Top Oil Painting Tips

Top Oil Painting Tips, Johannes Vloothuis, a skilled painter and popular art workshop instructor, has taught hundreds of students how to paint with oil (among other mediums). We asked him for his top 10 oil painting recommendations for new painters, which he generously shares with us here. We believe these important painting techniques included in every artist’s toolkit. Take advantage of Johannes’ art advice and tips. Johannes will put you on the fast track to enjoyable and rewarding painting sessions!

Top Oil Painting Tips, Enabling Over-Laying with Underpainting or Fast-Drying White

One thing that has deterred some oil painters from utilizing this medium is that when you apply a coat of paint on top of it, it might be difficult to remove.

It’s difficult to add snow to a blocked-in mountain the first layer is still wet. It’s frustrating to have to abandon a painting and resume it days later when an artist is all revved up and his adrenaline is pumping. My oil painting advice for this circumstance focus around the new white paint alternatives available over the traditional titanium white that alleviate this problem and make oil painting much more cooperative. Winsor & Newton is the brand I use.  Because this paint is thicker than regular whites, dilute it with mediums like Liquin, walnut, or linseed oil.

Top Oil Painting Tips, The Mysterious Thin Line in Oil Painting

The fatty vegetable oils’ tendency to not dilute well. Most oil artists have struggled to make thin lines with oil paint. Especially when the paint is still wet (water-soluble mediums are more cooperative in this regard). Even signing a work with a little signature is difficult. Waiting for the paint to dry before drawing thin lines is one approach to achieve them. Here are a few ideas:

A business card can be used to tap into the painting

You may apply acrylics on top of dry oils if the lines are very thin, believe it or not.

Stick oil pastels is another new technique. Normally, these don’t dry, but if you coat them with a small coating of Liquin first, they will. This will make adding the thin tree twigs, barbed wire, and telephone wire much easier.

Adding Color to Your Canvas

If you look closely at a painting in a top gallery, you may notice small specks of shattered paint that reveal a warm burnt sienna underpainting. The following are some of the benefits:

  • The white background will make judging values more difficult.
  • Sunglasses will distort your colors, so avoid wearing them.
  • A spontaneous, rapid approach makes it nearly impossible to completely cover every region of a painting. As a result, if you work on a white canvas, these tiny specs will show.
  • Because paint isn’t completely opaque, the warm glow of a toned canvas can impact the overall mood. You can use a cold color in the background to keep the picture from becoming overly warm, such as in fall scenes.
  • When showing vegetation, the orange specks that show through will appear as a bundle of dry leaves, breaking up the monotony of monochrome greens.
  • You can notice an orange underpainting in this underpainting step below, and then the local hue.

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