Anyone know anything about oil paints?

Okay I stupidly bought oil paints without realizing that they are the HARDEST paint to work with. I also didn't realize that you need mineral spirits to clean your brushes. I'm used to working with watercolor where you have to dip your brush in water first and then of course you are able to apply the paint to paper or wherever. Do you have to do that with the oil paints? Like dip it into the mineral spirits or water or something before applying it to canvas? I also read that you need some form of oil, like linseed, but I'm not really sure. I have my sketch drawn out on the canvas and I'm really considering just selling my oil paints and purchasing acrylics.

They have left me in utter confusement and I don't want to mess up my first canvas painting entirely.

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Oil paints are not the hardest to paint with some people it may be..but not for me. Now the thing is..theyre fairly easy, you just need to get the hang of them, and after a while you will. However..they ARE the most expensive, BUT last forever!

    I am 12 and i took a oil painting class and you absolutely have to have either turpentine with you OR paint thinner, it WILL help clean your brushes, for the fact, water is resistant to oils and wont clean it. And turpentine/paint thinner is easier when doing backgrounds. And you do not always have to use paint thinner for everything you basicly turns it to normal paint. But like i is very helpful for it to be thinned when doing a background...and you also want to work your way, furthest back towards upfront

    You do not nessisarly need to dip your brush in water first..i mean you could, but it wont do anything. And no in fact you do not need some kind of "linseed" oil or whatever. you can just paint whatever you want. And the biggest difference with oils, acrylics, and water and acrylics, you cannot paint over, whereas oils, you could do 60 layers, and wouldnt notice you did. But if you mess up, you have to wait for what you messed up on to be fairly dry, and then can just paint over it. So not to worry if you mess up, it IS infact re-doable.

    And to clean your brushes, you want to clean them right when your done with them. You just simply use turpentime/paint thinner to get most of the paint off and then clean them in warm water with soap.

    *If you have any further questions, message me :)*

    Source(s): experience
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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    The pigments used in oil paints are nearly the same as those in watercolors and acrylics. Oil paints come in two grades, student and professional, the primary difference being the concentration of pigment or, in some cases, the method of mixing pigment and binder. Don’t miss Albert’s guide to the chemistry and safety of oil painting for beginners. When prepping the surface with gesso, it is important to use a large brush or paint roller for larger surfaces, such as the ones you can find at the hardware store. Using a larger tool to cover more surface area at once helps achieve a smooth surface to apply the oil paint. I usually find it helpful to paint on two thin layers of gesso, making sure the first layer is dry before applying a second layer, to make sure there is a solid barrier between my canvas and the oil paint. I have a specific brush that I use for gesso and nothing else. Because gesso is an acrylic medium, it does not mix with oil paint, and using the same brush to paint with oil and acrylic mediums will cause cross contamination between the two paints and mess up your brush as well as the paint that has been cross contaminated.

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  • 8 years ago

    If you don't have the training, that is, taken a beginning oil painting class, then by all means, try acrylics. You can always "grow into" oils if, and when, you grow out of acrylics. In one of the ateliers I attend, I saw an artist paint a magnificent pet portrait in acrylics on a piece of paper from an acrylic paper pad in one day. The artist use student grade acrylics! Of course the artist is professional illustrator and has the talent and training. Everything gets washed in water.

    Oil techniques and supplies are far more involved. See my "10 THINGS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED WITH OIL PAINTING" here:;_ylt=AiwbN...

    Stuff you may already know about acrylics:

    1. Acrylics are almost odorless. (I can smell a very faint damp plastic odor with acrylics.)

    2. Brushes clean up with soap and water. Dried paint does not clean up and easily ruins brushes and clothing; don't let paint dry on the brushes and wear an artist's apron to protect your clothing.

    3. They dry very fast.

    4. They are easy to use and only require water as a medium. The learning curve mainly involves how to keep the paint on the palette moist and workable during a painting session.

    5. You can paint acrylics on almost any surface. Bristol board is an inexpensive support (painting surface) for beginning acrylics.

    6. Acrylic colors do not mix or blend well or easily - can be frustrating.

    7. Dark colors may dry a shade lighter and light colors may dry a shade darker.

    8. Acrylics are perfect for the beginner.

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  • BeBe
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    If they're too thick coming out of the tube they need to be thinned. If you want to block in shapes and colors for a first layer Odorless Mineral Spirits are what you use. There are any number of oil you can use, I rarely use additional oil. It depends on the quality of paints that you bought. You can clean your brushes with any number of things.

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  • 8 years ago

    I am sorry you did not get better help before you bought the oil paints. The paints are just different -not better or worse. Maybe other mediums suit your style or experience better. Perhaps you may experiment with them and find you like them. Perhaps you find you are not prepared for them as a medium for you. That is okay. Later you may find them not so intimidating. Just know that each medium has its own advantages and disadvantages. Don't get hung up on these details- rather be open to new discoveries. these mediums present

    Source(s): Grandpa
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