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Oil Canvas Tips


Art Tips | Oil Canvas Tips

After you’ve stretched your canvas and primed it, you’re ready to start drawing.


1. Sketch Many artists start with a light sketch in either pencil or charcoal. This outline gives your muscles a taste of the gestural marks you will be making and sets up your composition.

2. Base color Add an acrylic base color or wash to your canvas so that stark white won’t show through in any missed spots or rough canvas parts

3. Color palette Choose your colors and spread them onto your artist’s palette. If you don’t have a palette, you can you any hard surface such as a thin cardboard and tape a piece of wax paper around it.

4. Mixing medium Use an alkyd flow medium as an oil paint thinner. You could use linseed oil, however, the drying time will be very long

5. Low-odor thinner Use this to clean your brushes while you paint. Put the thinner in a can with a mesh screen in it so you can wipe the brushes clean on it.

6. Tonal sketch use a very thin brush to sketch over your pencil marks and then add a tonal sketch as an underpainting

7. Focal points Use the rule of thirds (divide your canvas vertically and horizontally into thirds. Use the 4 intersecting focal points as a place to center your focal point) This will make your painting more compositionally sound

8. Composition Use figures, objects and landscape aspects to lead the eye to the focal point or points

9. Mahl stick A Mahl stick is a straight edge used for painting. You can make one yourself or buy one at an art store. These are useful for making straight lines on your canvas.

10. Mistakes You can use thinner to fix mistakes but make sure your underpainting is dry before you put on any thinner  


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