Get started with oils

Howard Lyon launches a five-part se­ries that’ll boost your knowl­edge of oils. If you’ve been put­ting off us­ing this age-old medium, there’s no time like the present!

ImagineFX - - Inspiration Books - Howard has worked as an il­lus­tra­tor and art di­rec­tor as well as a fine artist for gal­leries and col­lec­tors. Ex­plore his art by vis­it­ing www.howard­lyon.com.

Howard Lyon shows you how.

There’s an un­de­served mys­tique around oil paint­ing that has put up some in­tim­i­dat­ing bar­ri­ers for some artists want­ing to use this won­der­ful medium. I hope to re­move those con­cerns and pro­vide a ba­sic foun­da­tion of knowl­edge to help you get started.

Oil paint is pig­ment bound in a dry­ing (sicca­tive) oil. The most com­mon is lin­seed oil ex­tracted from flax seeds, but you’ll also find paint bound in wal­nut, saf­flower or other oils. The pig­ments are gen­er­ally the same as those found in wa­ter­colours, pas­tels and acrylics.

Oil paints of­fer a rich­ness of colour and its sur­face al­lows the cre­ation of beau­ti­ful tex­tures. You can paint thick or thin, di­rectly or use glazes. Oils can be used on pa­per, wood, metal, plas­tic, can­vas and many other sur­faces.

If you’re just get­ting started, don’t get over­whelmed. Be pa­tient with your­self and recog­nise that it’ll take a lit­tle time to get the hang of this beau­ti­ful medium. Don’t over­com­pli­cate it, ei­ther.

To be­gin we’ll go over the key ma­te­ri­als needed for you to get started. Most art ma­te­ri­als are sold in at least two grades: stu­dent and pro­fes­sional. When­ever pos­si­ble, pur­chase pro-grade ma­te­ri­als. I find the dif­fer­ence in price is off­set be­cause pro ma­te­ri­als al­most al­ways last longer and the paint goes fur­ther.

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