Oil painting - materials & techniques
Oil paint is a combination of a pigment and an oil binding medium. It dries slowly in comparison to other paints, allowing the artist to manipulate the paint. The binder is usually linseed oil. The methods used to process the oil affect the colour, consistency and drying time of the paint. Poppy and walnut oil are also used. They dry more slowly and do not become as yellow.
Ready-made paint was sold in animal bladders from at least 1600 and in tubes from the 1830s
Palette traditionally believed to have been used by William Blake in 1780
Sample of paint applied with a round brush
For the highlights in the sea Delacroix used a round brush with fluid paint.
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacriox, The Shipwreck of Don Juan, About 1840, Oil on canvas.
Sample of paint applied with a square brush
To capture the characteristic stripes of silver birch bark Dughet used a square, flat brush.
Gaspard Dughet Italian Landscape 1633-1635.
Oil on canvas
Sample of marks made with paintbrush handle
To accentuate the stormy nature of the sky Rousseau drew into wet paint with the handle of a brush.
Pierre Etienne Théodore Rousseau Landscape with a Stormy Sky About 1842 Oil sketch on board.
Sample of paint applied with a palette knife
To create different surface textures in the landscape Courbet applied the paint with a palette knife.
Gustave Courbet Landscape with The Châtel St. Denis, Scey-en-Verais 1873 Oil on canvas.