Oil Painting Steps

If you’re thinking about starting an oil painting, but you still have doubts because you believe it might be too complicated for you, this article will show you a way to have a good start.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn methods of oil painting steps. Besides, you will know how to clean oil paint brushes and new things more. Follow these tailored, straightforward techniques and add your value to the oil painting steps.

The Entire Process of Oil Painting: Step by Step Guide

Let’s first discover the root of oil paints. Linseed oil with pigment powder makes oil paints. Due to their delicate nature, they usually take more time to dry than other paints. Remember, before using and cleaning. You need to take extra care. Explore these five steps carefully when you start to learn oil painting:

Step 1: Roundup Your Materials

oil painting instruments on table

If you want to start your oil painting mission, first gather some essential items that include canvas, oil paints, brushes, and a few other following things:

  • Linseed oil and Odorless solvent. It will help to thin your paints.
  • Oil paints.
  • Synthetic fibers or good quality hog hair made paint brushes.
  • Canvas.
  • An easel.
  • A durable palette knife for blending paints.
  • A palette.
  • old rags and paper towels.

Start with just some primary colors. It will help you experiment more and develop a better idea about color mixing. Gradually this practice will make you more confident about oil paints. First of all, go for the primaries. Red, yellow, and blue plus white and brown. You can mix almost all colors with these; of course, you can add more colors. If you want, earth tones are great for beginners, and they are pretty cheap.

Avoid “student sets” as they are poor in quality. Depending on your desire and needs, you can go for an individual brush or a starter set as a beginner. Try to collect a variety of sizes like fan, square, and round shapes. Like oil paints, it will be wise to start with small items. You can increase it when the time permits. Check carefully as all quality brushes mention their ability to do oil paints. 

A Canvas board or a stretched canvas is generally considered best for oil painting steps. But don’t forget to use gesso as it is essential no matter what surface you use.

Step 2: Set Up Your Paintwork Area

men think for canvas painting

Have a designated space to paint. Now I know not everybody can have a painting studio. Everybody’s setup will be different, and whatever you have to do, have an area set up. Then, it will be easy for you to sit down and paint. This also means keeping your site clean and ready to jump into the painting. In your art area, try to get sufficient light. 

Make sure your workspace is safe and comfortable. It will then give you freedom of work with oil paints. Unfortunately, there is a myth that oil painting is impossible at home. Not true at all. What you need is to make it a proper workspace.  

A strong smell is familiar in oil paints. Solvents are toxic, but it is essential to clean brushes. Make your workspace outdoors that will ensure sufficient ventilation. Gloves are a good protector from toxins. 

Step 3: Prime Your Canvas

brushing in the canvas

Priming does several things. It helps to make the canvas tighter, protect it from oil, and give you a bright and even surface to paint on. It’s essential to prime your canvas using oils as the oil can be absorbed into the canvas leaving your painting dull and lackluster. 

Use a professional acrylic white gesso made from a quality acrylic resin and is a highly pigmented primer that can be used as a surface preparation for both acrylics and oil. 

First, look for a pre-primed canvas enriched with gesso. But if you can’t manage, make yourself as essential for oil painting steps. It is nothing but a mixer of pigment, gypsum, and chalk. Remember you will need two coats, and each hide will take two hours to dry.

Step 4: Outline Your Sketch Before Painting

outline the drawing in canvas

First, try to use a pencil and sketch your drawing before going for oil paintings. Then, when you feel your canvas is ready, start oil painting steps. Copy professional artists’ styles as much as possible. It includes some topics such as painting base, focal points, lines, and basic shapes. Next, you can go for a pencil or light black paint.

Now is the time for color mixing. Follow the principal rules of color paintings and do it with your imagination. 

Step 5: Apply Your Paints Layer

works for oil painting in canvas

This stage is very crucial. You know oil paints usually take longer times, like days to months. So proper selection is quite essential for this reason. Try to learn and apply how to apply and maintain an appropriate layer from an expert artist or youtube. A good practice is to follow the standard rule “fat over lean strictly’. It will protect your oil paintings from cracking or taking endless time to dry. 

Remember, the more oiler, the fatter, the more time-consuming. So, go in the opposite direction. 

How to Clean Oil Paint Brushes: Step by Step

artist cleans painting brush

Brushes are a huge part of a painting, and keeping your oil brushes clean and in good condition can be a bit of a challenge. So today, we’re going to take a look at some tips and tricks on how to clean and take care of your oil brushes so you can get more out of them.

1. Start by removing the paint onto a paper towel and wiping the brush thoroughly. Once you’ve drawn most of the paint, dip the brush into a jar of solvents like a white spirit or turpentine and agitate it until you see the colors dissolve. After this, you’ll be able to remove more of the paint.

2. Residue onto the paper towel, dip the brush into the second jar of clean solvent, and agitate; this second Step will clean all of the paint from the body of the bristles. You might notice that you still have some color where the strands meet the Ferol, but we’ll fix that in our final cleaning step. 

