10 Easy Tips for Oil Painting for a Beginner

1.  Don't use pencil or charcoal when oil painting because it will muddy your color.  Use a neutral color to sketch like a burnt umber or a raw sienna.

2.  Right before you are ready to paint. Dip a little piece of paper towel in solvent and then dip it in a little Burnt Umber and spread it very very thinly across the surface. It should look like a cloudy neutral surface called a wash. It's a lot easier to determine value and doesn't have to be completely dry.

3.  Paint dark to light. White portions are painted  last. Always! It prevents muddying the colors.  Start with the shadows and move to the light. This one sounds easy but it's challenging because your eye is naturally attracted to the white. It also is easier to lighten a color than darken.

4.  Hold your paint brush at the mid to long part of the handle, and not like a pencil. It's easier to control your brush stroke. It does practice and once you get the hang of it, you will see the difference in your brush stroke.

5.  Clean your brushes! If you want to keep your paint brushes in good shape, its best to clean them once your are done using them for the day.  Take the time to really clean your brushes because they can really last, even the cheap ones. I blogged about how to clean your brush here.

6.  Do not use Ivory Black for your black. Use a Blue or Green mixed with Burnt Umber.  I think you can create a richer color and ivory black takes forever to dry.

7. Paint your surface either cadmium red or cadmium yellow. Then let it dry before you start painting. This is a really great technique because you get bits of red or yellow in the underpainting seeping through and creates depth.

8.  Dilute the color. Less is more and it's really difficult once you place a ton of paint on your brush and surface to go backwards.

9.  To learn a ton about color, blending and mixing. A really fun exercise to do a painting in complimentary colors. Red/Green, Blue/Orange, Yellow/Violet. You will learn different gray scales and how each color effects one another. I blogged about the color wheel here.

10. Try just painting with Burnt Umber and Titanium White. It's a great way to each value and learn how to control the flow of paint.

Yay! now get to painting.

The art (the best part) is part of my making art everyday project and this is day 163. To read more about this awesome project click here.

1 comment

Ta said...

I'm so excited to have stumbled on your project. I used to follow your blog religiously, but life got super busy and I've been off blogs for a long while. I can't wait to see what you have going on next.