Canvases by artists using oil paints are the most popular.
Technique a la prima - "raw", without under-painting — in which, even after the first session, the artist writes on a non-dried layer or refreshes the drying film that appeared on it in a certain way. This is the first and most common method a la prima. Many masters strive to write sketches in this technique in one go. You can also work "raw" for several sessions. To make the paint layer dry more slowly, slowly drying zinc whitewash is used, and the unfinished sketch is stored in a cool, but not damp room. The film that appears on the paint layer is dissolved - before starting work, the paint surface is wiped with onion or garlic juice or a special varnish for painting.
It is necessary to take care that there are no too thick layers of paint at the beginning of the work, especially at the first session. Often, dark places are first written warmer and lighter, and illuminated ones are darker and colder, that is, they withstand the general scale of the sketch, and then prescribe the brightest color contrasts. The strongest color shades in the light and in the shade are highlighted at the last moment, when the work is coming to an end.
The technique of multi-layered painting is based on the layering of several colorful layers. It differs from writing "raw" in that each layer of paint is thoroughly dried before applying the next one. The process of work consists of the following stages: podmalevki, pasty registration and lessirovki. In the technique of multi-layer painting, the under-painting has a slightly different meaning than the first thin-layer registration in a la prima. Often it is made with grisaille: white and some dark paint are used.
Sometimes such a sub-painting is done on tinted, for example, on gray ground. At the same time, whitewash for modeling illuminated places is applied with thick strokes, and shadows are prescribed with a thin layer of dark paint. Further, the painting is carried out semi—pastly, that is, in semitones: thick strokes in bright places and thin layers in shadows. Under-painting can also be done in watercolor or tempera. These water paints are written only on an emulsion primer. Such an under-painting then requires a full coating with oil paints, since the resulting tone will differ from subsequent oil strokes. The second registration begins only after drying the undercoat. If it is made with a grisaille, then it is better to do the second registration in a lessening manner.
Lessirovki are thin, transparent layers of paints applied to others that are already thoroughly dried. It can be treated with all paints, except strong-covering ones - cadmium, Neapolitan yellow, English red - as well as whitewash. It should also be borne in mind that some of the lessening paints are transparent (for example, emerald green), others are translucent.
It is worth noting that there are no strict recipes for applying smears and colorful layers. The texture and nature of the brushstroke should be sought depending on the characteristics of the depicted nature and their inclinations to a particular technique of execution of the work. So, before rejecting a particular mixture obtained on the palette, try different options for applying a smear. Sometimes a shade that seemed unsuccessful fits well into the sketch, if you put it, for example, horizontally, and not vertically.
The main difference of modern oil paints from historical analogues is the presence of a large number of auxiliary components in their composition. These substances are used to improve the properties of paints, mainly to accelerate their drying and prevent delamination during storage.
Wooden panels initially served as the basis for oil paintings, and linen and cotton canvases for these purposes were used by painters several centuries later. To prevent the paint from being absorbed into the base, a layer of chalk or gypsum-based soil was applied to the surface of the canvas or board. Nowadays, masters use a more practical acrylic primer, which dries quickly and is easily painted in different colors.
The main tool for painting oil paintings were and still are brushes of different sizes with a wooden handle and a pile of wool (bristles) of various animals. In addition to them, painters also use palette knives - special trowels with a metal shaped shovel.
And the famous Titian (Tiziano), among other things, differed from his colleagues in that he preferred to apply paint to the canvas with his fingertips.
The history of the development of oil painting
Archaeologists found the earliest examples of oil painting in the mountains of Afghanistan, in the Bamiyan Valley. Here, around the statues of Buddha carved out of stone, ancient artists painted the walls with oil paints in the VII century. Buddhist painters were already able not only to thoroughly mix different pigments, but also learned how to cover them with a special protective varnish.
In Europe, oil painting appeared much later. Up to the XV century, tempera paints and encaustic techniques dominated here. It was only during the Early Renaissance that the situation began to change gradually. For a long time it was believed that the discoverer of oil painting in Europe was Jan van Eyck. But nowadays, scientists have nevertheless come to the conclusion that the brilliant Dutchman was not a pioneer of this technique, but only improved the methods of working with convenient paints and in every possible way contributed to their popularization.
From Holland, oil painting spread to the rest of Europe and by the middle of the XVI century took a leading position among all the techniques used. This trend only intensified at the beginning of the XIX century, when the mass production of oil paints in tubes began. Artists finally got the opportunity to create comfortably not only in their studio, but also outdoors.
The rapid development of the chemical industry at the beginning of the twentieth century contributed to the emergence of all kinds of synthetic paints. Despite this, oil painting still remains one of the most popular techniques among both professionals and novice artists.