5 Useful Oil Painting Tips
1. Invest in expensive paints
Oil paints can be expensive, but it’s definitely worth investing in some expensive ones. Generally speaking, the more expensive they are, the higher the quality. By all means, if you’re doing several under layers, get these done first using a cheaper oil paint; then simply save the most expensive paints for the topmost layer.
2. Don’t use acrylics on top of layers of oil paint
One of the main properties of oil paint is that it’s incredibly slow to dry. In fact, it can be notoriously slow to dry. With this in mind, you shouldn’t use another type of paint, such as acrylic, on top of oils. Acrylics, for example, are very quick to dry. If you apply a layer of acrylic on top of a layer of oil paint, the layer of acrylic will eventually crack or flake due to the oil paint taking a lot longer to dry out.
3. Try using acrylic paint for bottom layers of the painting
Conversely, you could try using acrylic paint for the bottom layers of the painting. The paint will dry very fast and you’ll be able to apply oil paint on top of it without any problems arising. The advantage of this is that you can have the bottom layers done very quickly; they’ll also dry out very quickly so you won’t have to wait too long before you can get started with the rest of the painting.
4. Learn the rules, then experiment
Painting is all about creativity and self-expression, though the act of creating a painting of quality requires a lot of skill, time and expertise. It’s important to learn how to paint and how to do it well; master the basic techniques and get yourself to the stage where you can complete a good painting. Once you’re confident with your skills and abilities, you should then experiment with your creativity. Try new things; take standard techniques and invent your own touches and twists here and there.
5. Avoid cracking by using the fat over lean technique
Fat over lean basically means making each layer of paint thicker than the one before it. The purpose of this is to prevent cracking; the thinner layers will dry more quickly than the thicker layers on top of them. So when it comes to your first few layers, use thinner paint and less oil (as mentioned previously, you could alternatively paint the first few layers with acrylics). As you work your way up to the topmost layer, make the paint thicker and add more oils to it.