Oil painting for beginners

African tribe (22.05.19) – Bhava Chandran

Oil painting is a process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as a binder. Commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil and safflower oil.

The earliest discovery of oil paintings goes back to the fifth century AD to the Bamian valley of Afghanistan, where Indian and Chinese artists created hundreds of paintings in the caves. Oil paint then eventually became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became widely known.

When learning how to paint, virtually every student starts to get afraid and overwhelmed by the unforgiving nature of painting in oils. Oil painting can be as easy and as difficult as you make it.

What you’ll need :

1. Canvas



4.Oil paints

5.Various sizes of brushes

6.A waste cloth

7.Linseed oil


Before you begin, there are a few things you need to keep in mind….

– Oil painting is always from ‘dark to light’ meaning that it’s easier to start with the darker colours as your base then layer your highlighting colours on top of it.

– Oil painting is ‘meant to be seen from a distance’. Pause painting every now and then and take several steps back. Are the propotions right? Are the colours looking good? The painting still looks good from far away?

– Experiment. Break the rules. I’m a realist painter, but we are living in a modern world where the sky is no longer the limit. Usually experimentalist artists use easier and cheaper mediums like acrylics, but why not oil? Go for it!

The procedure is gonna be same to that of acrylics. We’re going to be painting in layers. If it’s your first oil painting, I’d suggest you to start with landscapes.

Step 1 – Sketch out the composition.

Step 2 – Mix the paint with a little bit of the oil. Brushes don’t get cleaned properly because of the oil so dip it in kerosene and wipe off with a waste cloth when you’re changing colours. Start sketching from the top (because oil paint doesn’t dry off as quick as acrylics. You’ve to be very careful with neatness.)

Step 3 – After you finish the first layer, go to the second and third if required.

Step 4 – Now give the highlights to show light and shadow. Do the finishings where ever required.Oil paints take around 2-5 days to dry. So leave it undisturbed.

Congratulations on your first oil painting! 🎨 ✨

3 thoughts on “Oil painting for beginners”

  1. Buna ziua muncesc an franta cu ci la o ferma de animale am cont bancar vreau sa stiu daca pot obtine un credit de la banca la care am contul Juliet Hermann Gillead

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