weeks, and then apply the shadows and lights with only transparent layers , at the end you will see the skin color becomes more clear.

Oil Painting Tip 22 :
Instead of mixing paint on a palette and then applying it to the canvas, you can also build up color by painting glazes(transparents layers). It is a painting technique that requires a bit of patience as each glaze or layer needs to be totally dry before the next is applied.
I hope these oil painting tips have helped you. Oil paint is not the easiest medium to work with you will need to practice a lot and this advice it could be useful for you.


7 Responses so far.

  1. cyntia mattos says:

    hola gracias por los consejos algunos me seran muy utiles.

  2. You, my friend, have simply amazed me, how much I learned in such a short time.. I have a good reputation as an artist, but, shhhh, I’ve never Painted with oil! I have been taught discipline by Sumi-e, and I do many charcoal, I use almost anything black and white.. I guess that I have a fear of color, although I have used the pencils, maybe they were oils, I have no idea, I use what works for me, I sure know about brushes and brush strokes, then I am self taught.

  3. I have already taken up a lot of space with my opinion, please let me know what you think of me.

  4. I noticed the J.peterman co.at the end of your what ever you want to call it, do they sponsor you?

  5. Everett McLaughlin says:

    Very good list of tips. Thank you.

  6. James McAllister says:

    I like the transparency and glow that your portraits have, but I always get into trouble when I use too much oil and my paintings comes out oily; is there a such thing as painting without mediums?

  7. Bob says:

    I appreciate what you said about creating the illusion of distance in your artwork. I need a new hobby since I am super bored during the shutdown. I’ll have to consider getting a painting class to learn how do landscape paintings.

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