Oil Painting Step By Step9 min read

Jul 31, 2022 7 min

Oil Painting Step By Step9 min read

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Oil painting has been around for centuries, and for good reason – it’s a versatile and beautiful way to create art. If you’re new to the world of oil painting, the process can seem a little daunting. But with a few simple steps, you can be on your way to creating your own beautiful oil paintings.

The first step in oil painting is to choose your subject. This can be anything from a landscape to a portrait. Once you’ve chosen your subject, sketch it out on paper to get a rough idea of the composition.

The next step is to mix your colors. Oil paint is made up of a pigment and a binder. The pigment is the color of the paint, while the binder is the substance that holds the paint together. You can mix different colors together to create new hues, or you can use a color palette to mix the colors you need.

Once you have your colors mixed, it’s time to start painting. Begin by painting the background of your painting. This can be a simple color, or you can create a more complex background by mixing different colors together.

Once the background is finished, start painting the subject of your painting. Begin by painting the outline of the subject, then fill in the details. Be sure to use light and dark colors to create shadows and highlights.

Oil painting is a slow and deliberate process, so don’t be afraid to take your time. It can take a while to get the hang of it, but with patience and practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful oil paintings.

How do you start an oil painting for beginners?

Oil painting is a form of painting that uses oil-based paints on a canvas or panel. The artist either brushes or sprays the oil paint onto the surface, and then uses a brush to blend and work the paint into the desired effect.

Oil painting is a popular form of art, because the paints can be manipulated to create a wide range of textures and effects. The paint can be thinned with solvents to create a transparent effect, or it can be thickened with a medium to create a more solid effect.

When starting an oil painting, it’s important to first choose the right surface. Canvas is the traditional surface for oil paintings, but there are also a variety of other surfaces that can be used, such as wood panels, Masonite, or paper.

Once you’ve selected your surface, the next step is to sketch out your composition. This can be done with a light pencil to get the basic layout, or with a more detailed charcoal sketch.

Once the sketch is complete, you can start painting. The first step is to basecoat the entire surface with a thin layer of paint. This will create a uniform surface for the rest of the painting.

Once the basecoat is dry, you can start adding the details of the painting. This can be done in any order, but it’s usually easiest to start with the larger areas and then move on to the smaller details.

To create a smooth, blended effect, use a brush to mix the paint on the surface. The brushstrokes should be light and delicate, so that the paint blends seamlessly into the previous layer.

Oil painting is a challenging but rewarding art form. With practice, you can create beautiful paintings that will last for centuries.

Is oil painting easy for beginners?

Oil painting is one of the oldest forms of painting. It is a painting technique in which pigments are mixed with a drying oil, such as linseed oil, walnut oil, or poppyseed oil. The oil paint is then applied to a surface—usually a canvas or wooden panel.

Oil painting can be a challenging medium for beginners. It requires a lot of patience and practice to produce a good painting. However, with a bit of effort, anyone can learn to paint in oils.

The first step in learning to oil paint is to learn the basic techniques. This includes learning how to mix colors, how to apply paint to a surface, and how to create different textures. A good way to learn these techniques is to take a painting class or watch a tutorial online.

Once you have learned the basics, it is important to practice. Try painting different subjects, such as landscapes, portraits, or still lifes. You can also experiment with different paint brushes and techniques.

It takes time and practice to become a good oil painter. But with hard work and a bit of patience, you can create beautiful paintings with this versatile medium.

Do you paint light or dark colors first oil?

When you’re painting with oil, do you paint the light colors first or the dark colors first? There are a few different schools of thought on this subject, and there’s no right or wrong answer. Here’s a look at the different ways you can approach this question, so you can decide which one is right for you.

Some painters believe that you should always start with the lightest colors and work your way to the dark colors. This is because it’s easier to add more layers of color to a light area than it is to remove color from a dark area. So, if you make a mistake while painting, you can easily correct it by adding more paint to the light areas of your painting.

However, other painters believe that it’s better to start with the dark colors and work your way to the light colors. This is because it’s easier to add depth and realism to a painting by starting with the dark colors and then adding lighter colors on top. If you start with the light colors, it can be difficult to achieve a realistic effect.

