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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for List of Oil Painting Tips for Beginners -Know Before You Paint
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Joanna James Joanna James
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List of Oil Painting Tips for Beginners -Know Before You Paint

Think you might be the next Solis Mendis or George Keyt? If you want to try out oil painting and probably excel like the masters of Sri Lanka art, then read these 5 beginner's tips.

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Tip #1

Yes, one day you might be able to display your art at the prestigious Sri Lankan Art Gallery; but for starters let's try out something small shall we? Painting small, gives you the opportunity to try out a variety of techniques as well as experimenting with colour without dedicating too much material or time into the process. When you first try out oil painting, buy small canvas boards or canvasses that are about 8x10 inch. There's no harm in trying out oil painting on paper as then you will be saving money on canvasses. Just for the few first tries. However, if you're trying out with paper, make sure to gesso it first.

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Tip #2

Your great masterpieces of art should appear on the canvass and not on the walls, the kitchen table or the sofa :P So, before you get to work, make sure to set up an adequate space in an area that is well-ventilated. You need have enough room to keep your supplies and palettes in a way that they are ready to be taken and used. You paintings should also be visible, so that it will give you the opportunity to see and think about your work even while you're not actually working. Placing the paintings so visible would make you see them constantly giving you more motivation to keep on painting.

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Tip #3

For a warrior to go into battle, he or she needs the right sword. Same goes for a painter. If you want to succeed in your quest to create a great piece of oil painting, you must equip yourself with correct and high-quality paints and brushes. Here, you must opt for the professional grade paints and not the student grade. Why? Because the professional grade of paints provide a much greater ratio of pigments to binder.
When it comes to brushes, you can initially start off with three different sizes. You can add more sizes to your collection as you keep painting on. You can choose to use synthetic brushes for acrylic paints for oils or try natural hair brushes that can also be used with oil paints. Out of all these, bristle brushes are the most widely used.

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Tip #4

To build a house you must first build a good foundation. Likewise, to create a painting you must first prime your painting surface well. Doing so provides a good foundation for the painting to be based on, whether you're working with canvas, paper or wood. It is very important to apply primer such as gesso for example; as this will avoid the oil from seeping into the surface and protect it from any acids in the paint. The primer will also provide a good surface that the paint can adhere to. There are pre-primed boards or canvasses available, and if you wish you can apply gesso to these for a much smoother surface.

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Tip #5

Learn about the color and proper color mixing. Primary colors are not 'pure' and they rather incline towards either yellow or blue which makes them 'warm' if toward yellow or 'cool' if towards blue. This can influence how the primary colours are mixed to produce secondary colours.

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