Six Oil Painting Must-Haves

Congratulations on your decision to choose oil painting as an outlet for your creativity. If you are just a beginner to oil painting, here are the things you’ll need.

Oil Paints

The number one item on your list should be oil paints. There are hundreds of oil paint colors that you can choose from. Art supply stores even offer these in basic color sets, so you can begin experimenting with combining colors according to your preference.

Brushes

Unlike your basic watercolor kit during your elementary days, there are a variety of brushes that are best used for oil painting.

The hog bristle brush is the least expensive, most versatile, and can be used for a variety of effects. Fine haired brushes will give you smoother finishes and can help you create the finest detail.

Palette

Palettes are available in glass, wood, or plastic. Choose the one you think would work best for you and your budget. Just keep in mind that you should choose a palette that is big enough to allow you to easily mix the paints and can be re-used.

Paint Surface

You can choose from wood hardboard, canvas, paper, or linen as your surface to paint on. Keep in mind that some surfaces need to be primed before you can use it for oil painting. Ask your local art retailer if they already have pre-primed paint surfaces or how you can have one primed.

Painter’s Easel

Oil painting can consume hours of your time, which is why it is important that you have an easel to keep your work stable while providing you with a good height for working while painting. Choose an easel that fits your work area (as well as your budget).

Paint Thinners or Mineral Spirits

Oil paints cannot be removed or cleaned from brushes just by using soap and water. You would need paint thinners or mineral spirits to remove oil paint from your brushes (and your skin).

Do It Yourself Artwork Mount

Do you have a pencil drawing or pastel art that you wish to display but you’re a bit worried that it would stick to the glass if you just go ahead and have it framed? Why not consider mounting it first? Read on for more the steps on a DIY artwork mount.

Supplies needed

2 Standard grade mount boards (big enough to hold your artwork)

Cutting mat

Metal ruler

Mount cutter (a sharp Exacto knife or cutter would also do the trick)

Pencil – sharpened

Hinge tape

Double sided tape

Steps

Measure your artwork for the dimensions. Decide how big a margin you want to place around the artwork.

Measure the mount boards. Make sure that the it should be bigger than the artwork being mounted.

To create the “window” of your mount, take one of the mount boards and place it face down on top of the cutting mat. Begin marking the area that you are cutting away using the ruler and pencil. Extend the pencil marks so it will have an intersecting line at the corners.

Using the mount cutter, begin cutting at a 45-degree angle making sure that you cut in the same direction.

Use the metal ruler as a guide and begin cutting by pressing firmly on the cutter so it will go right through the board. Continue cutting until all of the sides have been cut.

Check that a clean incision has been made through the board by flipping it over. Use the sharp end of the Exacto knife or cutter to help carefully release the corners.

Place the uncut board face up on your work area. Align one side of your window board to the uncut board facing down.

Attach both boards using the hinge tape. This will allow you to fold over the window board on the uncut board later.

Place your artwork on the uncut board. Flip over the window board to check that the artwork is properly aligned.

Flip over the window board again once you have confirmed that the artwork is aligned. Take great care that the artwork does not move from its current position. Putting a paper weight can help keep it in place as well.

Attach the artwork to the uncut board using double sided tape. Carefully lift the corners to avoid unnecessarily moving the artwork.

Once the artwork is securely attached, attach a small piece of double-sided tape at the lower portion of the uncut board. Flip over the window board and carefully press to firmly attach the window board to your uncut board.

Voila! You now have a mounted piece of art that is ready for framing.

Tips on Choosing the Right Drawing Tools

If you are just beginning to delve into your creativity and have chosen drawing or sketching as your art form, it always helps that you are equipped with the right tools. Here are some tips on choosing which one is right for the job.

Graphite Pencils

These are sometimes mistakenly called lead pencils. However, they don’t really contain lead, which is why calling them lead pencils are a misnomer.

Graphite pencils are by far the best choice for beginners since they allow you to create the smoothest strokes and mistakes can easily be fixed using putty- or knead-type erasers. They come in different grades that depends on the hardness and darkness of the graphite.

If you are a more experience artist, why not consider using a woodless pencil, which is a more advanced type of graphite pencil. It doesn’t have a wood casing thus allowing you to create a variety of effects and can cover a wider area compared to the common wood-covered graphite pencil.

Charcoal Pencils

Simply put, these pencils contain charcoal that provides the artist a bolder black color compared to graphite pencils.

The downside to charcoal pencils is their tendency to smudge that sometimes makes it a bit difficult for beginners to use this medium. If you are wanting to experiment on a duo-tone technique, they are also available in sepia- and white-toned pencils.

Inks

Not only do you get to choose a different color, using inks for drawings can help you create a beautiful masterpiece. The most popular, however, would be black ink on white paper.

If you are hesitant on using ink for fear that you would have difficulty in correcting any error, you might want to consider lightly drawing using a graphite pencil similar to a rough draft.

Finalize the drawing using ink. Once completely dry, use an eraser to remove tell-tale signs of the graphite pencil. Now you have a wonderful ink masterpiece with no one the wiser.

How about you, what’s your favorite drawing tool?