Home » Home and Family » Arts and Crafts

Introduction to Oil Painting Techniques

Nov 20, 2007
Oil paint is an amazing versatile medium. It can be applied in a thick buttery fashion or thinned down to a watery consistency. This versatility opens the door to a number of different painting techniques.

My personal preference is to begin my oil paintings by first sketching out the composition using acrylic paint or with water-soluble oil paints. The popular approach to oil painting is to thin the paint with turpentine to apply your initial layers. Turpentine is quite toxic and I prefer not to work with it. Acrylic or water-soluble oil paints can be thinned down with plain old water and are more pleasant to work with in my opinion.

You can also begin your oil painting by first drawing out your composition. There are a few drawing mediums that work quite nicely with oil paints. My two favorites are vine charcoal and water-soluble pencils. I prefer vine charcoal because it doesn't smudge like other charcoals and it can be erased easier. Water-soluble pencils are wonderful because they can be applied like ordinary pencils and can be spread around like paint with a damp brush.

If you are the impatient type, you may want to try your hand at the Alla Prima oil painting technique. The Alla Prima method is when you complete the painting in one sitting rather than paint in layers and wait for the paint to dry. Although I usually prefer to work out my paintings in layers, I occasionally enjoy this exciting and spontaneous approach to oil painting.

If you are the careful, patient type of painter, you may be interested in working with the glazing technique. Glazing has lost popularity these days, partly because of the time needed to complete such a painting and it's difficulty, but the results are something truly unique to any other type of oil painting technique. The composition is first painted with an opaque monochrome underpainting, usually in shades of gray. After this initial underpainting is thoroughly dry, thin layers of transparent oil glazes are applied. Colors are not mixed directly but added in separate layers to get the desired color.

If you are the adventurous type, put the brushes aside and try a set of painting or palette knives. You can achieve some very interesting results with knives that aren't possible with brushes. The oil paint can be spread on thickly and scraped off with ease. What I enjoy most about using knives is the tendency to not focus on the small details. I am forced to paint in a more relaxed fashion that creates an impressionist style painting. Get yourself a set of painting knives and try to complete an entire painting with just the knives. It's challenging at first if you are used to brushes, but it's an enjoyable exercise.

Perhaps you would like your painting to have more body and texture. You could try the impasto painting technique and apply your paint in thick heavy strokes, leaving evidence of all those wonderfully artistic brush strokes. Take a look at a Van Gogh painting and you will see this technique in action.

It's really no wonder why oil painting is such a popular choice for painters. There is so much to discover in oil painting. You will never get bored trying out all the wonderful tools, mediums and techniques.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 191
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources