Choosing, Mixing and Applying Color

by pamneely on November 11, 2010

The three basic activities of oil painting can roughly be classified as, 1, choosing the colors to be mixed, 2, mixing them so that they fuse and handle well, 3, applying them, after mixing, to the canvas or support with brush or knife.

In no other medium is it so important to take such care with these processes as with oil painting. Oil paint is thicker, greasier, slower in drying. Needing more patience to handle than watercolor, it makes more demands on your temperament and good will, because if these things are neglected or sloppily done, very little of the true nature of oil painting will emerge or be enjoyed.

Initially the first few efforts in oil painting will be solely concerned with getting used to these three phases and the following few exercises are designed to enable you to familiarize yourself with them. Successful handling of oil paint depends on making these three phases habitual so that you do not have to think about them while painting and can get on with expressing what you want to do. Therefore if you take a little trouble to acquire the routine of choosing, mixing and applying you will find you have mastered the first of the difficult parts of painting.

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