Oil Paintings Tips and Tricks for beginners

For hundreds of years artists have been using oil paints and even now they continue to be popular worldwide. It is fairly easy to get started with oil painting. Here are some general oil painting tips and tricks for beginners.

START WITH SMALL PAINTINGS

Without investing too much material or time into the process painting small gives you the chance to experiment with colour and try out techniques.

GET ORGANIZED

To keep your palettes and supplies set up a space that is easily accessible. Even if you’re not actually painting every day this will give you the chance to see and think about your work, and paint more often. If you paint a lot more your work will improve quickly.

INVEST IN BRUSHES

Always buy professional grade paints and quality brushes. You can buy synthetic as well as natural hair brushes for oil paintings.

PRIME YOUR PAINTING SURFACE

Wood, canvas or paper -- you can paint on the surface you choose. To stop the oil from leaking into the surface it’s important to apply primer to the painting surface. This will also help the paint to adhere to the surface more easily and protect the surface from the acids in the paint.

UNDERSTAND COLOR AND COLOR MIXING

There is yellow or blue mix in primary paint colours. They are not pure at all. While mixing primary colours to get secondary colours you need to understand this.

USE A LIMITED PAINTING PALETTE

Start by using very few colours. To start with you can use one colour and its shades. To get the feel of the paint this is what you need to do. For instance, if you are using yellow, you can give shades to it by adding blacks, and tints to it by mixing it with white paint. Add a cool and warm of each primary colour to your palette when you are ready. You can also use yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and burnt umber that are earth tones.

START WITH A SKETCH

Sketch whatever you are planning to paint using a pencil and then start adding the layers with the paint.

UNDERSTAND PAINT ORDER

Paint thin and then thick, fast-drying first and then slow-drying, and fat over lean. The first layers should have less oil and thinner paint. For later layers use higher oil content and thicker paint. The earlier layers need to dry first or the paint will crack when you add layers.

CLEAN YOUR BRUSH

Between colours it’s important to clean your brush. When you are done with the painting clean the brush using water and soap.

KEEP IT TIDY

Oil paints are toxic if absorbed or ingested into the skin. Keep them out of reach of small children and pets. Dispose of mediums, paints, rags, disposable paper palettes and paper towels properly. Before discarding them you should soak or wet rags and paper in water. They can warm up when drying out since they are flammable.