Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesVisual ArtsPainting · 1 decade ago

Oil based paint-advice for a beginner?

This is going to be the first time I use oil colours, I'd like to ask for some good advice. What should I pay attention to, how long does it take the painting to dry, how can I clean my brushes, do I have to buy special brushes, and on what can I mix the colours?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Oil paint can now be purchased in a water based form that can be thinned with water or turpentine, whichever you prefer. I suggest though, using traditional oil colors so you can get used to them in their natural state.

    One of the most important things to remember with oils is the fact that they are an opaque medium, you can paint the darks first then paint over them with a lighter color. This is much different than watercolors, pencil, etc. In oils, usually you start with you darker background and then add the midtones and highlights. Make sure your canvas is properly prepared first. You can buy prepared canvas'.

    You can use your solvent (turpentine, or my favorite, oderless mineral spirits from Walmart) to thin your paint, but this also thins the varnish that holds the paint together, leading to cracking or adhesion problems later in the life of your painting. I like to use a painting medium for thinning. I like Grumbacher's Oil Painting medium #3. It will thin your paint and speed up drying time to a few hours or overnight (dry to the touch, not cured).

    If you're using thinned paint and paint in a more realistic style, I prefer something like acrylic brushes, firm, but good for fine detail. If you prefer an impressionistic style then you'll want stiff Bristle oil paint brushes. You'll just have to try a few and decide which is best for you. You can get scholastic brands at which don't cost much and will give you an idea of what they are like.

    I use a piece of glass with a neutral color piece of paper underneath. You can actually let your paint dry on the glass. If this happens, you can remove it later with your solvent and a single edge razor blade.

    Caution: Use rubber gloves to handle oil colors and their solvents. The pigments and solvents are toxic and can lead to problems later in life. Believe me, I know.

    Hope this helps.

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  • 1 decade ago

    there are many different answers for this. mine is not the canonical answer.

    for starting out:

    1. 1/2 Turpentine 1/2 linseed oil mix for thingןng your colors.

    the texture should be like a very reach cream {you can use all sort of textures but this enables more control}

    2. any brush will do the trick.

    {a side note : when you have been painting for a while treat your self to some nice "natural hair" brushes - you can really do some nice work with then}

    3. mix then anywhere you like - put the basic colors on the palate (any flat hard surface will do} and mix then with a painting knigth {not the brushes - keep them clean}

    4. while painting clean brushes with a Turpentine and a rag. dip the brush in turpentine the clean with the rug - repeat until the brush does not leave a trial of color {when your done paintings it's better to also clean then with some dishes cleaning soup}


    1. when mixing colors you always need more brighter colors then darker - the darker colors are stronger.

    2. when applying a new colors - clean your brushes well - or they will get dirty form older colors as a result you work will become more gray.

    3.1 keep the surface where you mix the colors clean - same reason.

    4. if you regreat some color you have used, you can remove it with the painting kighth or if you have a good touch with a rag socked with turpentine.

    5. you don't always have to wait for a layer to get dry to continue to work - just put on a think layer of paint - or put ovens next to the painting to help it dry.

    6. if you plan to do this for a while use elastic gloves to protect your hands , if you working in a closed and small place you have to find a way to not breath the turpentine -{it's a very bad way to get high}.

    7. be playfull - the rules are just rules.

    good luck !

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    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I agree with some of the advise offered so far. But if you really want to learn about painting with oils and everything you will need, you can do what i did. I am a self taught traditional oil painter and when i first started, i went to my local library and checked out books that had everything and anything to do with painting in oils. The only thing i can tell you about drying time is that it will depend on how thick or thin you apply your paint. This is something you will get a better idea of as you go. You hear alot about how toxic working with oil can be, but if you follow the safety instructions and keep your area clean and organized it is a safe and exciting medium to use. My work can be checked out at under artist name GUERRO1.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Obviously oil paints can't be thinned with water like acrylic paints and will need a thinning medium especially designed for oil paints. Artist linseed oil and turpentine can also be used as a thinning medium.

    Oil paints also take a longer time to dry than other paints and will often need to be applied in sessions building up to the finished product.

    Due to their thickness, certain brushes need to be used with oil paints, generally a hard-wearing bristle such as hog hair.

    Turpentine and paper towels will clean your brushes or you can by specially designed brush cleaners.

    An artists palette is always to the best to use to mix your colours on. Make sure you wipe off excess with turps or it will dry and stain your palette

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  • 1 decade ago

    tried turpentine and if you are serious about panting get different brushes for oils,a wooden palette is better for oils ,depends on the temperature of the room and the thickness of your painting it will take you a couple of months,if I am in a hurry and need to transport my paint to other places went I am done I get some clear spray paint and dose the painting w/ it it dries quicker.

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  • cheers
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Try "Artisan Water soluble Oils By Windsor and Newton. Just dilute them with water and clean brushes with water and most of all. Very little Smell

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