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What is an Oil Painting?

          Oil painting is simply a combination of three things: pigment, binder, and thinner. The pigment is the color element, and the binder is the liquid carrier that binds the ground up the stain to be used to the canvas or whatever area that should be painted. On the other hand, a thinner is always added to the viscous pigment- oil mixture to make it easier to apply using a brush. For instance, one of the most straightforward oil paintings might have a mix of a red iron oxide represented by the pigment, linseed oil, binder, and turpentine, which is the thinner.

What is the history of oil painting?

 Oil painting might have different additives to promote drying, looks, and other actions.

 Oil paintings are utilized in different forms since the fourteenth century. Before then, colored ground into an emulsion with egg was the medium of choice in many artists’ studios. Oil painting started becoming very common compared to the egg tempera since it had greater versatility, a more extended working period, and more subtle rendering. The availability of rounded, exquisitely modeled types of the Renaissance would be impossible without qualities that come with the oil paint. During the last eighteenth century, color shops were found in Europe, giving color that was pre-milled. In 1832, Winsor and Newton were created in London.

While oil color history has a great romance, there is no query that today’s colors are superior in quality to those made a long time ago, generations, and even centuries. This is because new permanent materials, ideal methods, and the manufacturer’s accumulated experience and scientific expertise have designed a dramatic difference to the color quality available to today’s artist.

Oil painting history goes back to ancient times when man began to confine his acquaintance in the painting work. In Southern Europe’s caves, early man combined animal fats with earth and stain to design the first oil paints. The paint was applied onto the wall of the cave. In the fifteenth century, Jan Vac Eyck, a known Belgian painter, made oil painting by combining linseed oil and oil from nuts with diverse colors.  

When Was Oil Painting First Invented?

No one can tell when oil paint was first invented. Oils have been added to pigments’ mixtures long before oil paint was designed as an independent medium. The first type of oil painting was written down as early as the 11th century, even though an easel- painting with oil colors developed in the fifteenth century the tempera painting methods. It happened widely due to improvement in the refining of linseed oil and the availability of new color- pigments and volatile solvents after 1400, which later coincided with an urge for an optional medium of pure egg- yolk tempera to meet the creative needs of the Renaissance.

For several years, the first use of oil painting was attributed to the Flemish artist Jan Van Eyck and his brother Hubert. Their painting skills with their oil pigment expertise convinced the Dutch first, followed by Venetians and then some Italians, that oil painting was perfect compared to egg tempera. Even though Van Eyck’s revolutionized oil painting practice and took it to an early peak of perfection, they did not manage to invent it.

People are purchasing oil paintings is the modern fashionable thinking and imparting beautification in their homes. Oil painting is seen to give a high standard to the homeowners. Different owners buy oil paintings considering their taste, and these paintings are eyed as the stuff of immense beauty in the whole world. Its maturity and age develop the value of oil painting. Its foundation can be put into consideration by examination of the chemical used in the artwork.

The test type used can check if the image is original or fake. There is a variety of tests used to tell the age of the artwork. Some real tests include inspection of the paint’s cracks, pigmentation, varnishes, and a tinge of the colors. The oil painting has several advantages and disadvantages, this includes;


  • It generates luminous, hardwearing colors.
  • It combines well with environmental paints.
  • It can be left open for a more extended period.
  • Cn as well is exposed to air for a long time without drying.
  • It offers the artist room for making changes and works with creation.


  • Slow drying can also be inconveniencing.
  • It makes the artists find it hard to go to the next stage in painting since it dries slowly.
  • There are chances of accidentally blending colors that were not supposed to be mixed.

Oil paint can be applied using different types of methods. It can be used in any selected ground using a brush, a palette knife, a cloth, or even a toothpick. The variety of brushes used includes red sable, weasel hair, ox- hair, boar, and a range of synthetic brushes. Oil paints are supported by canvas, board, panel, or even a prepared paper. Traditional oil painting began with varnish charcoal or chalk drawing.

The layers were built using the paints with a lot of keenness to ensure that every layer applied had a little more oil than the prior one to facilitate drying and prevent flaking. Many additives such as waxes, resins, and varnishes were used by mixing with the paint to differentiate its luminosity, sheen, and other features, such as its capability to conceal brushstrokes. Drying takes a very long time, after which resin or wax varnish can be used. Nevertheless, museums curators do not see oil painting to be thoroughly dry until several years have passed.

In summary, oil paints are designed from ground pigments in an oil binding medium where the oil reacts with oxygen in the air and dries up slowly to turn into a solid linoxyn. Oil paints are sold in airtight tubes; therefore, artists no longer experience the struggle of grinding the pigment on their own. Some of the oi paint found in the market are water-soluble. Pigments used in paints are either natural or artificial. Some paint colors appear more transparent than the others; some dry up faster while others have more perfect bodies hence useful for impasto. There are also different brands with different pigment concentrations.

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