Oil paints offer an unparalleled color intensity, greater opacity, workable consistency, and luminosity!
It is one of the most popular types of painting medium for the rich colors it produces. Also, wonderful textured effects can be created easily using different oil painting techniques.
But painting with oils can be a daunting task if you do not have the right painting set to start with. Well, look no further!
We have got you covered, read on for some great tips and ideas in choosing oil colors and palettes that best suits your requirements and preferences.
Which Colors To Start With?
A color is defined by three characteristics- hue ( quality), saturation (purity) and value (the darkness or lightness of the color)
There are so many options for oil painting colors available that even a seasoned artist can get confused.
All you need is to follow this rule of thumb: Do not go buying oil colors on the commercial names. Choose your colors based on pigments and properties of lightfastness (measures the stability of a pigment to endure the light) and opacity.
We would recommend you to get the basic colors to start with and create other combinations by mixing.
You can go on buying these colors which usually works well for beginners. It includes whites, naphthol red, titanium white, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, phthalo green and arylide yellow light.
How To Select The Color Palette?
In practice, there is nothing like selecting the perfect oil color palette, it’s all about creating one!
You need to understand the color theory and comprehend the different palette options in a simple and practical way.
The basic color theory elaborates on the classic six-point color wheel (three primary colors and three secondary colors) wherein a dividing line splits the wheel into warm and cool. Regardless, the theory concludes that warm colors are red, orange, and yellow while the cool colors are green, blue, and magenta
Implementing color theory concepts will further help you understand the relationship between colors and ultimately help you perceive the ultimate expression of these paints. Gradually, you will master the skill and create your own palette that works for you.
Your palette may vary depending on the focus of your painting, palettes for landscapes are different from palettes for portraits and so on. For example, Impressionists’ Palette is used to create atmospheric effects and spatial depth
We have compiled three common color palettes that you may find useful for a variety of your artworks. However, it is certain that these options will provide a starting point for the development of custom palettes tailored to your specific requirements.
- Palettes with one warm and one cool color pigment- helps to add versatility and creating the illusion of depth on your canvas.
- Zorn palette- helps in creating rich dark colors and beautiful greys.
- Monochromatic palettes- helps to focus on accurate shapes, varying tones and value of the colors.
Alternatively, while learning to develop your oil color palette, you can start with following the techniques of the artist you admire and use his/her color palette pattern.
Many great artists such as Monet have chosen to use a limited oil color palette that is preferred having three to four colors in his palette. On the other hand, painters such as James Gurney, Ruprecht Von Kaufmann used selectively zonal palettes (cold or warm, dark or luminous) depending on the theme of their art.
You can switch an oil color every now and then from the palette options commonly used by your favorite artists. You never know, you might find the perfect color palette that best suits your painting style and preferences.
For centuries, many great artists have been using oil paints to create their masterpieces. This amazing medium is made from color pigments suspended in oil and offers enough room for experimentation if you are really up for it.
Understand the chemistry of your colors and unleash your creativity, it will be magical!
Good To Know
Painting with oils requires a few extra mediums and tools. You may need a gamsol or mineral spirits, linseed oil, glass jars with lids, palette knife, paintbrushes of varied sizes, rags, gesso. Make sure to get the right supplies before you get started painting with oils.