Purchase good quality oil painting equipment, the best you can afford to buy. If you’re just starting out, you can find a lot of this material by looking for gift boxes containing all or almost all items, sometimes with a beautiful wooden storage box or a table easel. At a minimum, you will need the following items.
A canvas stretched the size of the painting you want to make. It is also a good idea to buy several small boards of canvas board to train and do preparatory studies. You can also use canvas paper or canvas in the notebook as long as they are suitable for oil painting and have been prepared with gesso. Try to choose a small board that has exactly the same proportions as your stretched canvas, but if you do not find one, take a larger board on which you can relate the shape of the canvas.
Oil paint tubes corresponding to a basic palette. If you buy a box, it should contain most of the essential colors.
The smallest basic palette includes red, blue, yellow, burnt Sienna and a large white tube. If you buy Winsor and Newton paintings, take lemon yellow, permanent pink and ultramarine blue or French ultramarine (their chemical composition is close). If you choose primary colors in a collection with more colors, use crimson alizarin or red that has the most purple shade, not red that tends to orange. You can get away without burning Sienna but it has a purpose beyond mixing. If you do not have this color, use brown with a red shade.
webmasterThe oil painting is perfect for painting on a canvas
If the canvas is square, the meaning does not matter. If it is rectangular or oval, decide if you want a portrait-type vertical orientation or a landscape-type horizontal orientation. Make very small sketches simply to outline the light, dark and medium areas on the board. Sketches can range from the size of a large postage stamp to that of a business card. The goal is to see the image as if it were remote or in miniature. Do a lot of sketching until you find the best overall effect without worrying about the details.
It can have many details and precise light effects or be done quickly, just to show where are the different areas of light and shade. It depends in part on the level of detail and realism you want in your painting. For a less precise painting style, you can sketch faster, but it should not be limited to “white, medium gray, and black” shades. You must be able to distinguish at least five shades: “white, light, medium, dark and black”. Some painters prefer not to use white and black but only use the shades “light, medium-light, medium, dark-dark and dark”. It depends on the effect you want to achieve. If you do not like your sketch, keep trying out different versions until you make one that you like.
In the tonal sketch, make sure that the light illuminating the person, the objects or the different elements of the landscape is always in the same direction. Pay attention to the position of the shadows. They must all go in the same direction and must be short if the sun or the lamp are in the high position and more elongated if it is earlier or later in the day and the sun is low (or the lamp is low) ). The light always going in the same direction will give more relief to the objects. Draw the shapes of the shadows carefully and most of your subjects will already have some relief. This will give a good Impressionist or realistic picture.
If you want to make an abstract painting, make a quick pencil sketch and decide where you want special effects like stains or brush strokes with a lot of texture. You can even skip the step of the sketch on paper and go directly to the next step.
webmasterMake a sketch of your painting in your drawing pad or on a piece of paper using a gray felt pen
Put blue, yellow, red and more white on the palette, spacing them well. You can also use burnt sienna but it is optional. Leave all the other colors in the box if you have a gift box.
Simply paint the different areas of color directly over your sketch. Since this study does not need to be detailed, you can try to do it with a paint knife. If any of the colors you choose do not please you, use the knife to scrape it and put this mixed paint on one edge of the palette in case you need a dirty brown. The mixture of the three primary colors will harmonize in the painting so the paint you remove can be separated and mixed with a little more than another color to make brown or light or dark gray. There is no waste with a simple primary pallet.
Continue experimenting with your color study until you have a simple and striking painting that you like, made with a broad brush and with few details. If necessary, do several studies to determine the mixes and colors you like. Make this little study with the paintings coming out directly from the tubes. You do not need oil or thinner for this technique. If you like the effect, you can make the big painting in the same way by simply using a paint knife and paint tubes that you apply to the canvas in big strokes, without oil or thinner.
webmasterPut some paint on your palette and mix your colors
To paint a landscape, it is a good idea to use a purple pastel pencil because this color blends well into those of the landscape without darkening or staining light colors as much as black. Both charcoal and violet pastel are easily erased with absorbent paper or a damp cloth so do not worry, you can correct your drawing! Make your drawing and if you make a mistake, erase it and try again.
Wipe your brushes and knife to clean them. Wash the brush you used for the color study (if you used one) with the thinner: simply dip the brush into the thinner and wipe it with your cloth.
Or if there is not much or no white in the primary color brown blend obtained during the color study, you can use it for your thin layer of brown. Dilute the paint by dipping your brush in turpentine or odorless thinner (those of the brand Winsor and Newton are of good quality). Then dip the brush in a little paint and mix until you get a clear, very liquid and translucent paint. Fill in the light areas of your painting based on your preparatory study. Use a little more paint to fill the medium and darker areas with the burnt sienna while continuing to dilute it until it has an ink texture. Even dark area paint should contain a good amount of thinner. The more diluent you use, the more this translucent layer of burnt sienna will dry quickly.
webmasterDraw the contours on your canvas with a soft pencil or a fine charcoal stick
It contains only the little oil present in the amount of paint needed for the color to be seen. After the application of this first very thin layer, it looks almost watercolor on paper. You can string together several diluted layers of different colors if you want to use the fun technique of “glaze”.
The next layer is “alla prima”, that is to say using directly the paint output of the tube as you did for the color study. You then have an average fat level, much like a person who is neither fat nor thin. Afterwards, the more oil or liquin you add to the paint, the more greasy it will be. If you paint “lean on fat”, you will have problems because the fat layers take the longest to dry so they should be applied over the less oily layers. Otherwise, the surface layer will dry faster than those below and the paint may remain trapped and not dry.
In the worst case, a painting that has been painted “lean on fat” can slip from the canvas if it is hot because the paint does not adhere. It happened at least once to a former student of a teacher who told this anecdote.
Never use oil pastels under the oil paint as these pastels contain mineral oil that never dries. If you want, you can add bold pastel markings on the last coat of an oil painting once it’s dry to the touch.
webmasterThe first layer the one applied directly on the preparatory drawing is very diluted
Mix the colors partly on the palette and partly on the canvas. Begin by filling the main areas of light and shade with the correct basic colors and then add paint to modify them. Gradually add shades of color and gently spread the paint where you want it to be smooth with little visible brushstrokes.
Apply a lot of paint and leave it where you want pronounced textures as in an impressionist painting or use a paint knife to create striking textures. The contrast between smooth textures and pronounced textures, with embossed textures of “impasto” type and other carefully painted smooth parts, will bring life to the picture. Vary the texture “alla prima” that you create. Mix the paint with a little oil if you want to make a thin layer and carefully remove the brush strokes for the paint to be smooth. As long as it is still wet, you can add oil or paint to make this layer thicker or more diluted. Be careful, when it starts to dry or crust, do not apply less oily paint on top.
You can always do it if you want a particularly ugly special effect. For example, if you are painting a zombie head, you could add a big oily pocket to your cheek, let it dry in the wrong way, then tear the surface of the greasy paint so that the paint crust hangs and the lump red-brown oily paint dries on contact with the air, perhaps flowing from the tear. You can turn almost any mistake into a special effect once you understand how the oil painting works.
webmasterFill the main parts with their base color then add a little more paint to make the details lighter, darker, red, blue or yellow