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Oil painting on a budget-tips & tricks.

March 25, 2011

Not all of us come from stupendously wealthy families which keep us well supplied with Old Holland paints and gold-primed canvases. If you’re one of those people, you can stop reading now. For the rest of us, here are a few tips for painting on the (relatively) cheap without sacrificing quality.

-Student grade paint is just fine for the most part, unless you’re looking for a very specific colour that is only available in artist grade.

-Liquin light gel goes a long way, extends well but isn’t too slippery, is odour free and has less yellowing than liquin liquid or linseed oil. It also speeds up the drying of paint which is usually rather nice, unless you like fiddling around for days. Don’t forget to shake the bottle before pouring it out though.

-Daler-Rowney produce pretty nice brushes. I particularly like their System 3 brushes- they keep their shape quite well. I know it’s supposed to be for acrylic, but I haven’t had a problem using them with oils.

-Now for my favourite tip: use greaseproof cooking paper as a palette! It’s cheap, can be found anywhere and comes in a variety of colours (I like the medium tone grey or brown) and works really well as an oil palette or for any other type of paint. You can throw it out after each session without too much remorse. This works better if you’re not the type who puts out mountains of paint for every session- I tend to put out relatively small amounts of the colours I need, but then I plan my paintings out before I start.

Anyone have any more tips?

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