Oil peinture à huile is a traditional medium that has been used for hundreds of years. It consists of an emulsion of drying oil and pigment. It is highly acclaimed for its buttery consistency, vibrant colours and glossy wet-like appearance. It is a very durable paint and can be revisited for long periods of time without fading or discolouring. It is usually completed with a coat of picture varnish that protects the surface from atmospheric attacks, minor abrasion and injurious accumulation of dirt. Varnishing also restores tonal depth and colour intensity to the levels originally created by the artist in wet paint.
Drawing on Canvas: Choosing the Perfect Surface for Your Artistic Vision
The most important consideration for anyone interested in attempting oil painting is understanding how the process works. There are a number of different techniques and processes that can be applied to oil painting. Some of the most common include underpainting, glazing and scumbling.
There are several different oils that can be used to thin the paint. The most popular is linseed oil which is obtained by pressing flax seeds. Other commonly used oils are poppy, safflower and walnut oils. The type of oil used will impact the sheen, colour and drying times of the paint.
Oil painting is typically completed on canvas which has been stretched and prepared with a sizing and primer. It is possible to use a commercially prepared canvas but this is not usually recommended for beginners as it will limit the options that are available when working with oil paints. Alternatively, it is possible to stretch your own canvas but this requires knowledge of stretching and priming methods.