Ultimately, the decision on whether to paint light or dark colors first is up to you. There’s no right or wrong answer, and you may find that you prefer to work in one way or the other. Experiment a little and see which method works best for you.

What are the five steps to painting?

The process of painting generally involves five steps: 

1. Planning

2. Drawing

3. Painting the underpainting

4. Painting the details

5. Finishing

1. Planning

Before you start painting, you need to plan your picture. This includes deciding on the composition of the image, the colours you will use, and the techniques you will use.

2. Drawing

The first step in painting is to draw the image you plan to paint. This can be done in any medium, but is usually done in pencil or charcoal.

3. Painting the Underpainting

Once the drawing is complete, the next step is to paint the underpainting. This is the basic colours and tones that will be used in the painting.

4. Painting the Details

Once the underpainting is complete, the details can be painted. This includes the colours, textures, and shadows in the image.

5. Finishing

Once the details are complete, the painting is finished. This may involve adding final touches such as highlights or shadows, or varnishing the painting to protect it from the elements.

Should I wet my brush before oil painting?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question – it is simply a matter of personal preference. Some painters prefer to wet their brush before beginning an oil painting, while others do not.

There are a few reasons why you might want to wet your brush before starting an oil painting. First, wetting your brush can help to create a smooth, even layer of paint on the canvas. Second, it can help to move the paint around the canvas more easily. Finally, it can help to create a more transparent effect in your painting.

However, there are also a few reasons why you might not want to wet your brush before starting an oil painting. First, if you wet your brush too much, the paint can become too diluted and will not be as opaque. Second, if you wet your brush too much, it can be more difficult to control the paint and achieve the desired results.

In the end, it is up to you to decide whether or not to wet your brush before starting an oil painting. If you are not sure whether or not to do it, experiment a little and see what works best for you.

Do I need to prime my canvas before oil painting?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the individual painter’s preferences and techniques. However, priming a canvas before starting an oil painting is generally recommended, as it can help to create a smoother painting surface and extend the life of the canvas.

Oil painting primer is a type of paint that is specifically designed for use on canvas. It is applied in a thin layer over the entire surface of the canvas, and then allowed to dry. Once it is dry, the painter can start to paint their masterpiece.

The main purpose of primer is to create a smooth surface on which to paint. This is especially important with oil paintings, as the paint can be quite thick and can easily streak or show brush marks. Primer helps to smooth out the surface, making it easier to work with and giving the finished painting a more polished look.

Primer can also help to protect the canvas from the effects of paint and solvents. Over time, these can cause the canvas to become brittle and crack. Primer forms a seal over the canvas that helps to prevent this from happening.

If you are new to oil painting, it is recommended that you prime your canvas before starting. This will help you to get the most out of your paints and will produce a more polished finished product. However, if you are a more experienced painter, you may prefer to forgo the primer and paint directly on the canvas. In this case, it is important to take extra care to avoid streaks and brush marks.

Do you paint the background or subject first?

When it comes to painting, there are a few different schools of thought on the best way to approach the process. Some artists prefer to paint the background first, while others start with the subject. So, which is the best way to go?

There are pros and cons to both methods. Painting the background first can be helpful in terms of creating a sense of depth and space in the painting. It can also help to create a more cohesive composition. However, it can be more difficult to get the colors and values right when painting the background, and it can be tricky to paint around the subject accurately.

Painting the subject first can be more challenging, as you have to be careful not to obscure the background. However, it can be easier to get the colors and values right, and it’s simpler to make changes to the composition if needed.

In the end, it’s up to the individual artist to decide which method works best for them. There is no one right way to paint, and everyone has their own preferences and techniques. Ultimately, the most important thing is to experiment and find what works best for you.

Jim Miller is an experienced graphic designer and writer who has been designing professionally since 2000. He has been writing for us since its inception in 2017, and his work has helped us become one of the most popular design resources on the web. When he's not working on new design projects, Jim enjoys spending time with his wife and kids.