About Oil Paints

Oils are one of the great classic media, and have dominated painting for five hundred years. They remain popular for many reasons: their great versatility, offering the possibility of transparency and opacity in the same painting; the lack of colour change when the painting dries; and ease of manipulation. The colours are made by dispersing pigments in linseed or safflower oil and generally come in tubes. They can be used thickly, straight from the tube, or thinned with a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit. Winton Oil Colours offer a range of colours manufactured to the highest possible standards within moderate cost limits, making them ideal for use by all artists.

Unlike acrylics, they are slow-drying, which means you can rework sections, or scrape off the paint from a part of the painting that has not succeeded and start again.

Colour mixing

Be methodical in your colour mixing. Haphazard mixing will only result in muddiness. It is best to start with a palette of three or four colours, then add one or two more as you gain experience. Adding white to a colour produces a tint. Adding black produces a shade.

We have listed above the selected colours we prefer, but even just three colours, plus white, will produce a wide range of tints. Try the following three basic colours to begin with: 1. Alizarin Crimson; 2. Cadmium Yellow Hue; 3. French Ultramarine. You can make a range of colours by simply mixing your paints. For example, you can make a good orange from Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Yellow Hue. Browns can be mixed from a combination of all three colours; try also replacing the Cadmium Yellow Hue with Yellow Ochre for a different shade.

Creating pastel colours

Experiment by adding white to each of your colours in increasing quantities: you will create a lovely range of strong and pale tints.

Mixing a good range of greens for landscapes

When you look at a landscape you can see at once that although most of the elements in it may be green, they are not likely to be the same green. So resist the temptation to reach for the tube of green paint all the time, or you will find that your paintings lack subtlety and, indeed, trueness to life. Mix a range of natural greens from the other paints.

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