Trying oil painting for the first time

Trying oil painting for the first time

wendy-millard-artJan 8, 2022

I've always admired loose oil paintings but have been wary of trying them as they seem like a daunting medium and way more complex then watercolour - although some oil painters might say the same about watercolour!

Burning the house down or breathing in toxic fumes always seemed like a reason not to go there to me but as I get older I try to lean into the things that I'm afraid of for no good reason. 

I've been watching some YouTube channels on how to get started. Here's a couple things I've learned so far:

1. You don't need to use turpentine or mineral spirits. You can use a solvent-free medium to thin the paint such as Gamblin Solvent-Free Fluid and you don't need to use a lot. Reading about the product on Gamblin's website they do recommend adding a bit of Gamsol which is completely odorless.

2. With linseed oil, which is what is flammable if not handled properly, you don't need to use a lot of this either and when you wipe your brushes onto a paper towel or rag, leave it out flat for a few days and then put it in a old paint can ready for disposal on hazardous waste day. You can wet down the used towels or rags in the can if you're worried about it.

3. Just like watercolour, you need to give yourself time to play with the colours on your palette. Swatch the colours, get the right consistency which should be a buttery to cream like consistency. 

So for the month of January I will be attempting to do an oil painting a day, all 4x6" on linen paper. Colour is limited to Azo Yellow Light, Quinacridone Rose and Ultramarine blue and White.

Here's a few from the past week's daily painting sessions. DM to inquire about purchasing.

Two of a kind oil painting by Wendy Millard

 Two of a kind, Oil on linen paper, 6x4" 


Opposites attract

Opposites Attract, Oil on linen paper, 4x6"


Be my Clementine

Be my Clementine, oil on paper, 4x6"

Take care and stay safe!



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