Tips & Tricks for Oil Painting Beginners

Thursday, October 29, 2020 – by Moshe Ben-Herut

Are you interested in
learning how to oil paint and create fantastic oil paintings? Drawing and
painting are the freedom to express your deepest feelings of desire, dreams,
fantasies, and fears. At the same time, painting improves concentration,
develops critical thinking skills, enhances fine motor skills, builds up
confidence, promotes a positive attitude in life, enhances creative growth, and
nurtures emotional growth. Painting should be more of a pleasure.


What if someone wants to paint but doesn’t know how to begin? 

Oil Paints are the
most popular artistic medium as they are very versatile, economical and can be
archival too. First things first. You could definitely use some general
knowledge about oil painting.


  1. Oil paint is a paint
    made of colored pigment and a drying oil (mostly linseed oil)
  2. Oil paintings are used
    straight from the tube and made more fluid by mixing it with some solvent.
  3. Use an oil painting
    color palette, which is of artistic quality and not student quality.
  4. There are a few
    surfaces on which you can oil paint: the wooden panel and the canvas or the
    stretched canvas panel and create hand-painted oil paintings, extract oil
    ings, canvas oil paintings, portrait paintings, landscape paintings, art
    gallery oil paintings and so on.
  5. You can use different
    oil painting techniques – 

  • Scrumbling,’ which means
    dragging a dry brush over the canvas to produce a broken color effect.
  • Thin washes with solvent’ to
    produce that dry-fast transparent effect.
  • Multi-coloured brushstrokes’ for
    those beautiful multicolored streaks.
  • Some even use a ‘Glazing effect,’ which is an
    interesting broken color effect similar to ‘


With this basic knowledge on hand, let’s understand a few tips
and tricks to get started with oil painting:

  • Begin Small – Start your painting activity on a
    smaller canvas board maybe 8 to 10 inches or even try painting on a paper using
    oil paints.
  • Organize yourself – Set up your painting space in a
    well-ventilated area keeping your palettes, colors, canvases, and other
    supplies reachable and ready to be used. Most importantly, keep your paintings
    visible so that even when you’re not painting, you can see them and improvise
    on them and keep on painting to create beautiful art.
  • Brushes are a must – Invest in some good quality brushes.
    You can start with three different sizes and then go on to try many other sizes
    of brushes. Different brushes are available for different uses. For example, a
    synthetic brush is useful for acrylic oil paints. Natural hair brushes and
    bristle brushes are the most commonly used.
  • Priming the paint surface  – Be it any surface, either
    wooden, canvas, or paper, it is essential to apply a type of primer called
    ‘Gesso’ to the painting surface to prevent the oil from seeping into the
    surface protecting the surface from the acids of the paint. Also, it provides a
    type of surface that is suitable for using oil paints. Alternatively, you can
    use pre-primed boards or canvas and apply an additional coat or two of Gesso if
    you like a smoother surface.
  • Understand your colors – Two types of colors are the primary
    paint colors and the secondary paint colors. The primary colors are pure, and
    they are warm colors like yellow and cool colors like blue.
  • Use a limited color palette – Don’t start using all the colors in
    your painting at once. Start with a monochrome painting that is a painting that
    has only one of the shades, either black or white, and then go on to create a
    cool or warm painting. Finally, you can blend different colors to your palette,
    each from primary colors and secondary colors.
  • Begin with an underpainting oil sketch – Start with an oil paint sketch
    underpainting consisting of color and odorless turpentine and then learn
    different painting techniques like thick over thin, fat over lean, and
    slow-drying over fast-drying. Also, try to make your painting show age with a
    combination of turpentine and linseed oil while trying to make it dry faster.
  • Clean up your things – It is essential to clean your brush
    with soap and water after finishing the painting as oil paintings can get
    messy. Have paper towels and rags handy to wipe off the excess paint and
    turpentine from your e brushes. Keep a container of turpentine ready to clean
    your brush between the colors. Keep your oil paints and mediums out of reach of
    small children and pets as they are highly toxic. Dispose of the paints,
    mediums, rags, paper towels, and disposal paper palette.


Go on to create art to
your heart’s content. Use these tips and tricks to make handmade paintings,
portraits, landscape paintings, portraits, paintings, landscape paintings, and
art gallery oil painting.

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