Converting Your Pictures Into Oil Paintings

Oil paint is referred to as one of the world’s great classic media. It has been popular through the centuries and proven with its steadfast color and general durability.

There are several reasons behind artists’ love for oils, the most common being versatility. They can be totally opaque or transparent in varying levels with the application of solvents. Drying time is also long enough for the artist to be able to make corrections without making unintended changes.

One question many people have about oil paints is, what are they are made of? Oil paints are suspensions of pigments that stick together through a binder, such as linseed oil. They can also contain dryers or stabilizers or any other ingredients, depending on the manufacturing company.

When it comes to support, linen, boards, heavy papers and canvas all make good options. The support should of course be able to carry its own weight, including the weight of the paint. The support also needs to be prepared correctly for the paint to adhere. The oil paint should be separated from its support through a tooth and absorbency combination that depends on the individual artist.

There are different methods used by oil painters through the years, and the following are the most popular:

Direct Painting

Direct painting involves a single layer application of paint. This could be done in one sitting, requiring no waiting time for another layer to be applied.

Indirect Painting

This is a more complicated and traditional approach, in which the painter applies more than one layer of paint, adjusting transparencies until the intended result is produced. Indirect painting can create tones and colors in high levels of luminosity.

Fat Over Lean

This one is a very old and basic painting rule – fat paint refers to paint with more oil, while lean paint contains less paint. By adding more medium, artists usually make each added layer fatter than the layers before it. Paint with more oil is more flexible.

Impasto Painting

The impasto technique adds physical dimensionality to a painting by using thicker paints. This must be performed with caution though since thick layers of paint can crack while drying. Expert painters integrate smaller areas of this technique for better results.

How to Protect Your Oil Painting

A coat of protective varnish can be all it takes to prolong the life of a finished painting. However, it may take a minimum of 6 months to dry a paint thoroughly before this finishing layer can be safely added. Of course, at the end of the day, it is still the artist’s expertise and the quality of materials used, that dictate the longevity of a painting. A good artist isn’t only concerned about doing art, but also about immortalizing his works.

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