Oil painting techniques

Hand painted oil painting knowledge of suit for new hand.

Oil painting techniques covers practical matters, but advice is backed by references to books and Internet sources. The underlying principles are not neglected, however, and may help you to understand and learn from the acknowledged masters.

The usual approaches are covered — including direct painting — but space and copyright considerations restrict what can be convincingly demonstrated. The essential need is to try and see for yourself. The coordination of hand and eye, a dexterity with pencil or brush, a knowledge of composition and aesthetic harmony, of how paints mix and their properties may be modified with oils and balsams — none of this can be learned from exposition.

Leisure painting is a fast-growing pursuit, and even the smallest bookshop will have a few manuals on how to get started — choose canvas, paint and brushes, master the elements of perspective and composition, mix and apply paints, finish and frame the work.

Direct painting has its strengths, and can produce works of great vigor and freshness. Unfortunately, it is also a rather hit or miss method, and requires skills — from conception to manual facility — that cannot be acquired without long application, and then not by everyone. The beginner has to start somewhere, and not be too easily discouraged, so that the authors of various 'how to paint' exercises are providing a sterling service. But the starting painter does not realize just how much expertise has been compressed into these deft strokes of the brush, or how difficult it may be to extend them to create other forms of pictorial reality. Many hopefuls give up at this point. Others persevere, but find the demonstrations do not take them where they want to go. Books, classes and individual tuition have then to be sought, which are expensive, and usually boil down to what this site recommends — that the many different aspects of oil painting should be studied separately, which is what the earlier painters understood was necessary.

If you need some simple paintings to learn, please click here.

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