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Old 09-07-2004, 02:20 AM
DLGardner's Avatar
DLGardner DLGardner is offline
Somewhere under the rainbow!PNW
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Welcome to WetCanvas! and the Oil Forum in particular.

Some of you are new to oil painting and as you enter our community I am sure you have a lot of questions. Needless to say, many of your questions have been asked many times here on WC and some interesting and educational discussions have already taken place.

This isn't necessarily a replacement of your question though, so if what you are wondering isn't answered here (or by doing a search) please do start a thread with your question and get that good one-on-one that WC is so well known for!

Also, don't forget you can do your own search to find previous discussions -
here is an article that can help you get the most out of searching here on Wetcanvas:

*****How to Search WetCanvas!*****

And the Oil Painting Hall of Fame is another stupendous resource to browse through!

1. If you want critique, ask for it specifically wither in your post or in your signature line. For example C&C welcome.

2. If someone posts a painting and you do not see a specific critique request, do not give a critique.

3. Be respectful. There is always a kind and constructive way to say whatever you want to say. Treat others the way you want to be treated.


Drawing for Painting 101

Oil Paint Brands
Here is a link to the Product Reviews section of WetCanvas!
Reviews of Artist Grade Oil Paints
"Which Oil Paint Brand Do YOU Recommend?"
"Favorite Colors From Each Supplier?"
"Traditional Oil Brands"

Can you mix different brands? (Answer - Yes!)
Mixing Paint Brands...
Mixing different oil brands?
Mixing different white oils
mixing different brands/kinds of oil paint?
Mixing Oil paint brands.

Color Choices and Pigments
"Starting Palette???"
"Student (Goya) Palette"
"Painting the Luminous Skin" Article
Art School - Portrait Colors
"My Color Chart"
"Pigment Info Online??"
Handling Phthalo Blue (and other "difficult to control" colours)
"My new tube of paint is too oily"

"Can We Talk About Brushes Please?"
"Small or Large Brushes?"

Painting Mediums
Mediums serve many purposes in oil painting.
"Mediums - Why Do YOU Use Them?"
"What Oil Medium Do You Trust the Most?
"Classical Oil Painting Mediums" Article
Food-grade oil
"Sunflower Oil?" - good discussion on what makes a *drying* oil
"Cobalt Drier vs. Japan Drier?"
"Liquin : Fat or Lean?"

Bob Ross Liquid Clear and Liquid White

"Fat Over Lean" - Just What Does That Mean, Anyway?!
This is an important thing to know if you intend to glaze or paint in layers!
"Noob Question - fat over lean?"

Glazing is often seen as some mysterious technique of the old masters, but it is really nothing more than painting in thin layers (often using transparent pigments though semi-transparent and opaque pigments may also be used when applied in a physically thin manner--some people will use the term "scumbling" when using opaque paint) which enable some of the previous layers to show through. Below are a few how-tos, though these are not the only ways that glazing may be accomplished. (You might also want to have a look concerning various mediums and the "fat over lean 'rule'", links which can be found above.)
Glazing with Oils, how-to article by Bill Martin
Purple Iris WIP
Tone/Vlaue Workshop by Bill Martin
Underpainting by Michael Georges
Masters Study... William Bouguereau (glazing demo)

Does Graphite Pencil "strike through" Oil Paint?

Water Miscible Oils
*When doing a search for these, keep in mind that many refer to these as "water soluble"--and many misspell it as "soluable".
Many people love using these as an alternative to regular oils; they can be lightly thinned with water instead of solvent and can be cleaned up with soap and water (though soap and water does a fine job with regular oil paints, as well!).
"What About Water Soluble Oils?"
"Sold on Water Mixable Oils"
"Water Soluble Oil Paints"
"Sticky Water-Solubles - Advice?"
"Opinions on Water-Mixable Oils?"
"Artisian Water Mixable Oil Color"
"All About Water Soluble Oils"

We also now have a specific Water-Mixable Oils subforum

Clean Up!
Oil paints can be easily cleaned up with soap and water, though it seems that there are as many ways to clean up as there are oil painters!
How Do You Clean Up? -a poll

Varnishing serves two main purposes. First, varnish serves as a layer of protection between your painting and the environment--it is meant to be a removable layer. It also serves to even out the sheen of your painting if you have the glossy/dull patches which are quite common to oil paints. If you choose to varnish, you should wait six to twelve months after the surface is touch-dry (you may use "retouch varnish" to even out the surface before then if you wish). Varnishing is optional and in the case of needing to show or sell the work before the six month mark, it is a common practice to let the customer know they may return the piece at a later date to be varnished if they wish (with the added bonus of being able to interact with the customer again!).
Step-by-step instruction

