5 basic steps to start oil painting

Updated: Nov 25


Oil painting is one of the most well-known and respected types of art.
Start Oil Painting

Oil painting is one of the most well-known and respected types of art. In addition to being one of the oldest types of painting, since the 12th century AD. There are rumors that it was known before this time.


Oil colors are also characterized by their thick texture, and delayed time of dryness, which allows the opportunity to correct any error in the painting without damaging it.


In this article, we will help you to make your first step in oil painting by following some important steps. Also, in the end, you will find some instructions and warnings.


1- Learn about oil colors.


Firstly, you must know that high price painting tools mean high-quality tools. As colors are the first and basic painting tools, so it's very important to buy high-quality colors from trusted trademarks. bad quality colors are not a saver money choice, Bad colors mean low pigment content,

You should choose the basic colors which are as follow:-

  • Cadmium and ocher yellow.

  • Cadmium red.

  • Alizarin carmine.

  • lapis lazuli.

  • titanium white and mars black.

Mixing these basic colors you could obtain any non-basic colors you need.


2- Buy other basic oil painting tools


To start producing high-quality oil paintings, you will need some essential tools. Some of them are indispensable and others are. Those tools are as follows:-


1- Various sizes of round and flat brushes, preferably of good quality, for professional painting.

2- Brushes with natural hair and others synthetic, mixing the use of both helps you to use different techniques of color.

3- A color knife is very important for mixing colors.

4- "Palette" of colors and a canvas or stretched canvas

5- Some old clothes and jars for use in cleaning brushes.

6- White spirits or turpentine to dilute oily colors because they are too thick when extracted directly from the tube.

7- A blending agent such as linseed oil or poppy oil to prevent future cracking or separation of layers.

8- Optional tools, includes a holder or a drawing desk, an apron, and a cloth to protect your clothes and body from dripping color, as well as a dedicated box to carry all your tools to protect them from loss or damage.



Oil Painting Studio
Painting Studio

3- Make your special workspace


You probably won't finish one painting in a day, so you must allocate a workspace, even if it's a small corner of the room. This place should be away from direct sunlight and away from the constant movement of people.


Also, using oil paints and the necessary oils and tools may produce some fumes, so it is better for your health to have a well-ventilated painting workspace.


Oil colors are difficult to get rid of from clothes or skin in general, so you should wear old clothes or a painting apron while protecting your skin as well, and wearing gloves while painting to ensure maximum protection is a good idea.


4- Start your painting


Here you can start painting, and for amazing results, these steps are recommended in order:


1- Use a stiff pencil to create a light sketch directly by drawing on the canvas.


2- Mark the locations of the shapes on the board so that they are in the position that catches the eye of the spectator across the entire board, rather than focusing on one spot.


3- If you use an object in real life and draw it on your board, it is better to pay attention to the area around the object, which will help to highlight the subject, thanks to the negative space, which is the space that surrounds the object.


4- Use overlapping shapes to add a lot of depth and realism to your painting.


5- Start coloring according to the lighting


The primary colors are dominant in the coloring stage for the average person, but the eye with the artist's gaze has a different opinion. For example, if you used opaque blue, you will find the color when lighting it with sunlight, for example, appears differently from seeing it in a dimly lit place.


check the color of the light source. On a bright and sunny day, your painting will have a golden glow, in white light, white light creeps through giving your subject a degree of satisfaction. You may also notice the color under colorful lights, yes, color is relative.


Some tips for high-quality oil painting


1-By using a color circle helps you find colors for easy mixing. It shows the primary, secondary and tertiary colors, and how to make them.


2- Pure colors are colors that have not been mixed with black or white. You can mix primary colors to make secondary colors.


3- To lighten the color add white and to be darker use black.


4- The paint takes 3 days to dry and turns into un-adjustable, so you should use this period to fix any errors in coloring or remove any color that may be inappropriate.


5- When there is some paint left, you can use it in your next painting, just put it in small packages or cover it with cellophane paper while it is inside the coloring board.


If you want to know more about oil painting, make sure to take a tour of our blog to find interesting information and useful hints.











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