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I only recently began working in oils, but instantly fell in love with them due to their flexible nature.  It allowed me time to make changes, blend, or even totally rework a section.  It was a little scary at first dealing with the different oils, thinners, mineral spirits, and most of all how to safely clean up and dispose of them after.  The benefits are well worth the extra hassel.  I studied painting at Dartmouth College, where I learned the concepts of color, mixing, and manipulation.  I’ve done many works with stills, figures, landscapes, and action shots.  I do most of my work on canvas, but have done some smaller portraits on paper.  Generally, I use a palette knife for the majority of my work.  I’ve started applying thinned paint and glazes with brushes to highlight sections where needed.

Interesting Facts to enlighten you:  Oil painting (Wikipedia) is the process of painting with pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil—especially in early modern Europe, linseed oil. Often an oil, such as linseed, was boiled with a resin, such as pine resin or even frankincense; these were called ‘varnishes’ and were prized for their body and gloss. Other oils occasionally used include poppyseed oil, walnut oil, and safflower oil. These oils confer various properties to the oil paint, such as less yellowing or different drying times. Certain differences are also visible in the sheen of the paints depending on the oil. Painters often use different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired. The paints themselves also develop a particular consistency depending on the medium.

Although oil paint was first used for the Buddhist Paintings by Indian and Chinese painters in western Afghanistan sometime between the fifth and ninth centuries, it did not gain popularity until the 15th century. Its practice may have migrated westward during the Middle Ages. Oil paint eventually became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became widely known. The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting in northern Europe, and by the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques had almost completely replaced tempera paints in the majority of Europe.

Oil painting Technique (Wikipedia) Traditional oil painting techniques often begin with the artist sketching the subject onto the canvas with charcoal or thinned paint. Oil paint is usually mixed with linseed oil, artist grade mineral spirits or other solvents to create a thinner, faster or slower drying paint. Because these solvents thin the oil in the paint, they can also be used to clean paint brushes. A basic rule of oil paint application is ‘fat over lean’. This means that each additional layer of paint should contain more oil than the layer below to allow proper drying. If each additional layer contains less oil, the final painting will crack and peel. There are many other media that can be used in oil painting, including cold wax, resins, and varnishes. These additional media can aid the painter in adjusting the translucency of the paint, the sheen of the paint, the density or ‘body’ of the paint, and the ability of the paint to hold or conceal the brushstroke. These variables are closely related to the expressive capacity of oil paint.

Traditionally, paint was transferred to the painting surface using paint brushes, but there are other methods, including using palette knives and rags. Oil paint remains wet longer than many other types of artists’ materials, enabling the artist to change the color, texture or form of the figure. At times, the painter might even remove an entire layer of paint and begin anew. This can be done with a rag and some turpentine for a certain time while the paint is wet, but after a while, the hardened layer must be scraped. Oil paint dries by oxidation, not evaporation, and is usually dry to the touch within a span of two weeks. It is generally dry enough to be varnished in six months to a year. Art conservators do not consider an oil painting completely dry until it is 60 to 80 years old.