Painting Supports (Surfaces)
*The most common surface for the beginning oil painter is stretched cotton canvas or canvas mounted on some type of board. (Often these cheaper boards are mounted on cardboard, this is fine for practice and learning but they do have a tendency to warp, especially at larger sizes, and these cardboard boards are often not seen as archival.)
*Commercially prepared canvas usually has 2-3 coats of acrylic primer (also known as acrylic "gesso" though real "gesso" that is traditionally used in oil painting is quite different). It is often fine to paint directly onto commercially prepared canvas, though the primer coating can be thin especially in cheaper brands and many people like to add a few more coats of acrylic gesso to ensure that the oil will not seep through the primer (thus rotting the canvas eventually) or merely to further obliterate the weave of the canvas, creating a slightly smoother texture to work on. I will reiterate, though, especially for beginner oil painters, there is usually no problem painting on the commercial canvases as-is.
*Another common surface for oil painters is board, hardboard or mdf being the most common (and least expensive, definitely cheaper than canvas). You can usually purchase hardboard at your local Home Depot or Lowe's-type place and it is usually quite inexpensive (cheaper than decent paper even). The shop will usually cut the board to your specifications and you can then prime it with several coats of acrylic gesso.

For advice on how to prepare your own canvases, or improve commercial ones, see here.
(You might also have a look at the link in post #5 here for some great info.)
Canvas Preparation
Preparing Panels by Marc Hanson
How to Make Panels Less Absorbent (lots of good info and discussion)
How to Make Panels Less Absorbent II

Repairing a Torn Canvas

Reusing an old canvas (and "Can I re-gesso?")

Controlling Edges
An often overlooked aspect to painting for the beginner is the question of how to treat edges. Here is some good food for thought on the subject:
Controlling Edges

Books and Videos Discussed
Good Books for Beginners?
Good Books for Beginners - more!
Oil Painting Videos
*Brushwork Essentials*, a review
*Brushwork Essentials* and a few other books...

The Newbie Chronicles
Help for newbies...by a newbie.
Some rather humorous (and helpful!) insights into painting that show we can all learn from each other, no matter what "level" we are at.
Newbie Chronicles #1 - Five Common Mistakes
Newbie Chronicles #2 - The Value of Value

Miscellaneous Equipment
Quick and Easy Easel Clamp to Hold Reference Photos
What on Earth is a Mahl Stick?
How to Build a Better Mahl Stick
Best Low-Cost Studio Easel?
Looking to Purchase a Studio Easel
Easel for Plein Air and Studio?
Lighting While Working
What is a Good Artificial Light Source?
Spectrum Blue Lights?
Studio Lighting: What Works, What Doesn't?
Easy Brush Adaptation for Arthritis (Using a tennis ball)

Discussions about safe usage and toxicity of oil paints


Visiting some of the other forums, such as the color theory forum, can be advantageous for the new painter too.

Make sure you visit some WIPs (Works-in-Progress) posted by some of our experienced painters here. You will learn so much from them!


If anyone would like to add to the list of links, please post them onto this thread http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=214553 which is an "open" version, retaining all the comments and discussion as originally posted - one of the Mods can subsequently add them to here

Last edited by stapeliad : 07-24-2017 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:20 PM
Rosic's Avatar
Rosic Rosic is offline
A WC! Legend
Carolina Coast
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,954
Hails from United States
Re: **POSTING GUIDELINES** -- Please read!!

FAQ's for Newbies...

Welcome to Wet Canvas and the Oils Forum.

Within this post you will find the answers to many of your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)... like... How do I post an image?... How to do I send a PM?... When should I use the Butt Icon?... etc.

Oil Forum Staff:
Dana Design

Please PM us with any needs and/or concerns...

So what did I sign anyways?
Ever wondered just what your User Agreement says? Check it out here...
Updated User Agreement

When do I need the BUTT ICON?
Wet Canvas requires the BUTT Icon for nudity/partial nudity posts... when in doubt... post it with a BUTT... ... For more info on the current erotic/nude art policy click on the link below...

How do I add the BUTT ICON?

To add the simply pick the Butt Icon when posting your thread.

What do I do if I forget to add the BUTT ICON?
If you forget... simply click the "Alert Post" button (the red triangle) at the top right next to the post number and type a note that you need a and a moderator will attach one.

6 Techniques For Handling Criticism: Are you afraid to display your work because you can't handle criticism? This article walks you through six ways to avoid bad criticism and learn how to use it to your advantage!

Giving Critique - a Check List for Critiquers: Not quite sure how to give a critique? Try using this check list as a good basic starting point for any critique.

