Did you understand that finding out to attract objects girlfriend see roughly you in genuine life is one of ideal ways to learn to paint? The foundational methods in drawing create a platform to learn how to paint an ext effectively. If you’d choose to brush up on your foundations so that you deserve to paint better, review our brand-new guide how to draw EXACTLY What you See.

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Aside indigenous a good drawing foundation, let’s acquire into the 3 must understand painting rules.

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Many so-called “rules” of arts are more suggestions 보다 rules. It’s beneficial to know what lock are, but you don’t need to follow them rigorously to make good art.

However—when it pertains to oil painting, there are three rules that you absolutely, positively should understand and follow if you paint in layers, or your job-related will failure every time.

What are they?

• Fat over lean• Thick over thin• slow-moving drying over quick drying

Why these oil paint rules room so important

All three of these rules make a substantial difference come the longevity of your oil paintings. Plainly put, if friend don’t follow these rules, your paintings are nearly guaranteed to crack and age poorly.

Rule 1. Fat over Lean

This rule uses to the additive you could put right into your oil paint. Additives loss into two simple categories: solvents and also oils. Turpentine and also odorless mineral spirits are solvents and also will thin your repaint down. Linseed oil, safflower oil, and also Liquin room oils, and also are used to do your paint consistently smooth and also brushable.


When you add oil painting medium to paint, the result mixture is claimed to it is in “fat.” as soon as you add any sort of solvent come paint, the resulting mixture is claimed to be “lean.”

So the expression “fat over lean” just method that you should constantly begin your painting with class of lean paint (paint through solvent) and finish through fat repaint (layers with painting mediums added).

Here’s why this matters:

Lean paint (with solvent) dries much more quickly than fat paint. The solvents evaporate indigenous the repaint quite quickly, which accelerates the paint’s dry time.

If you put a “lean” fast-drying great of repaint over a class with more oil in it, you’ll finish up with a great that’s still drying below a great that’s already finished. This reasons the height layer to crack as the paint listed below it transforms finishes curing and also changes measurement as a result.

In excessive cases, your top layer may also flake off or loss off altogether.

Early in my paint career, I offered all kinds of additives in all kinds the ways. The worst result I ever before experienced was a paint that crazed (tiny cracks all over).

Novice that i was, I just repainted the area through the same colors and methods I’d provided at first. And also guess what? The paint crazed again. It was years prior to I figured out the reason – I’d damaged one and probably more if this rules!

In later years when I was painting regularly, I offered solvents come clean my paintbrushes and that’s pretty lot all. Together a result, ns didn’t run afoul the the fat over skinny rule

Rule 2. Thick over Thin

Paint have the right to be used to canvas in any variety of ways varying from glazes (very thin layers) come impasto (very thick layers).


When you use paint in various thicknesses, it’s crucial to do the an initial layers thin, and also save your thicker class of repaint for last.

Why? since oil paint doesn’t technically “dry” through evaporation prefer water-based paints do—it in reality “cures” till it’s solid with oxidation. The more thickness a great of paint is, the longer it takes come cure all the means through. It may feel dry on top, but it’s not totally solid yet.

Because that that, it’s no safe to paint over till it’s thoroughly cured, especially if you include a thin layer over the top. The thin layer will dry faster and may crack as the thicker great underneath continues to dried and adjust shape.

The best practice is to start with thin layers, then progressively increase the thickness of each added layer. Or perform all the great thin, and then include thick great accents after the painting is finished.

Rule 3. Sluggish Drying over fast Drying

Some colors even take longer to dry than others, and the exact same sort of ethics apply. It’s finest to start a painting with colors that dry more quickly, and finish with colors the dry an ext slowly. Or, mix in some tool to your later on layers so that they take much longer (rule 1 have the right to work to your advantage, too!)


So just how do you keep track of i beg your pardon colors dried fast and also which dry slow?

A general ascendancy of thumb is that planet tones dry quick (sometimes overnight) while jewel tones take longer. Sometimes it takes job or weeks because that reds, blues, and also yellows to dry all the way through. Blacks and whites can additionally be an extremely slow drying.

To get the most specific information about your paint’s drying time, go virtual to her brand the paint’s website. Countless of lock publish charts listing the dry qualities of each color. Part even incorporate drying times.

Of course there are ways to repaint in which you can avoid these rules entirely. . . Make whole painting with rapid drying color (or with slow drying colors). Or simply use slim layers (or special layers). You get the idea.

You can likewise do what’s called alla prima painting, in which you start and finish the painting all in the very same setting, without painting layers. A lot of plein wait painters usage this method to produce beautiful paintings. Since the paint is all wet at the exact same time and also drying at the exact same time, there are no unique layers at different stages of the curing process.

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But if you like working in layers, the ideal practice is to start each paint with slim layers of quick drying color that space thinned with solvent. Then, end up with thicker class of slow-moving drying color using paint mediums.

As long as you understand these 3 oil paint rules, your paintings will do simply fine. Great luck, and happy painting!