Hi guys, just letting you into some background about myself –
I mostly use Oil paints – why? I’ve just never been a fan on acrylic due to it’s fast drying time and durability. With Oil paints I find them much more forgiving and easier to blend. I’ve been painting since I was 12 and had an amazing art teacher who I saw once a week for just over 10 years. He felt it was important for us to find our own style and taught us how to do little things that has ultimately made me the ‘artist’ I am today. I am a strong believer in the idea that everyone and anyone can produce fantastic paintings because at the end of the day, there is no law in right and wrong when it comes to painting.
In all honesty, I don’t have a stack of fancy paintbrushes locked away as I’ve found that they all pretty much last the same amount of time when using oil paints. I’m using standard Winsor & Newton and Daler Rowney brushes including some really cheap ones from a hobby store which are great! (although they don’t last they’re cheap and easily replaceable).
All my brushes range in size, I do tend to work with 4/0 – 4 brushes for detail and 6 – 10 for standard. Personally I prefer flat-edged brushes as they are easier to work with and use any rounded brushes I have for blending.
(I am even using a couple of Games Workshop brushes which are working a treat – synthetic hair brushes tend to split easily but work great with oil paints also!!)
Although I am not the brush connoisseur, I am definitely more inclined to purchase high-quality/graded oil paints as I feel like they do make a big difference in quality and end result. (for example more cheaper brands/grades are more opaque and requires more build-up of paint like whites, yellows, reds, oranges, e.t.c.)
I use a mixture of Winsor & Newton and Daler-Rowney oil paints that are from the artists range. I highly recommend the series collection from Winsor & Newton as the colours have high content of pigment and are easily blendable.
When purchasing a new tube of oil paint keep in mind the oil excess that will come out. Get a tea towel/kitchen roll and squeeze roughly 1.0 of paint (should mostly be oil) to rid of any excess.
I try to avoid using black in all my paintings as it doesn’t give any depth (and if you really think about it – nothing is genuinely pitch black). To compensate I use a series of dark blues (Prussian Blue, Indigo and Ultramarine) but that is just preference. If needed I do use black but as you can see it is hardly ever (Have had this tube for years!)
Again with canvases you want to make sure you are buying ones that are good quality. (Don’t always be fooled into big brands)
If you are buying unbranded canvases always do a visual check, you’ll be surprised what you can find. From personal experiences I know that the Range offer some good quality canvases for half the price (I believe the brand is called Reeves). You want to look out for the quality of the frame, cotton/linen and primer. If you see that the frame is weak, primer is uneven and lumpy or the cotton/linen is easily manipulated, then I wouldn’t recommend it.
(FYI – Winsor & Newton do a great article on ‘Understanding the difference between canvas and linen’ for those of you unsure and want a greater insight)
You will need some extra basic equipment to start:
Pallet: I’ve pretty much used every pallet available, like the traditional wooden pallet, plastic ones, disposable ones and even a kitchen tile! Currently I am using disposable sheet pallet that you can grab from any art store. I find them easy to use as you can throw away the sheet once you’ve finished. If you’d prefer not using disposable sheets then I’d go for the kitchen tile 100%.
Liquin (original): Highly, highly recommend. A great product that is so versatile. Liquin can be used to thin down oil paint – this is good for painting detail or helps with straight lines. It can also be used to help dry the oil paints quicker. I use this every time I am painting and don’t think I could live without!
White Spirit: OIL PAINTS DON’T MIX WITH WATER!!!!! The only way you can properly cleanse your brushes is with white spirit. You can buy this at any DIY store. I know some brands also do white spirit but I personally don’t feel like there would be a difference so I just use any one I can get my hands on. Please also remember that white spirit has to be appropriately disposed. Check online or with your council on the requirements.
Easel: This is down to personal preference. I have only started using an easel the past 3-4 years, however I used to prefer painting with it laying flat or at an angle. I wouldn’t recommend a way to anyone though, as it is down to what you feel is comfortable and what you prefer.
- If you loose the lid of the tube of oil paint don’t be alarmed! they can last years without a lid. (Just keep them away from pets and children)
- If you need to paint a straight line then masking tape is a great tool. Apply it over dry paint and use it as a ruler on where you need to paint. If you peel away the masking tape whilst it’s still wet do it slowly!
- Be experimental – need to paint extremely thin lines? – then use what is around you (Side of a ruler, masking tape, string, e.t.c.) sometimes paint brushes just don’t cut it!
- If you’re not a confident drawer I recommend sectioning the image you are using into squares as well as the canvas so that it is easier to draw.
Any questions feel free to ask!