Essential Steps To Oil Painting

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Oil paint’s flexibility has earned its reputation since old times as giving access to an artist to re-create the artwork over and over again until they reached the final appearance that suits an artist perspective. Known for its slow drying phase than any other mediums, this has been an advantage for oil paints and a reason why it was loved worldwide by artist and been a must-try medium for all painters. With these essential steps to oil painting, you will love oil paints than the first time you laid your eyes on a painting before and will want to try them as soon as possible.

Since it has these characteristics since long before, are there any hacks or tricks to control the drying time of oil paint and make them faster without compromising their properties and texture?

Essential Steps To Oil Painting

Essential Steps To Oil Painting
Abstract Oil Painting – Essential Steps To Oil Painting

How To Control Oil Paint Drying Time?

It has been an issue for oil paints since ancient time on how to control their drying phase and artist of this medium have been experimenting with different mediums to combine with oil paints to dominate their properties. Though there is a list of essential steps to oil painting, there is a reason why they take more time than other mediums, these may depend on the quality of the paint for example.

There are different kinds of paints, so as different brands from a manufacturer who produces materials of many kinds. ┬áThat also affects the drying phase of oil painting, take for example that this certain brands color dries faster than the other one, which if you’ll look carefully, they almost have the same pigment. You can buy the different quality of oil paints, ranging from ‘artist’ quality to ‘student’ quality types.

The area where you usually execute the idea to your painting surface also determines the drying time of oil paintings, which the temperature plays an important role to the phase to let the oil paints reach their curing time, so as the ventilation and the light that surrounds the art piece itself. That is why it is necessary to have a well-ventilated working area for oil paints, plus making sure that the artist has plenty of fresh air to not get suffocated from the fumes released by the turpentine or thinner used in painting with oil paints.

Domination Of Colors and Curing Time

Essential Steps To Oil Painting
Oil Paintbrushes and palette knives – Essential Steps To Oil Painting

With this essential steps to oil painting, you will know that pigments take the responsibility of how long an oil painting usually reached it curing time as there are some colors that dry faster while some pigments need more time than others, besides from which brand or the quality of used oil paints. There are few colors to remember that dries easily and some colors that need extra time to dry. For colors that dry faster, you can use a little darker shades such as raw and burnt sienna, and brown to earthy colors, cobalt blue or any similar tones and burnt umber, take in mind that those darker shades usually dries faster than colorful ones, such as these colors that take time to dry are those any pigments that are family with cadmium colors -orange, red and yellow-, most red colors take time to dry as well, and those blacks and sap green too.

Variation Of Oils

Since oil painting is known for its versatility, there had been a variety of oils you can actually use and add to your oil paints to control their drying time without compromising their liquidity. On top of the list that most artist used for their medium, linseed oil tops the favorite as known to fasten the drying time of most oil paints, together with alkyds. Knowing more about oil paints will save you time and with these essential steps to oil painting, additional knowledge to the different medium used to oil paints is a good way to start creating your own paintings too.

Though other painters want to still keep this property of oil paints to control their artworks, there is oil medium that just keeps the drying phase in moderation until the artist decides to finish their masterpiece. One of this medium is the Safflower oil, known to moderately control the drying time of oil paints.

Oil painting is also about controlling the drying time of oil paints, that is why they have the crowd favorite for almost all painters in the world because of these characteristics. Using a poppy seed oil an actually slower the already slow time frame of oil paints. This is widely used if the painter sometimes creates a larger painting and the surface is extremely huge too. No matter what medium you add to your oil paints, you always go to where you feel comfortable and suits your artistic style.

Now that you’ve gained additional knowledge of how to slow down the drying time of oil paints, you might be thinking on how to speed them up now, those are the common rules and people always strive to break boundaries in creating art. So how do we speed up the drying time then?

Double Time For Oil Paints

Surfaces which is designed with oil paints usually take more time to get dry, that issue has been long overdue and through various study with oil paints, there are a few solutions to this dilemma.

Essential Steps To Oil Painting
Oil paints in tubes – Essential Steps To Oil Painting

One good solution to fasten oil paints curing time is by adding turpentine or paint thinner, not too much as the oil paint texture might collapse as well. Getting that safer kind of paint thinner will save you from any health issues in the future, there are available odorless paint thinner in the market today that you can choose from.

Another breakthrough for making your oil paints dry faster is alkyd, though not all painters used this, this also helps you to make those oil paintings get ready in no time. You can experiment with this essential steps to oil painting and check which suits you best for this medium that will lessen your drying time up to even overnight, but it always depends on the layer of your painting is how long the pain will dry.

Slow Down Oil Paints

Since oil paints main characteristics are their slow drying time, can they even be slower than usual? The answer to that is yes, they are oil-based and adding more oil to them means slowing their already slow time frame. Included on your list will be poppyseed oil, they will really slow your oil paintings drying time so you can work on them better, how you want it and control all your colors together.

Now that you know how to slow down and fasten the drying time of oil paints and what medium should you add to them, you have a wider knowledge of the different ways to treat oil paints than yesterday, right? With extra knowledge every encounter to oil paints, you can stack up more essential steps to oil paintings that you can share with another artist who also indulges with this medium. You will learn more of these techniques and tips as you practice more your oil painting skills, remember that practice makes you better than yesterday and you can even start painting with a larger painting surface of your choice.

Essential Steps To Oil Painting
Night Resting by Leonid Afremov – Essential Steps To Oil Painting

That comes to another question in mind maybe? Like what if you didn’t finish a painting in one session, especially if you are working with a larger surface? What about those oil paints leftover on your palettes, they won’t get dry easily right? Well, that depends too.

Then this paint tricks will help you with that as well, you can cover them completely with a baking paper, a parchment paper probably if you have in your kitchen. That way they won’t dry easily and you can use them gain on your next day session, though some paint on that palette will at some point dry but not all. At least that can save you some paint mixture, time for mixing ad the best part will save you some penny there too!

Now that you have covered your leftover paints in your palettes and they are securely resting for the next painting session. Don’t forget to take extra care with your paint brushes as well, if you will be using them the next day, this quick clean up will save them from getting ruined too.

Have a quick wipe of your paintbrush to remove those excess paint, no need to run down every tiny particle paints on the bristle if you will be using them with those leftover paints. Then soak them in a mixture of safflower oil or those slow drying medium such as poppyseed then just let them sleep on their paintbrush rack so they can have a great rest too, and when you’re about to use them the next day, a quick run over of wiping will be great before you continue stroking them on your painting surface.

Do you have any oil painting techniques to share? Let us know and let’s try that too.

Have a read of our other wonderful articles about pastel painting and tips for watercolor painting.

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