Oil Painting FAQs Part 2

This is part 2 of the most frequently asked questions that I receive from my readers. Click here to view part 1 of the oil painting faq...

8) How can I store my unused oil paints? Acrylics do not store well after they have been put on the palette. They tend to dry quickly. There is one trick that can be done but the results vary.

You can cover the palette with plastic and freeze it. There are times this will work and times it will not. For the oils, you can cover them with plastic as well. You can also submerge them in water for later use.

9) What are the benefits of acrylic paints? Acrylic paints have a quick drying time. This means you can actually start, finish, and possibly frame a painting all in one day. With oils it can take days for the paint to dry.

Acrylics can blend and mix just as well as the oil paints. Some artists prefer the acrylics to the oils and vice versa. The acrylics can also be built up. This can actually give you an almost three dimensional look on the painting canvas.

10) Does it matter how thick I put the paint on the canvas? You should never put more paint on a canvas than you need to. The paint has to dry between layers or you could have problems with flaking and cracking. The painting can be built up to generate the look you want.

11) Why did my painting crack? The more paint you have on a canvas means the more space the paint has to cover. As an artist layers paint on the rule of “fat over lean” applies. This means the paint has more medium mixed in with it as each layer is added. The addition of the oil makes the paint more flexible. This means there is less chance of the painting cracking as it dries.

my portrait drawing

12) Is there a way to seal my painting after it is done? When you have completed a painting you will want to seal it to make sure smoke, dust, and other foreign matter does not damage it. You can varnish the painting. 

You need to make sure the painting is completely cured before sealing. Also, the varnish should be a very thin coat of clear varnish. A thick coat can cause the paint to appear yellowed as time goes by.

13) Why don't my paintings look natural? We see things in three dimensions. The painting should reflect this. In order to achieve this, as in a landscape, start with the background first. This means the entire background, from the sky to the grass. Then you would go in and add the mountains or distant tree line. You always need to work from the back to the front to give the painting realism.

One Final Word on Painting Lessons

There are many people all over the world who have aspired to become great artists. Many have succeeded.  None have failed. For each person in their own unique way is an artist. Whether you create the picture with paint, pencil, or computer graphics the point is you are creating. You are expressing yourself in a way that is enjoyable to you.

Others may find great inspiration in your work. Criticism will always come, whether it be from others or even yourself. Do not let it bother you.

Art is a way of expressing our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.We can show who we really are by what we put on the blank canvas. This can sometimes be extremely thought provoking. It can be comical or whimsical. The point is that it expresses something. You capture the essence of who you are when you begin to paint.

Even if you cannot afford to make a living out of painting, do it for the joy of it. Do it because you find a love for painting. Do it every day. This is your time to shine. Let everyone know you painted that picture on your wall. 

Tell them you were the master artist when they ask where you got it. Let them know you can tell your story by the pictures you create.

Painting is a way of loving what you do and doing what you love.  Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, no matter how it is displayed.

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