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Things You’ll Need For Oil Painting

If you want to take oil painting seriously, you should realize that paint isn’t the only item you’ll need to get started. For the artist, the choices are unlimited, and because this is a classic form of painting, there are numerous classic and modern references to draw inspiration from. If you want to get the most out of your next art creation, you’ll need to buy a few things

On this page, we’ll go through all of the supplies you’ll need to get started on your first oil painting.


A List of What You’ll Need For Oil Paintings

It’s important to remember that oil paintings aren’t only about the paint. Before we get into the details, it’s important to understand what items you should always have on hand before you start painting.

The list you’ll find below will provide you a more in-depth look at the essential and optional supplies you can acquire for your oil painting sessions.

The Type of Paint

If you’re buying paint tubes for the first time, the type of paint can be determined by looking at the product label. Keep in mind that oil paint and acrylic/water-soluble paint are not the same thing.

If you already have some paint tubes but aren’t sure if they’re oil-based or water-based, Denatured alcohol should be used to clean the tube’s surface. The paint is water-based if the rag you used to wipe the tube takes up any paint.

Paint tubes come in a variety of sizes, but we believe that 200ml is more than enough to start with. Another typical difficulty among painters is deciding on which colors to use. If you’re a newbie, a painting kit is a good option. For now, you should be good using color kits that include the most widely used hues, which are available in many retailers. Alternatively, if you have more painting experience and know how to combine colors, you can buy just the colors you need, such as red, yellow, blue, black, or white tubes. Titanium white, cadmium red, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, cadmium yellow, and ivory black are some of the most common hues required.


Brushes

There are many different sorts of brushes available, and you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Sable brushes and bristle brushes are the two most common types of brushes used in oil painting. Brushes made of sable are softer and can be used to mix colors and add finishing touches to your painting. Bristle brushes, on the other hand, are great for painters who want to emphasize their brushstrokes.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy every brush to get started; instead, start with smaller, medium, and large brushes and work your way up. Once you’ve gained enough practice with your painting style and requirements, you’ll have a better understanding of which brush will work best for you. Paint brushes can come in a variety of shapes, types, and components.

Brush Jar

You want your painting to go as smoothly as possible. Because oil painting can quickly become muddy, you’ll need a safe object to clean your brushes in.

Use a simple jar to clean your brushes if you want to clean them quickly. Fill the jar with mineral spirits so you don’t have to spend too much time rubbing the bristles of the brush to remove the paint. Brush jars are available in any supply store. You might also use a jar you already have if you think it will suffice.



Mineral Spirits/Turpentine

When painting, bear in mind that oil is considerably denser than water, thus you’ll need a special medium to clean your brushes properly.

So, a paint thinning solution, such as turpentine, can be used to clean oil paint. Turpentine is derived from the resin of certain pine trees and is used to varnish paintings. If you don’t have access to turpentine, you can make a mixture of mineral spirits, which works well as a substitute.

Medium

You can use an oil medium, such as linseed oil, to get the desired consistency If you want to thin your paint without totally eliminating its texture.

Rags

After dipping your bristles in your cleaning jar, rags are used to dry them. Newsprint is a typical material used for properly cleaning brushes.

Color Palette

The majority of color palettes are made of glass or ceramic. You may select the one with which you are most at ease to mix your paint and can make your painting process much easier and faster. You can use it to save all of your colors in one location so you don’t have to go looking for them in different places every time you need them.

Pencils

If you prefer to sketch out what you want to paint before than Charcoal pencils will work well for this since they’re soft, which means they won’t damage the oil painting when you put it in.

Canvas

Canvases are usually recommended because they are the most comfortable painting surface for oil paintings. Although canvases are the most popular work surface, you can use any surface you like as long as you prep it first.

Easel

A painting easel is a self-supporting wooden frame that some artists use to hold their canvas as they work. You don’t have to buy an easel if you don’t want to, but it’s a good idea if you’re going to be painting for a long time. These frames bring no added value to your painting, but they can help you relax during the painting process.


