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Oil Painting Tips
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To show subtle changes or shifts in color do not thoroughly mix the oil colors on your palette. It is a better practice to mute the chroma on the palette, then apply the paint to the canvas and mix in the adjacent colors. For example when painting trees it is a good practice to show variegated greens resulting from intermixing colors such as lemon yellow, yellow ochre, and burnt sienna. Some of these colors intermixed should show in a given area.
Painting with acrylics and oils - In Oil painting it is a traditional technique to paint an underpainting or a rough sketch on the canvas before finalizing your painting. Oils also take a considerable time to dry, especially if the paint is thick or contain a large amount of oily medium. This can be from weeks to months, depending on the amount of the humidity in the atmosphere. The usual way to painting an oil begins with the underpainting where the essential ideas and designs are worked out in rough. Underpainting also has the additional advantage of being visible through other glazed layers on top of it and thereby influencing the finished painting. By using an acrylic layer as an underpainting one has all the advantage of an oil underpainting while also saving time.
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. Poppy oil is recommended for light colors as it has the least tendency to yellow (although it does dry slower).
The Importance of Oils - The type of processing that oils undergo determines their characteristics and how they interact with paint. Stand oil is made by heating oil without contact with air. This causes a molecular change--polymerization--that gives the oil a syrupy quality. Stand linseed oil is particularly useful in painting mediums. Thinned with turpentine or mineral spirits, it increases the flow properties of oil paint. The resulting paint film will resist yellowing, be tough and elastic, and retain its flexibility as it ages. Because it is slow to dry, stand linseed oil is often combined with damar varnish and a solvent to promote drying.
Oiling out is the application of an oil medium to a painting which has sunk (become dull), or lost its oil to the layer underneath. The most common causes for this are an over- absorbent, cheap ground or the use of too much solvent and insufficient or no medium. When the color is dry, Artists Painting Medium should be sparingly rubbed into any sunken areas with a clean cloth. Wipe off any residue and leave to dry for a day or two. If smaller, dull areas remain, repeat the process until the painting has regained an even sheen. Varnishes should not be used for the purpose of recovering the lustre of a dead painting. For a faster drying oiling out medium, use Thickened Linseed Oil diluted with 50% white spirit (mineral spirits).
Drying oil paints quickly - You can add driers like cobalt and lead--something will be available at whatever art supply store there is near you. If you are adding details on top of a color you could also try using a thick gooey stand oil. If the longevity of the piece is an issue, why not use hair driers? By pushing the piece to dry so quickly you will cause it to die quickly as well. I'm not fond of using acrylics but next time try those with some acrylic mediums, and thinning with water. I've been seeing acrylic paintings lately where the painter made better use of the acrylic paint than a lot of oil painters make of oils, in that rich, vivid colors were built up of several transparent layers. BUT IF YOU WANT YOUR PIECE TO LAST DON"T FORCE IT TO DRY! It will crack up--not immediately, but you will probably outlive it.
If you are a beginning to intermediate painter, purchase the most economical tubes available. Your first couple of years painting you should concentrate on producing a lot of paintings. The more you paint, the faster you will learn. Do not expect to create masterpieces, just enjoy the process. Art quality comes after art quantity. In other words, PAINT, PAINT, PAINT!
Griffin Alkyd Ivory Black and Titanium White - These oil-modified synthetic resin colors are fast drying, which is an aid when you're on a deadline. Alkyd paints can be purchased in a full line of colors if you like their properties. I primarily use the white combined with my other traditional linseed oil colors. When mixed with traditional oils, they should be used throughout the painting in a fat-over-lean approach by increasing the addition of resin (in the form of an alkyd resin medium, like liquin, or other traditional linseed based mediums). The paint film produced is more flexible than a normal linseed oil paint layer, which may reduce cracking when painting indirectly. Alkyd white therefore has the benefits of greater flexibility, even than lead white, and has the opacity of titanium. Both features of this paint should make it age well. Since white is the largest part of any painting, the one you choose is an important element in the structure and stability of your work of art. This has become my primary white for everyday studio painting. But one should be cautious when using it. I have found that overexposure to its fumes causes extreme headaches and dizziness, so ventilate your studio properly.