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  • Writer's pictureAkangsha Chakrabarty

5 Reasons to Start Oil Painting



For nearly 5 years, I've worked with oil paintings, and it's by far my favorite medium to work with. Before you assume I'm biased, consider the following- I've been an artist for as long as I can remember and I've experimented with a variety of mediums but only to return to oils!


It's a common misconception that oil painting is difficult and that has deterred many artists from pursuing it. However, if you know the right oil painting techniques, this medium can easily be mastered. If you're just starting, you need to be patient and embrace the process to get the hang of this beautiful medium. Here's a list of 5 reasons why you should start oil painting:


1) Do you love color?


Oil painting might be the medium for you if you love bold and vibrant colors and that's primarily because oil paints are known to have more pigment in them in comparison to other types of paints. This is what gives oil paintings more depth and complexity and the finished product inevitably looks lush and distinctive.


2) Slower drying time equals increased flexibility


Unlike acrylic paints, oil paints give more room for error and if you're someone who likes to take their time while painting and strive for perfection, oil paints surely have a distinct advantage. Artists can continue to work on the painting for much longer and this, in turn, provides greater opportunity for blending and layering although it does depend on where you stay, the mediums you're working with and the number of layers you're adding to the painting.



3) It's the medium of the masters!


Were you someone who grew up marveling at old paintings of famous artists? If yes, chances are oil painting is for you. Most of the paintings that fill up the walls of museums are created in none other than oil paints. Throughout history, famous artists like Van Gogh, Picasso have relied on oil paints as their preferred medium to paint with, and rightly so; oil paints have stood the test of time with great durability and steadfast color. Dust, light, and water can't put any kind of blemish on paintings that are complete.



4) The power of layering and blending


The number of techniques one can implement with oils is innumerable. From layering thick opaque textures using knife work to creating excellent blends, each brushstroke looks seamless with the least amount of effort. Since oil paintings take longer to dry, oil painters can layer the paint and that allows textures to be built over time. This can be achieved by applying more paint during various states of drying within the piece. As a result, each painting has a unique texture of its own.


5) Consistency


When dried, oil paints do not change their color, texture or finish and remain saturated and deep. This makes it easier for artists to predict what the finished creation will look like in comparison to other paints (such as watercolors) that can change their appearance after drying.


 

In conclusion, when it comes to art, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. As an artist, you should experiment with different mediums until you can narrow down on something you like. However, I hope I was able to inspire some of you to give oil painting a shot. Once you start to work with the thick, buttery, glossy paints you might not want to go back!



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