What do you need to start oil painting?

I'm a complete beginner. Can you please give me a clear, detailed list on what you need to start oil painting? Also, can you please explain what each item is used for and please give some detailed explanations on mediums and their uses. I've tried to find some good articles, videos, or websites that explain what you need to start out with oil painting, but I can't seem to find one that gives simple, clear, and detailed explanations.

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  • 6 years ago
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    Oil paints are primarily used on canvas but so are acrylics. Canvas comes pre-stretched using wooden stretchers that act sort of like a frame but in actuality the canvas is stretched around the outside usually stapled or the old fashioned way is using small nails but not just any nail. The canvas should have no wrinkles when you buy it and it should be taught. Canvas must be primed before you add paint to the surface. Canvas can be purchased primed but you can do it yourself with Gesso. That's a product you should learn to use. In even strokes up and down, left to right or right to left brush on the Gesso. Use a two inch wide inexpensive brush for this process (for an approx. 18" X 24" canvas) or larger brush for a larger canvas. Gesso is a water based product, white in color and somewhat thick. It can be thinned with water but is usually the right consistency when purchased new (in the future if there is left over and it got too thick you may need to thin it.) You need several quarts for a large canvas. After the first layer of Gesso dries, turn the canvas, one turn 45 degrees and repeat the process covering the canvas and striping it opposite what you did the first time. What you are doing is trying to fill in all the pinholes of the fabric. Most types of canvas sold today for painting is cotton and second to that linen. It used to be hemp and still can be when you learn at a later date out to stretch the canvas yourself. In any event, when it's all dry hold the canvas up to the light, natural or a lamp and see if you can see through it any pinholes not covered by the Gesso. If you do, give the canvas another coat and this time apply it on the diagonals. I doubt a fourth coat is necessary but if it is, paint the opposite diagonal way.

    Purchase tubes of oil paints in the primary colors and buy a larger white, titanium and/or zinc white. It is best to buy a beginner set which really does have a good variety of colors. Buy a charcoal pencil or a piece of charcoal, pint of turpentine, a small metal holder for the turpentine which is to clean the brushes of paint as you change color (or use empty food cans), canvas paper pad palette or wooden palette, long handled bristol brushes of several sizes, flat and round. They do sell other brushes that are not Bristol but that is not traditional and won't last as long. Your assortment of brushes from 1" wide down to some fine brushes for detail should always be cleaned well at the end using turpentine and then a bar of soap dedicated to brush cleaning. Have cotton rags on hand for the cleaning process and discard in a covered metal can since this is all flammable. Use a purchased palette knife for mixing color. Squeeze a dab of each color around the outside of the palette leaving space between each color so they don't mix with each other. Begin the painting either by sketching out something on the canvas with the charcoal, or using sepia colored paint diluted with a little turpentine or brave it and just start painting. Some people paint with a palette knife or painting knives are also available. With oils colors can be mixed either on the canvas or on the palette. To prevent getting muddy colors it is best to mix the color you want using some of one color with another color or straight from the tube color on the palette not always on the painting. So, I usually start mixing up many colors on the palette first. Oil paints take time to dry but when they do you can paint a light color over a dark color which is a process you cannot do using watercolors. In this respect it is much easier. Blending colors happens with the brush, your fingers, paper, etc. The sky is the limit. Some people who do geometric paintings tape areas for perfectly straight and controlled painting. You have to use quite a bit of paint ona brush and it takes some strength to brush it on the pebbled surface of canvas. If you dilute the paint with turpentine you will get a thin painted surface as a result and that is not what is intended for oils. The idea of using oils is a sense of longevity. It is actually possible for the canvas to deteriorate over hundreds of years but the painting will have held together from the paint pigment itself. Oils are creamy in nature. They also will not freeze up or dry like acrylics. So, there is no loss of leftover paint on the palette. Just cover it with a piece of plastic wrap or leave it for the next time you intend to paint assuming it's not years later. Squeeze tubes of paint from the bottom and make sure you close the tubes carefully without paint around the top causing problems later to open these tubes. Experiment at first on canvas paper pads if you don't feel comfortable with an actual canvas. Later on in your training you can buy stretcher pliers and canvas by the yard and learn how to stretch it yourself. You buy the wooden stretcher bars the size you want and they might give you a quick lesson at the art store or post the question on Answers or look it up as a research assignment. If the canvas is not taught and loses the ability to bounce a quarter off of it which is a good test to see if a canvas is taught, take a sponge with water (but not soaking wet) and sponge the back of the canvas. This will shrink the fabric slightly. This can be done at the beginning before you paint if necessary but usually is required later. The rest is just a process of learning your own individual technique and brushstrokes. Good luck!

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  • 6 years ago

    10 THINGS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED WITH OIL PAINTING (Short Version):

    1. PAINTS:

    Red (Alizarin Crimson)

    Yellow (Cadmium Yellow Medium or similar)

    Blue (Ultramarine)

    White (Titanium White)

    Burnt Umber (optional)

    Burnt Sienna (optional)

    Ivory Black (optional)

    2. BRUSHES:

    Nos. 2 and 4 Brights (Short flat bristle brushes)

    No. 12 Flat Bristle Brushes

    No. 12 Pointed Round Sable or Synthetic Sable Brush (for lines and details)

    3. MEDIUM:

    Linseed Oil. (You do not need a separate "drying agent." However, Liquin, Liquin Fine Detail, Galkyd, Galkyd Lite are mediums containing alkyd drying agents. I prefer Liquin Fine Detail.)

