Oil paints when used for painting on canvas or any other surfaces have a glossy and shiny finish; and as we all love the durability and strength of oils, we also know how oil paints are difficult to handle and especially while using in painting. Artists, when using this medium, sometimes find it difficult to handle the medium and resort to quick drying acrylics or water colors. In this article I would like to share five simple tips to paint better with oil paints.
The first tip for using oil paints in a painting is you have to be prepared for the mess it creates while painting and the time this medium takes for drying. Oils are messy, and while painting, be careful of your hands, your clothes and your studio. You have to be prepared for oil paints– with rags, extra rough tissue papers and extra space in your working studio. This is very handy when you accidentally drop some or drip some paint on the floor, or accidentally on the artwork itself where you do not wish to have it. You have to be prepared for the time it takes for drying. Oil paints do require a lot of time to dry so keep empty space or a wall to let your artworks dry for the required time.
Secondly, it is important to use a good quality thinner while using oils. Selecting the right quality and the right quantity of oil paint is very important. You can try the brush strokes with color on a corner of the canvas to understand the right required shade as too thin color will not be sufficient to bind the color and too thick a medium on brush will not be easy to paint and will create a rough texture on your canvas. A very thin medium will not give the desired effect and may also make your art look dull after drying.
The third tip for using and painting better with oil paints is to select a quick drying agent. A good quality oil paint drying agent works wonders and reduces the drying time considerably, this means there is less dropping and spilling of color and color dropping accidents. You also finish the artwork faster. Many artists do not know about these quick drying agents that facilitate drying of oils faster and reduce the required time for drying. This tip for using a quick drying agent is very helpful when you have a lined up commission work and less time, especially during monsoons when this medium requires the most time to dry and also in this season there are chances of your artwork catching fungus during the drying process.
The fourth tip for using oil paints in any artwork is the appropriate technique and process. While you paint step by step using oils, you must always remember to begin with using the lighter colors. First use lighter colors by filling up the major parts of your canvas where light colors are required. The outlining and details in your artwork must be painted later on. This minimizes the over lapping of oil paints and you also use less quantity of color as compared to when you paint darker colors first, where you would use up more of light color oil paint and still have difficulty in getting the right appearance of the object you are painting.
The fifth simple tip to use this medium effectively is let the layers of paint on your canvas dry well. This is very important that you allow the base and all the paint layers to dry off well. This tip is especially helpful when you are doing a color field abstract art piece. You minimize the risk of getting muddy colors on your canvas. Usually when we paint abstracts the process is laying of one color over the other, the artists selects few areas that they wish to highlight and some that are hidden and over lapped with another color. Here this tip would be very helpful, otherwise in the end you may get a muddy and dirty colored artwork with patches of dirty browns, which may be of no use.
Oil paints are a very good medium and following certain simple tips, you can paint easily with this medium and make good artwork.