Transparency, luminosity, material effects, meticulous detail work… With oils, your options are endless … Six key steps to guide you in creating an oil painting.
This is more a "framing guide" than an exhaustive drawing. This is not a required step, but can prove quite useful when you're ready to start painting.
Observe the subject with your eyes half closed, so all you see are spots of color and blurry masses. This helps you overlook superfluous details and simplify the forms composing it.
For paint to adhere well and dry without cracking, you need to thinly apply a background.
You can also use acrylic paint, which dries faster.
To check whether the background is dry, lightly run your index finger over several spots: if it doesn't pick up any paint – even if the surface seems sticky – you can add the next layer.
Coloring a painting is done by superimposing layers. Start by adding areas of shadow and light, fill in large areas with color, then work patiently, laying on more and more intense layers of color.
There is another, faster technique, for use by experienced painters: “alla prima” painting. This technique is used outdoors or to capture the spontaneity of a scene; it allows you to finish your painting in a single session, because each layer of color is applied over the previous one while still fresh.
This is where a painter’s real work is done. This involves light strokes instead of slapping on the paint. This is called "making the canvas sing"! It's the final harmonizing of tones.