Painting with oil on canvas- Words of wisdom from the maiden effort


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I recently started with my first painting with Oil on canvas. I did my own research on various art sites but the real teacher was the actual execution . The lessons learnt in the painting lifecycle are as follows:


1.      Subject selection : Select subject with coarser details . Fine work which you imagine and are able to draw with pencil are too difficult ( If not impossible ) to reproduce with brush and that too with oil color. I tried to make ornate pattern of a guitar and scales on a fish’s body.  I  am still struggling to meet my own expectation

2.      Color and Brush purchase : While in the shop for purchasing oil color tubes, I was offered 2 choices : Artist grade and student . I wanted my first painting to come up really well so bought  Artist grade. This , however was not a good decision. The main color to be used in painting was needed in larger quantity and Artist’s variety was not available as an extra tube. I had to buy a closer shade from student’s grade ( Hence a compromise). Same for brush. Do not buy a full set. At most 4 brushes will be needed . Coarse , Medium thin and outline. Save your money for better things J

3.      Medium purchase :  Turpentine appears to be a good medium for pain but also buy 0.5 litre of paint thinner ( Roughly 1USD or INR 46). This can be used for cleaning the brush economically .

4.      Subject first :  The guides on web speak of ‘Fat over slim’ , multilayered paint etc. This tempts you to believe that you need to paint the back ground first and then move on to the subject. This is catastrophic. The back ground covers the light outline and you are left wondering where the subject is and how to paint it .

5.      Center to Edges :   Always paint the central items before those near the edges. This prevents the edge color to stick to your hand and get messy. Starting from center and then moving out helps maintain the clarity in the inside .

6.      Drying period : The paint normally does not dry up in projected 24 hours and one may have to wait for 48 to 72 hrs . This may aid in planning your painting better.

7.  Paint selection : When trying to get the exact shade flesh tone, water waves , we may try hard a lot and still the right shade  may elude. Thus the subject and brushing enthusiasm is lost. For initial first few paintings just try black and white subjects.  You need only black and white paint to create numerous shades of gray. Now try to recreate that in the painting .This gives a good brush stroke practice and confidence to create better paintings

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