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Video:What Is Oil Paint?

with Marco Cutrone

Oil paint has been used by some of the greatest artistic masters of all time. In this About.com video, learn the basics of oil paint, so you can paint your next Mona Lisa.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is Oil Paint?

Hi, I'm Marco Cutrone from Marco Cutrone Fine Arts. I'm a realist painter, and I'm here for About.com. Today I'm going to talk about oil paints. 

What are Oil Paints?

Oil paints dry significantly slower than water based paints, this can be tremendously advantageous if you want to work slowly, blend colors, and build up transparent layers of paint. They can be used to create both thin and think layers. 

They can also be used with glazes to create a variety of different visual effects. Though it depends on the brand and hue selected, oil paints are known for their vibrance and intensity of color. There is also a long history of old masters using oils and developing different methods of working with oil paints. 

How to Use Oil Paint?

A lot of patience is required to work with this type of paint. It can even take several months for a painting to fully dry. When a layer of oil paint does dry, you can paint onto it without disturbing the layers beneath it. 

Oil paints are often used with solvents in the medium and cleaning supplies that require ventilation. These solvents can be quite hazardous to your health and it is important to read up on the appropriate safety precautions before working with them. 

How Much are Oil Paints?

The price of oil paints vary depending on the brand and quality of paint selected. Cheaper paints often have less pigment and more filler. The pigments themselves are often lower quality and may not produce colors that are as vibrant as the higher quality options. 

If you are looking to start oil painting, as a bare minimum, you will also need to invest in a brush, medium, cleaning solvent, a palette, canvases, and gesso. Pre-gessoed canvases are also available. There are lots of other supplies that you may consider investing in when you are more familiar with oil paints. 

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