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  1. #1
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    Buying oils - any suggestions?

    The art store down the street is having a 20% off sale tomorrow, and I've been thinking about buying some oils (or acrylics, or something), and a brush, and learning on some cardboard, or heavy paper or something. If I had the choice of only one, or two colors to buy and one brush (because I'm poor) what colors should I start with/would you guys start with? and what kind of brush should I start with (hard, soft, for example)? I was thinking about a nice dark blue (since blue is my favorite color), and a brush with stiff brisles, but if anyone has any suggestions, then please post them.
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  3. #2
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    I bought a beginner's set of oils when it was on sale, only to find that the white paint had fused into a solid brick, the medium had become jelly. So be careful of sales - inspect what you are buying carefully.

    If you want the full list of stuff I've been using, it's all written down on the second page of my sketchbook. But I'm using some oddball colors. There are more experienced oil painter here who could give you better advice.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  4. #3
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    bare minimum:

    black,
    white,
    canvas board,
    1 large bristle brush,
    1 small synthetic brush.

    should cost about $20.

    if you are sincerely interested in learning oils,
    don't skimp on the brushes...
    and for gods sake do NOT paint on cardboard.
    its just going to make things so hard that you'll never want to use them again.
    in the end, you'll end up wasting money.
    - Dan Dos Santos
    www.dandossantos.com

  5. #4
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    And also, if you are serious, skip the synthetic brushes. Natural hair all the way.

  6. #5
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    He doesn't know if he's serious yet. And synthetics make far less difference with oil than they do with water based media.

    Tristan Elwell
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  7. #6
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    Well, Ellwell is technically right. I have wanted to get into it for some time now, but I wouldn't want to go out and buy multiple brushes and sets of paints and whatnot just to find out it isn't my bag. The whole store was having a 20% off on all items, and feeling the tube it dosen't feel jelly-like, or solid (I just ended up with the blue to play around with for a while). I have to admit though. There is a huge pile of cardboard out on the veranda that is never going to get used, so I was just going to use that. What is it about cardboard that makes it so lousy to use? I only bought three things today, just to play around with. I bought a (medium hardness? not hard, not soft) synthetic brush (although I have heard numurous times that realy hair is the way to go - most of the other brushes in the shop were well over 10$ per brush.. this one was about 2 dollars) a tube of winsor & newton prussian blue oil paint to dink around with (about 3 dollars for the tube) and a bottle of brush cleaner, about 3 dollars. So not expensive or anything. Should be fun to play around with! Keep an eye out for some funky blue oils that looks like a toddler did them. Thanks for the input guys. The shop is only about a 10 minute walk from my house, so any other input is welcome, and if I like what I have so far, I will definately be back for more.
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  8. #7
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    I was actually just about to post "remember to get something to clean the brushes" but it looks like you got that covered.

    btw if you've got some acrylics, you can use them on all that cardboard that you're itching to paint on..

  9. #8
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    acrylics you say, eh? The shop does have a tons of acrylic supplies as well, and the girl there recommended them (she is into acrylics). Maybe I will give that a shot while I'm at it. What are some of the big differences between acrylics and oils? I mean... other than the little thing about oils being oil based.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sepulverture
    I only bought three things today, just to play around with. I bought a (medium hardness? not hard, not soft) synthetic brush (although I have heard numurous times that realy hair is the way to go - most of the other brushes in the shop were well over 10$ per brush.. this one was about 2 dollars) a tube of winsor & newton prussian blue oil paint to dink around with (about 3 dollars for the tube) and a bottle of brush cleaner, about 3 dollars.
    No white?
    You'll also need a palette (a tear-off paper one is fine to start), a palette knife to mix with, and, if you really want to paint on that cardboard, some acrylic gesso to prime it with.

    Tristan Elwell
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  11. #10
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    Drying time is the most obvious one, acrylics dry in minutes as opposed to days, which might be either very good or very bad depending on what you're trying to do.

  12. #11
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    The thought crossed my mind about 30 seconds ago that it would have been a good idea to invest in some white paint as well. Didn't know anything about mixing oils, though. To start with I will probably be doing just simple things like painting my coffee cup, or some other such things. If I did that in a blue scale kind of thing, what else might be required? Canvas at that shop is pretty cheap, so I will probably just end up buying a couple.
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  13. #12
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    Differences between oils and acrylics:

    Acrylics dry within minutes or hours. Oils dry within hours or weeks. This means you either have to get used to working really fast with acrylics, or you have to get used to letting layers of paint dry before painting on top of them. With oils, this means learning how to get wet paint to stick to wet paint.

    Acrylics change colors a bit when they dry, getting a little less vibrant. Oils stay closer to how they look when they are wet.

    The pigments are the same in both types of paint, so in both cases the paints can be poisonous if ingested. However either the oil or the paint thinner in oils (I can’t remember which) makes oils more dangerous because one of those two allows heavy metals to be absorbed right through your skin. So you have to be more careful not to get oils on you. There’s also the issue of vapors from paint thinners.

