How to Create Texture with Oil Paint

An exciting and enjoyable aspect of painting with oil paint is the artist's ability to produce various textures. Depending on what you want, various factors may influence the texture of oil paint, from watery drips to thick impasto brush strokes. The consistency of the paint you use is the most critical factor in achieving texture in oil painting. 

Thick paint creates impasto texture, while thin paint reveals more canvas grain. You may also create different textures by varying how you apply the paint and the kind of surface you utilize. While many oil painters begin with the goal of using the impasto technique, many methods can create a range of textures even without this type of painting. Here are several approaches you may use to create the texture you desire:

Use a Medium That Contains Impasto Oil

Certain hues of oil paint may be very pricey. While you may not hesitate to apply heavy coats of Burnt Sienna, adding thick applications of Cadmium Red can be costly. In lieu of this, mediums of impasto can be applied in stages. You apply these media to oil paint to thicken it up and produce a thick, impasto texture. 

There are many brands available on the market. Lukas Painting Butter Impasto Medium is one of the most popular. Moreover, it is a gel-like material with an alkyd basis that dries quickly. It even promises that once dried, there will be no shrinking or breaking.

Add Beeswax Medium to Your Oil Paint to Create a Better Texture

Your oil paint may thicken if you use a beeswax medium. It may then help you create textures that you wouldn't accomplish with only oil paint basics. Wax has a somewhat stiff feel and a dryer appearance. It is the way to go if you want to sculpt with your oil paint and have greater control over the final look. 

Wax has a higher propensity to adhere to itself, resulting in less residue on your knife. To produce something even more unique, consider sculpting or scraping the wax to expose the surface underneath.

Incorporate Dry Mediums into Your Oil Paint for Additional Effects

While this is more appropriate for abstract painting, dry media will take your texture to the next level. Dry media are solid, dry ingredients that may be used with oil paint or an oil paint medium. Sand, gravel, pumice, marble, and even glass beads are examples of these media. As you would expect, using these media will give your painting a texture that you can’t create any other way. 

You may be tempted to simply walk to the beach or the next dirt road and get some sand to mix with your paint. However, the worry on this is that this sand may still contain chemical components that may jeopardize the integrity of your painting. It would also be tough to arrange all of those tiny stones into a uniform size. 

If you use dry media, you should apply them with a palette knife or with a different set of brushes since smaller particles like sand may be challenging to remove from your brushes.

Utilize Tube-Grade Oil Paint with High Viscosity

If you choose decent, high-quality artist-grade paint, you can generally create impasto textures by applying the paint directly from the tube without the need for media. 

However, this is also dependent on the colours you choose. Certain hues are more oily and have a lower viscosity by nature than others. For example, since Ivory Black has a more excellent oil content and a more petite body, it will be simpler to produce thick layers of paint with Yellow Ochre. 

If you want to produce a thick texture, start using the paint directly from the bottle without thinning it or adding impasto materials. Doing so will produce impasto textures and effects without the need for media.

Final Thoughts

It may be challenging to produce texture in oil painting since there are many choices to select from. With its media, oil paint adapts itself nicely to glazing methods with a smooth varnished finish. Nevertheless, many textural effects may be achieved in oil painting via classic methods such as impasto or simply through experimenting. Explore the many common oil painting effects and how they may be utilized to create texture in oil painting with this article.

Learn more oil painting lessons and techniques with one of the best painters in history! E John Robinson's oil painting DVD lessons will help you find the best approach in creating textures for your paintings. Contact us and place your order today!

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