An Introduction To Oil Painting

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An Introduction To Oil Painting
Oil painting is, as the name would suggest, the process of painting using oil. In fact this is slightly more complicated and you are in reality painting uses ‘pigments’ (colours_ that are bound together by drying oil (the exact nature of the oil may vary, in Europe during the Renaissance period ‘linseed’ oil was very popular). Here the oil would be boiled using a resin such as a pine or frankincense which were the varnishes and could also add body and gloss. As well as linseed oil, other oils used include poppyseed oil, safflower oil and walnut oil. All of these oils have slightly different characteristics and can cause the oil to dry at different speeds or to appear more yellow. These different characteristics are such that painters will sometimes use multiple oils in a single painting using their unique combinations to create interesting variations in a single image.

The earliest uses of oil painting date back to Western Afghanistan around the fifth century. However it did not gain widespread popularity until the 15h century. During this time it also found popularity in the West, particularly in Europe. In Europe this method was first used in the Middle Ages when tempera was the most popular substance for painting. However its many advantages meant that it soon gained more traction and during the Renaissance era it had found itself at the top spot as the paint of choice for most artists resulting in many landscape oil paintings and portraits.

Throughout history from this point onwards some of the most fascinating, popular and talked about paintings have used oil paints. These include perhaps the most famous painting in the world the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, whose mysterious smile has perplexed many art appreciators. Others of note are the Water Lillies by Claude Monet (and much of his other work), the famous Napoleon Crossing Through the St. Bernard Pass by Jacques-Louis David and Salvador Dali’s work such as the recognisable ‘Persistence of Memory’ which features melting clocks on a dreamlike landscape. There are also many other landscape oil paintings and others that all offer something different and there are many examples of contemporary oil painting too. All these oil paintings are leant an expressiveness and a versatility by the tools the artists used and many artists today still use them.

There are many techniques involved in oil painting that will effect the eventual end result of your painting. Normally oil paintings will begin with the artists drawing their image onto a canvas using a charcoal or a thinner paint. Today hobbyists might choose just to use light pencil. The oil will then be applied over the top of this using brush strokes, and normally there will be multiple layers of this paint with the heavier amounts of oil added on top of thinner coats to allow better drying. As mentioned, in some cases the artist will use multiple types of oil in their painting and these can effect the look of the paint across various characteristics such as colour and texture. Further, brushes won’t always be the tool used for applying the paint to the page, and in some cases an artist might choose to use palette knives, rags or other materials, all of which will affect the final look of those patches. There are many places where you can by affordable art to have a piece of this amazing craftsmanship.

Landscape oil paintings can make a beautiful addition to your home. Follow the links for contemporary oil painting.

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