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Introduction to Oil Painting

Oil painting is the ideal medium for the novice. It is an excellent way to study, because changes and corrections are easily made.

Unwanted passages of color can be scraped off the canvas any number of times without injury to the surface.

One color can be painted over another, drawing and proportions can be corrected, and all the nuances of light and shadow can be studied experimentally.

The painting can be put aside at any time, to be picked up and continued at a later date.

Some beginners choose oil without considering other media because of a reverence for the "genuine oil painting."

When they take up painting as a hobby they want to produce "pictures that show the actual brush strokes."

Many other amateurs, who would like to work in several media but feel that their time is too limited, select oil after checking with teachers or schools or experimenting on their own.

Even a person who is more interested in another medium may find, as I have, that by using oils he can more easily study color subtleties and can acquire basic knowledge that will later be applied to the medium he prefers.

The old adage, "One medium helps another," is especially true if the first one is oil.

As you progress you will soon discover that there is more to oil painting than the surface quality of the brush work.

The type of surface you work on, the preliminary staining of the surface, and the underpainting all affect the finished result.

However, in your initial efforts you will want to work in a direct manner, particularly when painting outdoors.

Later you can experiment in the studio with various types of underpainting.

Articles about Oil Painting:

Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez


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