What Oil Painting Base Should I Use?

The base is sometimes referred to as priming your painting surface, while the other one is referred to as the underpainting. We’ll go over both elements so you’ll know what to do when it’s time to paint.

Priming

Preparing your painting surface or canvas for painting entails priming the surface. You can buy canvases that have already been pre-primed, so you don’t have to bother about anything but painting. If you get a raw canvas, you must prime it before painting with oil because this material is known for making the canvas fibers brittle, which can damage your painting when it dries.

there are two types of gesso. Oil gesso is a traditional primer that can be used to prepare a surface for oil application. You might also use acrylic gesso, a newer sort of primer that allows you to paint acrylic grounds or underpaintings before applying your oil paint.

Underpainting

The first paint layer placed to your canvas is known as underpainting; this layer will serve as the foundation for the rest of the painting. In most cases, the underpainting is employed to alter the color tones later on. Tonal grounds under the painting and a single tonal under the painting are the two types of underpainting.

The first method entails painting the canvas with a single transparent hue. Because backlighting shadows are created with this form of underpainting, you may achieve a significantly higher contrast rate for your complementary colors. You can also use it to tone down your painting to your taste. When using the single tonal approach, you’ll leave certain painting sections unpainted, effectively separating the dark and light painting sections. You must leave portions of your artwork without paint if you want lighter portions, and vice versa.

It is up to you to decide which one you want for your painting. Using a blue-toned layer, for example, can give your artwork a colder effect, whilst using a yellow-toned layer can give people a warmer vibe.


What Kind Of Oil Painting Canvas Do You Use?

Since there are too many different kinds of canvas to chose from, selecting one for your oil painting can be difficult. Furthermore, since not all canvases are created equal, you must remember three key considerations before making your purchase:

Texture of the Canvas

The texture of a canvas might influence how successfully you work with your brushes. Natural fibers are used to weave canvasses, which vary in appearance according on how they’re woven together. If you want to paint detailed artworks, a canvas with a smooth texture is a good option. Choose a canvas with a rougher texture if you want wider paint strokes.

Priming

Priming is necessary, as previously said, if you want your painting to retain its actual colors over time. If you want your painting to have dull colors you can use unprimed canvas.

Pre-primed canvases are generally preferable because they can save you a lot of time and aggravation in the long run. These canvases, on the other hand, are usually more expensive. You can use unprimed canvases if you want a more economical choice.

Fabric material

Canvases come in two different fabrics: linen and cotton. you must select a canvas that is appropriate for your budget, demands, and objectives.

Artists favor linen because it is more durable; yet, linen is significantly more expensive than cotton. Cotton isn’t as durable as linen, but it can still produce good painting results and is less expensive.

Types of Canvas

Canvas Rolls/Unstretched Canvas

Because these canvases must be prepped and stretched, this option is advised for skilled painters. You might be able to locate pre-primed canvases of this type, but you’ll still need to stretch them once you’ve completed your painting. One of the nicest things about unstretched canvases is how easy they are to transport because they can be rolled in. We recommend that you try them out if you have the necessary experience or desire to work with a huge painting.

Stretched Canvas

Over a wooden frame called stretcher bars, a stretched canvas is placed. Most artists prefer stretched canvases because it eliminates the need to stretch them afterward, which can be risky and damaging to the oil painting.

It is also available unprimed or pre-primed, however most people choose pre-primed so they may start painting straight away. Keep in mind that you can prime your canvas for acrylic or oil paintings, so if you want to use oil paint, make sure you use the correct primer.

Canvas Panels

Canvas panels, like canvas pads, aren’t as durable as stretched canvases. These panels are frequently used by beginners for practice. Canvas panels are placed on a hard board, and they come in compact sizes, so you may transport them around without any problem. On the internet, you can find panel packs that contain 12 or more panels. You can also choose the panel size you want because they come in a variety of sizes.