    4. SOLVENT:

    OMS (Odorless Mineral Spirits).

    5. PALETTE:

    A disposable paper palette pad

    6. SUPPORT:

    Stretched gessoed canvas

    7. EASEL:

    Anything with which you can prop up your support (canvas) so that it is at comfortable angle and height.

    8. CLEANUP:

    Paper towels (e.g., Viva, old cotton tee shirt)

    9. VENTILATION:

    The odorless fumes of OMS can make one ill. Make sure the room in which you work is well ventilated with fresh air!

    10. IMAGINATION:

    Take an oil painting class.

    Visit your local library for beginning oil painting books.

    Artist and Designer, U.S.

    I don't where you are at in your education, but if you can take a weekly oil painting class it will alleviate any potential frustration and you will learn much more quickly.

    For the long list and much more detailed version of the above 10 point short list containing additional resources, see my answer here:

    it's good answers

    thanks so lot

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  • 3 years ago

    Start Oil Painting

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  • 4 years ago

    You have already recieved some good advice. Every artist has their own way of doing things. As for being a beginner, you just have to play with it. As many have said, oil takes a long time to dry. I left a pallet full of fresh, unmixed oil paint on Thursday, and when I returned today, Wednesday, it was all still very workable. !!!However, my painting was dry as a bone. Of course I only blocked in my shapes and still need to go into it and bring in the finishing details. One of my favorite mediums after Turp, is Japan drier. You can buy it reletivity cheap at a good home improvement store like Home Depot. Liquin is another good quality medium to speed up your drying time, and will give your painting a rich look. Working with oils is often a process of much layering and many glazes. Everyone usually developes their own style. After much practice. That's what art is all about. Practice practice and more practice. Before I begin an important painting in oil, I usually get into shape by painting a master study. What ever you do, don't fret, and don't let yourself get too discouraged, each painting you do you will become better and better. The best of luck with it, and to you. L.White

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  • 6 years ago

    10 THINGS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED WITH OIL PAINTING (Short Version):

    1. PAINTS:

    Red (Alizarin Crimson)

    Yellow (Cadmium Yellow Medium or similar)

    Blue (Ultramarine)

    White (Titanium White)

    Burnt Umber (optional)

    Burnt Sienna (optional)

    Ivory Black (optional)

    2. BRUSHES:

    Nos. 2 and 4 Brights (Short flat bristle brushes)

    No. 12 Flat Bristle Brushes

    No. 12 Pointed Round Sable or Synthetic Sable Brush (for lines and details)

    3. MEDIUM:

    Linseed Oil. (You do not need a separate "drying agent." However, Liquin, Liquin Fine Detail, Galkyd, Galkyd Lite are mediums containing alkyd drying agents. I prefer Liquin Fine Detail.)

    4. SOLVENT:

    OMS (Odorless Mineral Spirits).

    5. PALETTE:

    A disposable paper palette pad

    6. SUPPORT:

    Stretched gessoed canvas

    7. EASEL:

    Anything with which you can prop up your support (canvas) so that it is at comfortable angle and height.

    8. CLEANUP:

    Paper towels (e.g., Viva, old cotton tee shirt)

    9. VENTILATION:

    The odorless fumes of OMS can make one ill. Make sure the room in which you work is well ventilated with fresh air!

    10. IMAGINATION:

    Take an oil painting class.

    Visit your local library for beginning oil painting books.

    Artist and Designer, U.S.

    I don't where you are at in your education, but if you can take a weekly oil painting class it will alleviate any potential frustration and you will learn much more quickly.

    For the long list and much more detailed version of the above 10 point short list containing additional resources, see my answer here:

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AlN6Y...

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil. Commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, and safflower oil. Different oils confer various properties to the oil paint, such as less yellowing or different drying times. Certain differences are also visible in the sheen of the paints depending on the oil. An artist might use several different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired. The paints themselves also develop a particular consistency depending on the medium.

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  • Any one can have a go at oil painting, in fact it is one of the more forgiving art forms.

    You will needs

    1. Somewhere to create a mess (art studio, outdoors or classroom)

    2. Supplies of oil paints, canvas on stretched canvas, brushes, rags, knives, pigment sticks

    3. Products to seal the painting such as varnish

    4. Cleaning materials such as turps to clean the brushes and any spilt paint

    5. It is a lot more fun starting out with a partner so try getting a friend to join in.

    I have made a full list of the products I use to paint here: http://www.sarapaxtonartworks.com/art-resources/

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  • 6 years ago

    A&D, USA has given you one list but if you see the #10 on the list it says take lessons. If you sign up for beginners lessons the teacher will tell you in advance exactly what to get.

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  • 6 years ago

    You didn't think to go to the library? I know there are many good books there on the subject.

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