5 Useful Oil Painting Tips for Beginners

Oil paints are appreciated for their color options, quality and versatility. However, for the complete beginner there is a short learning curve to over because of the long drying time and having to work with toxic solvents. Let's take a look at a few things to consider for those looking to get started with oil…

Oil paints are appreciated for their color options, quality and versatility. However, for the complete beginner there is a short learning curve to over because of the long drying time and having to work with toxic solvents. Let's take a look at a few things to consider for those looking to get started with oil paints:

Start with a small canvas

A great way to get started is with small paintings, such as the canvas boards or canvases at 8 x 10 inch. Alternately, it is possible to start out by painting on paper. The use of a small area is great to experiment and try out different paint techniques. Also, it will avoid spending too much money on material if this does not turn out to be a long-term hobby.

Create the right setting

The preferred space for painting with oil paints is well-ventilated and in an out-of-the-way area that makes it possible to leave the supplies and palettes out so they may be used as necessary. If your paintings are kept out in the open you have the opportunity to see and think about the paintings. Also, with your supplies kept out, you are more likely to get involved with your painting activity and rapidly improve your skills.

Use high-quality brushes

Start with brushes in at least three different sizes. They should be the highest quality that you can afford. Once you start to get more skilled with your oil paints, you can look to invest in a more varied selection that includes different shapes. Also, it is important to buy brushes designed to use with oil, which can include natural hair and synthetic brushes. One of the most popular types is the bristle brushes.

Professional paints

Invest in the professional rated paints that have the highest amount of pigment. Try to avoid using student grade paints because they are at a much lower quality. Additionally, it will benefit to keep the painting palette to a minimum when first starting out. A great place to start with oil paints is with monochrome painting. Later with experience, it is possible to add in more wide-ranging color choices to create the warm or cool painting.

Maintain the work area

Many of the oil supplies can be toxic if they get absorbed in the skin or ingested. For this reason, it helps to maintain the work area and keep disposable palettes, paper towels, rags, paints, etc. away from small children and pets.