Ways & How

How To Paint With Oils

How To Paint With Oils

Any painting project starts from a certain perspective with good composition. When learning how to paint with oils, you also need to start from the basics, and that is the drive to see something, a piece of art work from an idea in the corner of your mind. Generally, oil painting is an enjoyable way to express yourself. Unfortunately, many are daunted by the art of oil painting. That can be easily understood. It may be that they are not sure how to go about it, or they simply don’t feel like figuring it out. At any rate, oil painting is doable for everyone. Try the following guidelines and get to painting with oil paints, which are pigments suspended on an oil base.

  1. Gather the necessary supplies. Buy basic paints, a few brush sizes with both synthetic and natural bristles, some paint thinner, linseed oil, pencil, canvas paper, canvas fixer (or hair spray), and a small, disposable palette for color mixing. Ensure that the paints you buy are real oil paints because other paints like watercolors and acrylics also come in a similar tube container.


  2. Create a sketch. Get your drawing pencil and make a sketch of what you would like to paint. You can make a detailed sketch or stay as abstract as you would like it to be. That really depends on you. You will paint over all the details that you include in your sketch.

  3. Spray the sketch. You can use either a clear paint spray or any canvas fixer on your finished sketch. When you do so, the sketch will not smudge nor will it be affected by your paint. Also, you can actually use ordinary hair spray to ensure that the sketch lines do not smudge.

  4. Put paint colors you will use onto the disposable palette. The use of the palette, other than to mix paint, is for you to have easier access to the paint. Paint thinner as the name suggests makes paint thinner and linseed oil keeps the paint from drying and will also make the paint a little shinier.

    You can consider mixing colors using a brush or palette knife so you don’t have to buy as many colors. To make different hues out of a particular color, you can try adding some black or white paint.

  5. Try painting. Using your paints and thoroughly mixed new colors, start applying paint onto the canvas based on your sketch. Use small gentle strokes to paint. If you’re using a brush with natural bristles, your strokes will appear more visible rather when using a brush with synthetic bristles.

  6. Once you’re done, allow your painting to dry completely. It may need a few days or even a week or so. Leave it alone to dry and do not disturb it.

Oil paints are the medium for any great art works. Prominent examples include Leonardo da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa" and Vincent van Gogh’s "Portrait of Dr. Gachet." In your case, you need not achieve the level of an expert oil painter. But if you want to become one, you got to start with learning the basics of how to paint with oils.


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