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Oil Painting

Oil Painting

If you are just starting out and want value for money, these starter sets contain a good selection of artist quality oil colours. Most of the sets contain a choice of intermixable primary colours and will all generally include a shade of yellow, red, blue, black and a white.

As with beauty being in the eye of the beholder, different colours will appeal to different painters. The subtleties between the different reds will only become apparent with experience as will mixing skills. Titanium white is a very opaque paint as it has a high load of white pigment and is a popular choice for mixing colours to achieve pastel or lighter shades. A more transparent white such as Zinc White, which only contains about a tenth of the tinting ability, will create a lighter shade of red without the starkness of the more opaque white pigment.

As these paints are oil based, they generally need a selection of solvent based mediums and other oils with which to explore their full potential. A popular oil additive is Linseed Oil. This refined oil has a low viscosity and helps colours to dry more slowly. Although it increases gloss and transparency, it does impact on the consistency of colours. Thinners are used to make the oil paint more fluid and to help prevent it from cracking as it dries, they are also used for cleaning up brushes or spills. The thinner is added to paint in lesser amounts as layers are built up in the painting.


Work in a well ventilated room when using oil paints, mediums and thinners. Do not mix with with other types of paints such as acrylics. Keep solvents and cleaning rags in air-tight containers to prevent fumes and to reduce risk of fire. Store in a cool dry place and away from direct sunlight. Dispose of solvents when no longer in use - do not pour down drains.

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