Oil Paint

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Oil Paint

Durable and versatile, oil paint is a classic medium that has stood the test of time for hundreds of years. Oil colors are comprised of pigments suspended in a binder, generally linseed oil. They are very opaque, but they can be thinned to varying degrees of transparency. Oils also have a slow drying time, so artists can rework the paint for a longer amount of time.

Oil Colors contain a full pigment load suspended in a binder, generally linseed oil or another drying oil such as safflower oil, poppyseed oil, or walnut oil. Use them on stretched canvas or boards that have been primed to accept oil paints. Usually made with a single pigment, professional-grade paints mix more cleanly and have better tinting strength than lower-grade paints.

Student Grade Oil Colors have working characteristics similar to professional oils, but with lower pigment concentrations and a smaller range of colors — typically only one series. Student oils often have pigment mixes instead of single pigments, and more expensive pigments are generally replicated by hues, which may not have the same mixing characteristics as full-strength colors.

Water Mixable Oil Colors are similar to regular oil colors, but they contain a modified oil binder that can be cleaned up with water. Once dry, the paint layer resists water just as conventional oil colors do, with a drying time similar to that of traditional oils. Clean-up is easier, requiring none of the solvents which can have harmful side effects. Water miscible oils can be mixed with conventional oil colors and mediums, but the resulting mixture may lose its water-mixable characteristics. They can also be thinned with water, but doing so will tend to make the paint film duller and will cause a color shift from wet to dry. Use of water miscible mediums is recommended.

Alkyds are made with an alkyd resin binder that has been modified with a non­yellowing drying oil for optimum color retention, excellent durability, and rapid drying time. Alkyds' main advantage over oil paints is that they may dry to the touch in 12-48 hours, and paintings employing fairly thin applications may be ready to varnish in as little as 30 days. Drying times and gloss level vary by brand. Use alkyds with an alkyd medium or other traditional Oil Painting Mediums. Clean up with mineral spirits.

Oil Paint Sticks are oil paints in stick form. They are compatible with traditional oil paints and can be used in much the same manner — apply them directly or thin them with a medium or solvent of your choice.

Access our Swatch and Pigment guide for details on our individually-painted color swatches and where to locate pigment information.

Blick carries a wide variety of oil paints for a range of uses. Find student and artist grade oil paint, water mixable oil colors, alkyd paint, and oil paint sticks.