How to use oil paints: 5 tips to get you started

Oil painting supplies
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Oil paint is wonderfully versatile. It can be applied in thick, expressive impastos, or thinned down and used almost like watercolours. It can be brushed or scrubbed, knifed on or scratched out, applied in washes or painted in patches. 

There are what seems like an endless variety of mediums and additives you can work with to create different effects. However, you can use oils without adding a medium. Most of my work is done with paint direct from the tube. Some mediums are added to shorten or lengthen drying times; others change the characteristics of the paint.

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Howard has worked in the video game industry as a concept artist and art director. He has also freelanced on properties like Magic: the Gathering and Warcraft, as well as a fine artist for galleries.