Oil Painting


In oil painting, the pigments used are bound with a drying oil, such
as linseed, poppyseed, walnut or sunflower oil. These oils have
certain properties that prevent the paint from yellowing and they have
different lengths of time for drying. Depending on the material used
for the painting, the various oils provide a different feel to the
finished product.

When an artist begins an oil painting, he/she prepares the surface of
the canvas by stretching it. Then the artist usually makes a sketch of
the person or scene on canvas using charcoal. After mixing the paints,
often with turpentine to make them thinner, the artist starts building
up layers of paint over the drawing. This is called the Egg Tempura
method The first layer helps to tone the canvas and covers the entire
surface. Each additional layer should be oilier than the previous one.
With the convenience of oil paint in tubes, artists can quickly and
easily combine various colors to create just the right color and shade
they want.

A brush is an essential part of oil painting. There are different
brushes for different effects and for large and small areas. They are
also made from different fibers. Those made from hog's hair will
produce bolder strokes and for finer details, brushes made from
squirrel's fur are preferred. Round brushes are also used for fine
detail work. A palette knife can also be used in oil painting and this
tool can also be used to remove sections of paint from the canvas.
Artists also use rags and sponges to wipe off paint or to create a
special effect.

Oil paints take longer to dry than watercolor paints. This means that
the artist can easily change a color or part of the painting while the
paint is drying. While some artists do apply a varnish or glaze to
their paintings, others prefer to leave the surface free of this
solution.