Canvas Pads

Canvas pads, which are sheets of pre-primed canvas tied in book shape, are an alternative to canvas rolls. Because of their portability, artists who desire a safe area to practice their sketches frequently utilize pads. Canvas pads have the advantage of being able to be stretched and mounted into frames, but they do not sustain as long as stretched canvases.




What is the ideal number of layers for an oil painting?

If you’re a newbie, you might not know the correct answer right away, so practice until you find something that works for you. While a single coat of paint can be used, it is not suggested for beginners because it may leave the painting seeming unfinished. Most people uses at least two layers, but depending on what you want to produce, you may need more. There is no right or wrong solution in this area; you may utilize as many levels as you see fit.  Depending on what you want to create, the number of layers you need to apply for an oil painting can vary. If you want to intensify the colors in a certain location, for example, you can add more layers until you’re happy with the results. To achieve their intended effect, some artists have employed up to seven coats of oil paint. 


When it comes to oil paintings, how long do they last?

An oil painting can survive for decades in the right storage conditions. Although caring for an oil painting may appear easy, it necessitates close attention to avoid any problems, as oil can easily peel. Many oil paintings from several decades ago can still be found in museums and retain their color and structure. While museum paintings require specialist maintenance, you may care for your painting without too much difficulty. One thing to keep in mind regarding oil paintings is that they are constantly oxidizing, which means they can take a long time to dry properly. 

The first thing to consider is the lighting. You should avoid exposing your artwork to direct sunlight since it will damage it quickly. Avoid placing your artwork directly beneath high-frequency lights since they can damage the painting over time. Temperature is another major storing concern. Make sure the painting is kept in a temperature-controlled environment. To put it another way, try to hang your work in a spot where there aren’t a lot of temperature changes or humidity because this can cause it to stretch or shrink.

You should also clean your paintings on a regular basis. Artworks can often accumulate dust no matter where they’re displayed, so make sure they’re not storing any dirt particles that could harm them. You may effectively remove dust particles from your painting using a tiny duster. Regular dust cloths should be avoided because they can harm the artwork. You can also use a small vacuum to remove any dust that has accumulated on the back of the painting. If you wish to avoid these problems as much as possible, make sure your work is properly framed. Remember that oil paintings need to be exposed to air in order to oxidize and dry, but you can’t expose them to too much air or they’ll absorb too much moisture.

You can follow all of the above suggestions and be able to maintain your paintings looking fresh and clean for decades!


Can Dry An Oil Painting Overnight?

While it is preferable to allow it to to dry naturally, there are several things you may do to expedite the process. Some artists prefer to dry their oil paintings quickly so they may continue working on them.  You can use drying media if you want to speed up the drying process. We do not encourage utilizing these, though, because they can be harmful to your physical health.

Here are some safer ways to dry an oil painting overnight:

Work in a Setting That Is A Little Warmer

Warmer temperatures are believed to hasten the drying process of your painting. Avoid regions with a lot of humidity if you want your artwork to dry faster.

Paint in Thinner Layers

When it comes to oil painting, thicker paint layers might take a long time to set and dry. In this situation, you might want to experiment with multiple layers of lighter brush strokes to see how long they take to dry. While it may not result in a dramatic improvement, it can assist you in achieving your goals more quickly.

Do Your Work On A Even Surface

When painting on rough surfaces, your oil paint will take significantly longer to dry. A canvas is one of the best paint surfaces on which to work with oil paintings. Fortunately, because the majority of people utilize canvases to make their artwork, you can find them at any supply store. Flat surfaces allow you to uniformly spread each color, allowing it to dry faster. We recommend giving it a shot if you don’t mind modifying your painting surface in return for a faster drying time.

For the canvas’s surface, apply an acrylic paint coat.

While you’ll still be using oil paint for the entire painting, a coat of acrylic paint on the artwork piece before you begin can help your oil colors dry much faster. Acrylic paint dries significantly faster, and once the work surface is firm enough, it may speed up the drying of your oil paint.


At first, preparing for an oil painting may appear daunting. However, once you’ve gotten everything in order the first time, setting up your work session will be much easier because you’ll already have everything ready to go. So what are you waiting for!

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