The Image Uploader and Attachment Manager: Having trouble trying to figure out how to put images in your posts? Uploading files and attaching images will be a cinch after you check out this step-by-step article showing how to use the Image Uploader and Image/File Attachment Manager!

Should I use the Image Uploader or the Attachment Manager?
Answer... the IMAGE UPLOADER... that way your work can be viewed within the thread when someone is replying. Since we are big on critiques here it makes it easier to give one.

Check out the new Image Uploader... Doesn't get any easier than this!

If you don't have a photo manipulation program here is a brilliant free program. http://www.irfanview.com/ You can resize your images to fit the 600x500 requirements.

Making Avatars for Use on WC!: The mystery of Avatars, also known as "tinyheads", is unveiled by Artie's guest writer (hlee) showing how easy it is make and upload your own with the freeware programs readily available on the web!

Where Should I Post My Art? -- Guide to the Forums: Confused about where you should post questions or your art? Here's where you can learn about the various forums on offer, learn how to get a critique, cross-posting, and the three-strikes rule.

Using the Private Message System: Wondering how to make contact with other WetCanvas! members? Check out Artie's step-by-step instructions to the Private Message System, and soon you'll be in touch, too!

Personalizing WetCanvas!: Want to create your own 'look' for your posts at WetCanvas? There are lots of options and, best of all, it’s easy! Join Artie for a tour of the MyWC! options!

6 Steps to Registering Your Account!: Been lurking long enough? Want to join WetCanvas! and get in on all the neat benefits of membership? Well, it's easy and it's free, so just check out this 'how-to' article and you're on your way!

How To Rate Threads: Artie is at it again with helpful hints for New Users in this Article on How To Rate Threads! Ever wonder how some threads get those little stars? Step-by-step, you'll find out how!

How to JOIN a Project, CHAT & UPLOAD Your Work!: Bobby Aquitania, resident chat nut and cartoonist, asks Leo, Remy, and Vinnie how to join a project, upload work and enter the WC! chat room where members discuss their work.

"I'm traveling 33 1/3 RPM's in an IPOD world..."

Last edited by Dana Design : 08-29-2009 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:23 PM
Rosic's Avatar
Rosic Rosic is offline
A WC! Legend
Carolina Coast
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,954
Hails from United States
Re: **POSTING GUIDELINES** -- Please read!!

There is a great deal of information buried in threads within the forums - many topics are discussed repeatedly. There is a search facility available, but making best use of it requires knowing a few tricks.

Near the top of each page there is a search menu - if it is clicked on, it will give you a dropdown box, like this:

you can type in a word or phrase, or you can go to the "advanced search" (also at http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/search.php? )

This gives you much more control over your search.

Now the biggest trick in doing any computerised search (here, Google, whatever) is to realise that you have to choose the right words with which to search, in order to get the best results - for example, you're a beginner and you want to know which paints to buy - "oil paints" would be a useless search term - first of all, "oil" with only 3 letters, is too short to be searched at all at WetCanvas - and secondly, "paints" is a term which is probably used in a substantial proportion of all the posts across the site! - and not just oils, but in watercolours, acrylic, and so on. So let's find a term which is more selective - such as "brands" or "manufacturers", and restrict the search only to the Oils Forum. It may be necessary to try the search with different terms, to see what turns up each time.

Another topic people frequently ask about is what are the differences between whites, and what are their best uses - again, searching for "white" will produce very large numbers of posts, in most of which people will only be listing their palette, in passing - but if we want to be more discriminant, to find technical comparisons between the different whites, then we can search specifically for posts using several terms for the different whites.

For example - searching for "titanium cremnitz zinc" in the "oil painting" forum gives you a two page list - if you fill in the Advanced Search form like this:

"I'm traveling 33 1/3 RPM's in an IPOD world..."
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:24 PM
Rosic's Avatar
Rosic Rosic is offline
A WC! Legend
Carolina Coast
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,954
Hails from United States
Re: **POSTING GUIDELINES** -- Please read!!

Some guidelines on taking a digital photo of a painting:

1. get a tripod, and put your camera on it - it needn't be expensive, but it's much better than hand-holding it - make sure that the camera is square-on to the painting, and the painting fills as much of the frame as possible - most digital cameras show some barrel distortion of images on the wideangle settings - it is a good idea physically back off somewhat, and zoom in to at least mid-range optical zoom so that a square looks square, not like it's had too much to eat! (but not to the extent that digital zoom kicks in - for most purposes digital zoom is worthless, as it's just resizing the image up from part of the imaging chip)

2. turn off the flash, and choose manual camera settings - turn off auto.

