forum Anyone know how to use oil paints?
Started by @Becfromthedead group

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@Katastrophic group

tbh I only used oils for class because I'm too impatient to let them dry. So here's my crash course list of stuff I remember:

  • Use primed canvas (stretched on a frame and washed with a white gesso base) because paper yellows fast
  • Mineral spirits and linseed oil are your friend. They are the equivalent of water and are used for watering down as well as minor cleaning
  • Turpentine also cleans, better than the other oils
  • You can't dispose of any of these in a sink, so have a designated waste bucket for cleaning
  • Oils are expensive so only buy the basic colors at first. I suggest investing in a large tube of white and small everything else.
  • You do need oil paint brushes. the bristles are different than water color and acrylics so they are less likely to break off or warp. they also make them kinda splintery so be careful scrubbing them, the brush bristles can stab.
  • Dawn dish soap is a life saver. It can get oil paint out of almost anything, even dried (stains not so much, but it can save dead brushes)
  • Wear gloves, some paint can actually be dangerous to skin if you have sensitive skin, open wounds, or long terms of exposure
  • Ventilate the room, esp if working with turpentine and the other non-paint oils
  • Can take 2-3 days to dry, so plan out
  • Pencil can mix with the paint so sketch lightly
  • Pallet knives are good for mixing without damaging brushes and can make some awesome textures, buy one if you can
  • Long dry times are good for a lot of work and blending, but don't over blend or try to do too much at once or it will get muddy fast (skin tones esp come to mind from my class)

uhh that's all I got for now, hopefully some of that helps ^_^


I’ve heard that turpentine isn’t necessary, you can do most cleaning with a bit of dish soap and blend and stuff with just about any oil
it might not be great for your brushes, but apparently works
I haven’t tested this as I am a Newbie

@Katastrophic group

Dish soap does work! It's just very bad to put oils down your sink, something about the chemicals. Turpentine is great if you have access to a turpentine sink (yay college fees going for something useful!) but otherwise dish soap is a cheaper option as long as you dispose of it properly.

@Becfromthedead group

Thank you! That's super helpful. It sounds tough, but I just got a job, so I'll have a bit of spending money for more supplies, and I'll definitely make sure to wait until I have the time to do it.
Although what do you do with your waste bucket???

@Katastrophic group

tbh i don't really know. Each city has a hazardous waste protocol, but I have a very dead garden dirt patch that I dumped mine in the one time I had to paint outside of school. i'd look into what local service you might have, it's a little different each area. Some places just suggest letting it evaporate or solidify and garbage dumping it, which would work for soapy water and paint contaminated stuff like rags.