When Painting In Oils What Other Stuff Do You Need?

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There are some essential ancillary things you need when painting in oils besides the oil paints! This article is a short survey of some of the things you will need.

There is a wide range of mediums available which, when mixed with oil paints, modify the characteristics of the latter. Most of these are used for quite specific purposes.

For example, Winsor & Newton’s Artists Painting medium improves the flow of oil paint by thinning it out, which may (or may not) be desirable, depending on one’s individual style and the immediate objective in a picture or part of an image. Liquin Impasto Medium retains brush strokes and allows more time for blending different areas of shade or colour.

Oil based mediums are made by combining oil and solvents and are a traditional approach. On the other hand, alkyd mediums employ alkyd resins and solvents and can be used with oil paints because they work in a similar way to linseed oil. This type reduces the drying time of oil paints and there is a special linseed oil for this purpose.

These come in all shapes and sizes, some in metal, some in wood. Some are for painting, some for drawing. Some stand on the floor, some on a tabletop. So one of the prime determinants is how much space you have available — and the amount of money, because their prices vary enormously.

Artists’ Pallet
A pallet is for holding and mixing the paint. The traditional type is kidney shaped with a thumbhole cut out for an easy grip. There are also the watercolour types with a number of wells or compartments and these can sometimes be useful for one producing paintings in oils. These can also be especially useful for the painter in oils if paint is being mixed very thinly, as for glazing.

And Other Stuff
This includes pencils (lead, graphite, charcoal), rubbers and, perhaps, an apron or old clothes just used for painting in, since it can become a messy business! You will also need thinners or white spirit and at least a few pallet knives for mixing (and possibly) applying paint. A pallet knife (or, indeed, several different types and sizes) will almost certainly come in useful.

You will also need some supports — the things you paint on. Canvass stretched and fastened to a frame is traditional and easily available. But wood and boards are also used. But see my article: What Kind Of Support Is Needed For Painting In Oils.

Having gathered all this stuff together, you are ready to begin developing a few (or even more!) masterpieces!

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