Interesting Facts about Oil Painting



2020-07-14 05:53:35

Oil paints are one of the most well-known artistic mediums because they are versatile, archival and economical. They were favoured by the all-time greats of painting. It is hard to argue the downside of using oil paints when so many amazing artists used them to such success.

The majority of the world's masterpieces of art have been created with oil paints. Basically, oils are pigments that are bound into a "drying oil" which is an oil that hardens when exposed to air. The most common oil used is linseed oil. Here are a few facts about oil paints. 

The choice of oil for art depends on the artist because every oil has different properties, such as the extent of yellowing or the drying time. The difference in oil is also observable in the sheen of the colors. 

However, artists try different oils for their painting, because the pigments and the effects vary a lot. Moreover, the colors themselves also formulate a particular consistency depending on the medium used, because the oil may be boiled with a resin, for creating glossiness in the large canvas wall art. 

In this article let's see some interesting facts about oil painting

Extraction of colors

Earlier, oil colors were not available so quickly, much processing was required, and the fun fact is to choose the right pigment and grind it. Painting through oil colors was never easy because it needed the exact formulation between oil and the chosen dye.  

For example, the ultramarine blue color is made with the help of ground lapis lazuli, which is costly.  This pigment is very rare, and it was found only in Afghanistan in the older times. After making this color, the only way to store it was in the pig's bladder! Even now, there are various rarest colors which are not only expensive but also unavailable.


Evolution of oil paints

Oil paints have evolved, it was invented in around the 11th century, but there were no metal tubes at that time! Earlier, the oil painting was made by crushing and boiling the pigment with oil, and it was tough to store the colors. 

However, the invention of the metal tube in the 19th century became a boon for the artists. Moreover, in the older times, nobody used canvas for oil painting though the still life oil paintings for sale were made at the start of the nineteenth century with oil paints, which became very popular.

 Fat over lean : As noted earlier, oil paint is basically colored pigment which is held together by some kind of drying oil. The more oil present, the "fatter" the paint is and the slower it will dry. In general, you want to make sure the top layers of paint are fatter (or oiler) than the lower layers. Otherwise, the layers on top will dry faster than the layers below and the paint will crack.

Thick over thin : The reasoning behind this rule is the same as the above rule. You want to make sure the paint at the top dries slower than the paint at the bottom. Thick paint will usually dry slower than thin paint.

Knife for oil paints: Brush didn't give the expected result to the artist, and switching to the knife gave the best results. As oil paints are thick, knives help to lay the color properly on the canvas, but it takes much time to dry up entirely.

Zinc and lead for colors!

 Although the assistance of pigments creates many colors, the only way to make white color pigment was through lead. The best advantage of using white color was that it dried up quickly, but the major disadvantage was that it was very poisonous for the artists. Hence, another alternative for the lead used in older times was zinc. 

Surfaces To Paint On

Oil painting on canvas became the most popular surface to paint on around the 15th/16th century. Prior to that, wooden panels were used. There are two options with canvas:

Streched Canvas Pannel : Canvas stretched over a frame. These are what you will probably be doing most of your oil painting on.

Canvas Boards: A cheap and sturdy alternative to stretched canvas panels. Canvas boards are usually just canvas attached to a sturdy surface like cardboard. I use these for study works and demonstrations.

wooden boards : You can also paint on other surfaces such as wooden boards, but you need to make sure that the surface you paint on has been primed with gesso. The oil painting on canvas looks amazing on large wall art

Varnish Oil Painting

Oil painting can be varnished to protect it from the environment. Over time, dust, debris, wind and other elements can damage an unvarnished painting. Varnish acts as a layer between the paint and the environment. But you need to ensure that the varnish you apply is removable.  You should also make sure you paint in a well-ventilated area.

If you are an art admirer with interest in Original Oil painting, visit our website for more paintings online


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