3. For the last cleaning step, you’ll need some safflower oil or vegetable oil to agitate your brush again. This will draw any residues from the bristles’ base and wipe the excess fat off the meeting. And give it a final wash in the clean solvent, and your scrub should be as good as new. 

4. If you often forget to clean your brushes, and the paint ends up drawing in the bristles like this brush, the paint has fully hardened to remove hardened paint from your brush bristles.

Soften your oil painting brushes. First, fill a container with apple cider vinegar. The vinegar has acetic acid. It will break down the linseed oil binder in the paint. Set the paintbrush in the vessel and leave it to soak for 24 hours.

When you remove your brush, your oil paint should have expanded slightly and had a jelly-like consistency. Use a paper towel and some elbow grease to remove the oil paint from the brush. It depends on how long the paint has dried in the bristles.

5. It might still be attached firmly. You can use your fingernail to scrape the rest of the old paint off, keep dipping the brush into the vinegar, and wipe until all of the mold stains have been removed. You can then use a clay spoolie brush tool or a knit to realign the bristles. 

6. Finally, give the brush a last clean in your solvent and then some oil and wipe it clean once you have cleaned your meeting. It’s a good idea to reset it so your bristles are in their correct shape as they dry. 

A great and inexpensive household item you can use for this is a hair conditioner. Squeezing the conditioner over the strands and shaping the strands into the correct shape conditioner works well because it rejuvenates your strands a bit. 

We hope these tips will help you get the most out of your oil paintbrushes. If you have reached the information you would like to share, leave us a comment, and we will check it out.

What is Special about Oil Painting?

seascape oil painting

More accessible, here are some secret truths that made oil painting utterly different from other paintings. For example, you can quickly achieve crisp effects and good liner presentation from oil painting. Its other unique character is its color or fusion of tones that indicate its outstanding benefits. 

Oil painting is one of the most valuable and popular kinds of art. People from all over the world want to beautify their houses with oil artwork. The reason is that oil paintings are considered to develop high status to the owner of such art. Moreover, they show your fashionable modern taste.

If you judge from popularity with value in art, oil painting can beat all its competitors. Globally, oil arts symbolize aristocracy. People love to decorate their houses with oil paintings.  


How Do You Start an Oil Painting for Beginners?

If you are a beginner at oil painting, do it after some preparation. You will need to collect some essential items, including a canvas, oil paints, a palette, paintbrushes, and an easel. Find a suitable work area and start.

Do You Sketch Before Oil Painting?

It’s a good practice first to sketch your subject before oil painting. You will be able to identify your style. Besides, it will guide you to the basic ideas, for example, shadow, light, form, and shape. Gradually in painting, you will achieve your expected accuracy. Better proportion control will come to your hand. As a result, the scale will be more visible to you. Thus drawing before painting will help you.

How Can I Learn Oil Painting at Home?

First, be confident. Then follow these tips:

1. Get what you can afford, get what you like. Keep your materials simple you need the primaries in white to start.

2. Right now, your concern should be just practicing as much as possible

3. Your other tip is to have a designated space to paint. Yes, we know not everybody can have a painting studio. So everybody’s setup will be different, and whatever you have to do, have a safe work area.

4. Paint just what you want. Don’t paint something because you feel like you have to paint it. 

5. If you find painters you like, do copies of their work for practice.

Should I Learn to Draw Before Painting?

The answer is a simple yes. You may wonder why you should start withdrawing? If painting is a building, drawing is its foundation. You know, in most cases, drawing comes first, then painting. Your life as an artist can be placed in a good point through drawing first.

It will give you a strong foundation, your style, and your identity. Besides, it will help you target some critical aspects, such as shadow, light, shape, and form. When you draw something, chances are you can quickly evaluate your progress and decide the next step. It will also give you better control. On the other hand, the painting will take time, energy, and slower feedback. 

Is Oil Painting Hard? 

Oil painting is not particularly hard. Instead, it’s relatively easy. So if you have an adventure mood about acrylics, watercolor, or acrylics traditional painting medium, you can expect the same level of challenges. But remember one thing. It would be best to have more patience as oil painting dry time will be much longer.

This can be extremely difficult to handle as a beginner painter. Oil paints will be responsive for much longer, with the drying time to touch being anywhere from a day to months. You need to start acrylic painting a canvas, acrylic paints, paintbrushes, and water.

It’s not particularly harder than any other traditional painting medium and more accessible than some of them, but, I mean, none of them are straightforward. If you can’t already draw well, that’d be a better place to start. As long as your tubes of oil paint are closed firmly, they’re not going to go bad.


So is oil painting steps complicated? If you want it to be, you can also make it very simple. The more you explore, the more complex things will become routine. It is true that from a practical point of view, oil painting is more complicated than a critic or watercolor, but from a creative point of view, when it comes to handling the paint, oil is one of the most pleasant and forgiving mediums you can find. I hope this practical guide blog can help many beginners get more familiar with oil painting techniques and materials, and this is everything you need to get a good start.  

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