Oil painting is one of the painting techniques that uses paints with vegetable oil as the main binder.
Oil painting technology
Oil paints are made up of dry pigments and drying oil. For example, linseed, poppy or walnut seed oil may be used.
Modern pigments are more diverse than those used by the old masters and differ in a number of qualities.
Pigments are transparent (glazing) and opaque (covering). Transparent pigments are transparent in themselves and create a feeling of gloss and depth in the paint layer, while opaque pigments are opaque and pass the color of the base only if they are heavily diluted, but are not intended for glazing. Transparent paints almost do not lose their saturation when mixed, while opaque ones quickly turn gray - if you mix different colors. The old masters often used glazing to create the effect of the enamel smoothness of the painted surface and preferred transparent paints. On the palettes of the Impressionists, on the contrary, all colors, with the exception of ultramarine, were opaque.
The best paints contain only one pigment in maximum concentration. But sometimes, to replace a toxic, unstable or expensive pigment, the paint is mixed from several pigments. Often such inks are mixed in order to give the ink layer transparency where the original is opaque. Although most paints obtained in this way are inferior to the original in purity and brightness, it happens that a well-chosen mixture is brighter and cleaner than the original. The only thing is that such paints should not contain white, because in this case the paint will be absolutely unsuitable for dark deep mixtures.
For the production of oil paints, linseed oil is the most popular. The best oil is cold-pressed oil. Quality flaxseed oil is golden in color and odorless. For white and cool paints, poppy oil is often used, as it is almost colorless, but paints based on it take longer to dry and may crack.
In the presence of light and air, the oil "oxidizes" and hardens, forming a transparent, waterproof film that holds the pigments. This process does not stop at