Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - Painting - Oil Painting

Characteristics - Painting Methods & Techniques - Materials and Equipment - Work Space & Storage - Manufacture of Pigments - Protection of the Picture

Oil Painting - Simple Rules

Simple Rules for Painting in Oil - The following concise outline touches on the more important points to be observed:

1. Use a white ground which is firmly anchored to its support.

2. Canvas should be prepared with oil or acrylic grounds; emulsion or gesso grounds belong on panels.

3. Be sure there is good adhesion between paint and ground.

4. Use sufficient paint to produce a full, normal paint coating so that the final picture has the desired paint quality, but do not overload the work with extremely thick or exaggerated impasto. Avoid, at all costs, a continuous, thick, pasty layer of paint; heavy or thick impasto strokes are best used in isolated spots.

5. Remember the basic rule for all paint coatings and layers other than acrylic grounds--that is, always paint flexible coats over less flexible layers, and never use brittle coatings over flexible ones.

6. The degree of absorbency and texture of the ground should be suited to the type of painting. Control of paint and its permanence are greatly influenced thereby.

7. Thin the paint with a little turpentine when desired; avoid the excessive use of painting mediums and emulsion-stiffened whites except when the occasion calls for glazing and work that requires precise control.

8. Remember that previous painting or underpainting has some effect on the final results and that careless overpainting may lead to unwanted effects.

9. Oil paintings that are to be varnished should be allowed to dry for 3 to 6 weeks before varnishing, but it is better to varnish [p. 131] them too soon that to put them into circulation or exhibit them unvarnished.

10. Use fresh colors that have not thickened on the palette.

[pp. 131-132]

[Mayer, Ralph. The Painter's Craft. An Introduction to Artist's Methods and Materials. Revised and updated by Steven Sheehan, Director of the Ralph Mayer Center, Yale University School of Art. New York: Penquin Group. 1948. 1991.]



The contents of this site, including all images and text, are for personal, educational, non-commercial use only. The contents of this site may not be reproduced in any form without proper reference to Text, Author, Publisher, and Date of Publication [and page #s when suitable].