Care And Maintenance in Oil Painting

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The materials you use for oil painting should be of good quality, and that usually means they are quite expensive. In order to get the most out of your money, you should pay special attention to the care and maintenance of your materials.

Oil painting is sometimes thought of as being more difficult than watercolor, but the truth is that both methods are equal, creation-wise.

What sets them apart and gives oil painting the rougher reputation is the special care you have to put into maintaining and cleaning your materials.

Swishing your brushes around in water isn’t going to cut it, unfortunately. Although it takes a little bit more time, it will be well worth it in the long run when your paints and paintbrushes last for a long time. If you’re responsible, you’ll get great value out of the money you spend to buy the tools.

Caring for Paints

Oil paints come in small tubes of very densely packed paint. When you want to use a color, you’ll squeeze out a bit onto your palette and mix it with a medium and maybe some other colors to get the hue you want. But what happens if you don’t use all the paint on your palette? 

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One option is to just throw it out and mix new colors the next time, but this is wasteful. Paint left out will develop a skin surrounding it and could start forming lumps, so you have to somehow preserve it for your next session. There are many methods to care properly for leftover paint.

One is to buy a special palette that comes with a cover which can suck air out after snapping in place. Another option is to cover the paints with saran wrap and pop the palette in the freezer, just like you might with food. Some artists even store paints underwater which seems unconventional, but works! Whichever method you choose, remember to value your paints and give them the care they deserve.

Caring for Brushes

To make the most of your brushes, you’re going to need to clean them thoroughly with turpentine after each use. Make sure you do this in a well ventilated area. Be gentle with the bristles and don’t let them bend out of shape.

Pay special attention to the ferule, the place where the bristles attach to the handle, as this area tends to collect paint. Rinse them with warm soapy water and let them dry upright in a cup or jar before you them again.

At first, it may seem like a bit of a nuisance to have to worry about properly caring for and cleaning your materials, as it takes a certain amount of dedication and extra time. But it will soon become second-nature to put away your paints and clean out your brushes.

You may even find it relaxing to gently wash the paint from your brushes after a long day of painting. Remember: an artist should respect their tools, since after all, without them no art could be created. Respect for the tools is respect for the art form.

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Oil Painting Colours | Colours in Oil Painting | Use of Colours:

  1. Learn How to Set Up Your Studio and Care For Materials
    If you are an artist who wants to be serious about a career in painting you are going to have to learn how to set up your studio and care for materials.
  2. Understanding Oil Paints And How They Work
    There are two types of paints which work well on canvas. One is oil and the other is acrylic. You need to choose which painting medium you will be using. Some people prefer the oils to the acrylics.
  3. Varnishing An Oil Painting
    Varnishing an oil painting is very important because it protects your valuable painting from things like smoke, dust and pollution.
  4. Oil On Canvas: Painting Conservation 101
    Oils are a delicate painting material because of their slow drying time and the fact that they don’t get framed under glass in the end.
  5. Framing And Hanging Oil Paintings
    Some artists choose to paint all sides of visible canvas so that the painting is meant to be hung without a frame, but most paintings have raw white edges that can have paint drips and/or staples on them.
  6. Stretching An Oil Painting
    Stretching your own canvas for an oil painting is something that can save you a lot of money in the long run. Pre-stretched canvases often have a large mark-up because of their convenience.
  7. Importance of Drying Time in Oil Painting
    Drying time is important in oil painting because usually the paints are applied in many layers, and the rate at which each layer dries in relation to the others.
  8. Cleaning Up Paint Brushes After Painting
    Paintbrushes don’t come cheap, and if you want them to last, you can’t let paint sit around in the bristles, drying and ruining the brush.
  9. Take Care of Your Art Painting Creation
    Creating your painting probably took a lot of time and effort. Especially with oils, you put a lot of patience and dedication into that piece and probably value it a lot.
  10. How to Store Oil Supplies to Improve Lifespan
    Oil painting supplies are not cheap. In order to make sure they last as long as possible and you get your money’s worth, you need to take care of them.
  11. Tips for Painting Glazes
    A glaze is simply a fine see-through layer of paint, whereas glazing is where thin, transparent layers of paint are applied on top of the other to build up color.
  12. 3 Tips to Care for Your Oil Paintings
    When you have a precious painting you want to preserve for a long time to come, naturally you should take precautions in caring for the artwork to ensure no unnecessary damage is dealt on here.

If you are a new artist, check out the lessons designed for oil painting for beginners here...

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