5 Tricks for the Beginning Oil Painter

Oil Painting can be quite tricky, especially for beginners. But with the right knowledge and the perfect paint, oil painting can be a breeze. At first, the supplies may seem expensive, but the good news is most of the supplies last for a long time. Under most circumstances, you’ll get years of use out of your tubes of paint and brushes.

Switching between acrylics and oil paint can be a smooth transition, the main difference is how you dilute the pigments.

1. Find the right kind of paint for you. It should have a buttery consistency so that it can spread evenly, have a high number of pigments for brilliant color and if you’re just starting out, go with something that fits your budget. We suggest SoHo Urban Artist Oil Colors, the affordable, soft oil paint with genuine oil colors. It’s easy to spread and gives smooth full strokes with a brush but also works great on a palette knife. It uses pure linseed oil which extends drying time giving you more time to work and gives the painting a nice sheen.

2. You can erase your work. If you feel like you’ve made a mistake or don’t like the way a layer on your oil painting has come out, don’t fret, you can wipe away that layer using alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is a powerful solvent that can easily clean away a layer of oil paint.

3. Don’t dry your oil paint in the dark. This one might seem like a no brainer. How is it supposed to dry if there’s no light? But, did you know that keeping an oil painting in the dark allows a thin layer of oil to rise to the surface from the paints and can “yellow” your painting. Exposing it to sunlight can reverse this.

4. Paint “Fat over Lean”. This simply means that painting thick layers over thinner layers. This method can prevent cracking. When your upper layers of paint dry faster than thinner lower layers, cracking happens as the paint dries. Its best to start out painting in a wash for this reason.

5. Brush Strokes can make the difference. Brush strokes can do more than just put the paint on the canvas or panel. With strong brush strokes, you can emphasize certain areas of your painting or add texture to your work. The right brush strokes can bring a new dimension to your subject and become a real highlight to your work, so don’t take your strokes for granted

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