    Oils are messier because if you get a glob on your clothes, it’ll be spread from one surface to the next to the next. Acrylics dries sooner, so it won’t travel so far.

    Disposal of toxic wastes is more of a concern with oils.

    There is more tradition with oils, so there are more people who will tell you how they are “supposed” to be used. Acrylics are newer, so there is less tradition to be ignored. Acrylics combine well with many other mediums, and can be used on just about any surface that they stick to. If used directly on an absorbent surface like paper, the oils from oil paints will soak into the paper, discolor it, and likely cause the paper to decompose sooner.

    Some acrylic paints can be used in an airbrush, but you absolutely have to read the health label before you muck around with that.

    Acrylics destroy brushes quickly. You can never let a brush sit with paint in it – even for fifteen minutes. With oils, you can leave paint-loaded brushes sitting around all day.

    Acrylics dry quickly on a palette. You have to spritz them with water, or use a sponge or wet paper towel as your palette, and mixing everything in advance or in small quantities can be an exercise in frustration.

    I hope this helps. . .
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedling
    However either the oil or the paint thinner in oils (I can’t remember which) makes oils more dangerous because one of those two allows heavy metals to be absorbed right through your skin.
    I thought that the heavy metals couldn't be absorbed directly through skin?

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake
    I thought that the heavy metals couldn't be absorbed directly through skin?
    Usually they can't. But something about either the oils or the thinners allows certain chemicals to pass through cell walls that usually can't.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake
    I thought that the heavy metals couldn't be absorbed directly through skin?
    This is true. Also, outside of lead (which you really have to actively seek out in paints if you want to use it these days), the heavy metals in pigments (cadmium and cobalt, mostly) are bound up in compounds that are stable and don't break down in the body. The health and environmental hazards associated with pigments are much more of an issue in their manufacture, not in their end use. Manganese blue, for instance, is no longer available because the one remaining factory producing it closed due to concerns about the health of its workers. The pigment itself wasn't dangerous, but the side products of it's manufacture were.
    Turpentine can cross the skin barrier, as can some aromatic hydrocarbons that are hazardous in and of themselves, but I dont believe they can carry things as large as most pigment particles with them. And milder solvents like odorless mineral spirits (Turpenoid etc.) aren't absorbed through the skin at all.
    None of which is to say that one should be sloppy and stupid with paints, just not so scared of them that it interferes with the artistic process. And certainly, if you have small children in the house, or are a woman of childbearing age, it's best to err on the far side of caution. Just be aware that there are things you do every day (eat an average American diet, use household cleaning products, drive a car) that are far more dangerous to your health than painting.
    Last edited by Elwell; October 15th, 2006 at 02:44 AM.

    Tristan Elwell
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  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    if you. . .r are a woman of chilbearing age, it's best to err on the far side of caution.
    I did have a professor who said that one of the chemicals used in oils could actually bring heavy metals through the skin. He could have been mistaken. . . but I'm one of those women of childbearing age, so I'm extra super cautious. ;-)

  18. #17
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    Ta for clearing that one up Elwell.

    I've only been using paint and a bit of linseed lately and I'm pretty neat (certainly compared to how I used to paint), was just curious about that.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedling
    but I'm one of those women of childbearing age, so I'm extra super cautious. ;-)
    And rightly so. We want any potential future little seedlings to grow up into mighty oaks!

    Tristan Elwell
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    "Work is more fun than fun."
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  20. #19
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    Haha! Thanks Elwell. :-)

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    yay for lead based flake white mmmmmm lead.

    my paiting professor always said that every time he went to an art supply store he bought a new brush. not an expensive on just a new one. ive kinda gotten into the same practice. not that ya need that many brushes but its nice to get a new brush that ya havent tryed befor every time ya go. i kinda fell out of this practise since i stoped paiting but i think its still a good one.
    never updated sketchbook

    hopefully weekly updated blog

  22. #21
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    It's going to take more than one tube of oil paint and one hunk of cardboard to become good at art, realistically you'll need two hunks of cardboard..
    Passion rules the game

  23. #22
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    Well, the cardboard has two sides
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  24. #23
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    Just something to consider:

    You can do your underpaintings in acrylics. Once acrylic is dry you can then use oils on top - just never the other way around! This is a nice easy way to tone bg's without having to wait for them to dry as long, etc. Plus its kinda fun to do an abstract acrylic piece and get some nice blending and such on top

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jska
    This is a nice easy way to tone bg's without having to wait for them to dry as long, etc.
    ??

    I tone every bit of canvas I use before I start. A turpsy oil wash gives me the tone (variagated with colours + a screwed up rag) and its dry by the time I have cleaned my palette ready for the serious painting. (about 2 minutes?)

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