I am taking art as an A level in college and one of our projects at the moment is leaning how to oil paint, the techniques used etc. For someone that does not paint, ever, I mean my teacher worries when I pick up a paint brush, this project terrified me, but as I have now started I have grown to like it just a little bit, so I thought this would be a good idea to record my progress and share the stages with anyone else who'd like to learn to oil paint too.
I had to chose a painting by an artist already to copy as it is a lot easier to learn that way due to the stages you paint in. I decided to chose a painting of a log cabin in the woods as it slightly linked to my previous drawings done for the course.
For the first stages I did a wash of very watered down acrylic paint of the colour burnt sienna, this makes it easier to pick out the highlights in the painting as you are then not staring at a plain white canvas. This was done in acrylic because it just dries in seconds where as oils will take a long time. I then drew a very basic outline of the painting over the top.
The next stage was to bring out any of highlights and white areas, for this I used just white oil paint and turpentine to water it down, just like how you'd use water for water paints or acrylic, you have to use turpentine for oil paints. this is just a thin layer and can still see the lines underneath.
After bringing all the highlights out you can then start to add in the black for darker areas and blend together. Again this is done using black oil paint and turpentine still as just a thin layer. For this I used pure black paint but if this scares you and want something less dark I would recommend using paynes grey instead.
Finally I have finished what is the first layer of a grisaille, which is just a monochrome version of the painting. Mine is still a very thin layer at the moment, but I will then go on to thicken this up before I start to add any colour.