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color variation with oil paints?

How do you achieve color variation with oil paints? I have been using acrylics for a long time and recently thought I'd try it out...all the colors want to seem to blend together. I'm so frustrated.

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  • M T
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I suspect the difference you are experiencing is due primarily to the speed in drying of the acrylic you have become used to. This prevents some blending whereas oil remains open (remains wet) for much longer while laying the paint down on the canvas.

    When you work with oil paint you do not want to overwork the stroke. Instead you lay your strokes down and leave them alone. The tendency is to continue to manipulate them like swishing butter on toast. That sort of thing is what painting looks like to a non-painter when it is not what is really going on.

    In truth, each brushstroke is preplanned and executed carefully. If it is not perfect the first time adjust it slightly. The stroke should not be overly reworked. You just want to soften one edge of the stroke or trim and adjust the shape a little.

    Try to avoid the tendency to make more than two strokes every time the brush is loaded and touched to the canvas. After the first and sometime as many as the second stroke go back and reload the brush with fresh paint. Treat each stroke as something fresh and unique and not a continuation of one initial stroke several shmooshes ago.

    Following this idea your colors will remain pure as you will not continue to mix them into one another on the canvas.

    It is actually one of oil paint's strengths to work with its open time and translucency. You just have to experiment with it long enough to understand its characteristics.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Try glazing, the layering of color helps define the colors.

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