3. digital cameras will work in low light levels, but the results will be bad - illuminate the painting from the sides, or better yet, take it outside and use daylight - overcast days with diffuse light are best.

4. read your manual, and find out about white balance settings - don't just leave your camera on "auto" - you need to either use custom if your camera has it, and set it by filling the field of view with a white sheet under the same lighting - or choose the preset value which is closest to the colour temperature of your light source ("auto" is set to balance correctly for the distribution of colours of typical snapshot photography - the more your painting diverges from this, the worse a job it will make of it.)

5. Some cameras with auto-focus have difficulty on finding the focus for flat surfaces - if this is so, if the camera finds focus by half-depressing the button (as many do), find something else at the same distance as the painting, focus on that, and holding the button to keep that focus, swing the camera back to the painting and photograph it.

6. If your camera is bleaching out light colours to pure white, or giving you greys instead of blacks, read the manual about "exposure compensation" settings, and use them (If you want to photograph showing a surrounding area, a neutral mid-tone is technically better than black or white - as they will force auto-exposure settings up or down respectively)

7. Take several photos, varying the white balance and exposure compensation settings, if unsure - at least one is likely to be usable.

8.In general, take photos at higher resolutions and resize them down in the computer. Be prepared to find your way around your graphics software!!

9. If you get odd banding patterns across the painting in the photo (particularly when resized down) do a slight gaussian blur, just sufficient to blur the canvas grain in the larger photo, before resizing down. After resizing down to wetcanvas-compatible sizes, it's often helpful to do a slight sharpen.

10. If you are still unhappy with the photo, you either need a better camera (though any digital camera with more than 2megapixels is likely to be well-enough made to give acceptable photos for posting here, used carefully, with the advice above) - or a decent piece of graphics software in which you can adjust colours, (eg using levels, curves, and channels)

"I'm traveling 33 1/3 RPM's in an IPOD world..."
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:25 PM
Rosic's Avatar
Rosic Rosic is offline
A WC! Legend
Carolina Coast
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,954
Hails from United States
Re: **POSTING GUIDELINES** -- Please read!!

Make sure your original image is in jpg format, and not larger than 800 pixels in height, nor 600 in width. You can adjust this in any image editor, Photo Shop for example. And place the image in a folder on your local computer which you know how to find.

UPDATE! - Check out the New Image Uploader... Doesn't get any easier than this!


..and for those occasions where you need to use the older uploader facility (still available) -

Matt posted instructions on using the uploader - I've added illustrations to those instructions so hopefully now it's even clearer

In the thread or post you're writing, click on the button "Quick links", found up to your right in the blue tool bar - A drop-down menu will appear, and at the bottom of that you'll find "Image uploader". Press it.

(If you are using a Mac, and can not get the drop-down menu uploader, you can access the Image Uploader through this link: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Uploader/popup.php? )

A new window will appear on your desktop:

Press "browse" to locate the image you want to upload.

Another window opens - Locate the image of your choice and double click on it, alternatively you can highlight it and press "Open".

Now you will be redirected to the image uploader window, where you can see the path to your image in the search field

now press "Upload Image".

after a moment, another window appears -In this window, called "File upload complete" you will see the sourcecode for your image. Press "Copy" to copy these lines of text.

press "close window" - BUT, if you wish to post more than one image in your thread/post, leave this window open.

Now you find yourself back in your original post. Place the flashing text marker where you wish your image to be placed, right-click your mouse and choose "paste". Done!

Now if you want to add more images, go back to the "Image uploader" window and repeat the procedure.

"I'm traveling 33 1/3 RPM's in an IPOD world..."

Last edited by Dana Design : 05-26-2013 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:00 PM
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stapeliad stapeliad is offline
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If you would like to run a forum project, GREAT!

We welcome members being prepared to organize and run a project or challenge but we ask that you please contact the Forum Moderators first to check such things as copyright and willingness to comment and encourage participants.

Lady Mars Orange Marmalade Stapleford
My Website .. Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. -Oscar Wilde

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Old 06-28-2018, 09:13 PM
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stapeliad stapeliad is offline
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Water Soluble Oils Resources

Manufacturers of WMO:

Winsor & Newton Artisan

Grumbacher Max

Van Gogh H2Oil

Holbein Duo Aqua

Lukas Berlin

Maimeri Classico Acqua

Weber wOil

Daniel Smith Water Soluble Oils


Painting with water-soluble oils by Sean Dye
preview of this book is available here:


No Experience Required! Water-Soluble Oils by Mary Deutschman
preview of this book is available here:


Brushwork Essentials by Mark Christopher Weber
preview of this book is available here:

Lady Mars Orange Marmalade Stapleford
My Website .. Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. -Oscar Wilde

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