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Oil painting - instructions & tips and all oil painting galleries of Herbert Lippert

The art of oil painting is a challenge and an experience. Practicing oil painting, especially painting with oil on canvas and oil on sheet, is exciting and fulfilling. Painting oil paintings is counted in the visual arts to the supreme discipline and is of course also for me the painting technique that I particularly love and enjoy practicing as a painter.

On this page I would like to offer you on the one hand my Instructions & Tips on the topics of oil painting, oil paintings, oil paintings and oil paints offer. 


On the other hand, you will also find my oil on canvas and oil on leaf galleries, which have painted over the years as cycles or individual paintings. These oil painting galleries you can visit in virtual galleries and can view the oil paintings and oil paintings individually.

It is always a pleasure for me to create and paint new cycles and images with the oil paints. I would be happy if you have further questions about oil painting or my oil paintings. I would be happy about a contact, please write me via my Contact page email.

Oil painting - oil on canvas galleries

Below you will find all my oil on canvas galleries, which were painted over time as individual paintings or as cycles with music and opera background by me. Please open the oil paintings galleries and look at the pictures in my virtual galleries. 

You will find in the galleries all information about the paintings and which of these oil paintings are available. But you can also directly visit my Store for my oil on canvas paintings and see which paintings are available.

If you have further questions or need more information about the individual images, you can contact me directly from the gallery or on my contact page. I look forward to your visit and your contact.

Please click on one of my galleries - click one of the oil paintings:

Gallery "Single images

Oil on canvas gallery for the individual images

Gallery "Schubert and more

Oil on canvas gallery for the cycle "Schubert and more".

Gallery "Viewpoint Opera

Oil on canvas gallery for the cycle "Viewpoint opera

Gallery "OMia composers

Oil on canvas gallery for the cycle "O-Mia composers".

Gallery "Emperor Maximilian and the Arts

Oil on canvas gallery for the cycle "Emperor Maximilian and the arts".

Gallery "3xMahler

Oil on canvas gallery for the cycle "3xMahler

Gallery "Erlkönig

Oil on canvas gallery for the cycle "Erlkönig".

Gallery "Winter Journey

Oil on canvas gallery for the cycle "Winter Journey

Oil painting - oil on sheet gallery

Below you will find my individual paintings oil on sheet gallery. Please open the gallery and find all my oil paintings in the oil on sheet technique. 

You can also visit my Store for the oil on sheet Images if you want to know what images are available.

If you have further questions about the oil on leaf pictures, please contact me on my Contact page. I look forward to your visit to my virtual gallery and look forward to your contact.

Please click on one of my gallery - click on my oil on leaf picture:

Oil painting - instructions & tips from Herbert Lippert

How to paint an oil painting?

The supreme discipline of painting! An oil painting, a painting in oil! Painting with oil paints! Painting with oil paints is a wonderful artistic challenge.

Important: On which painting surface or material are the oil paints applied? There are several options for oil painting . The most suitable is canvas, wood or linen sheet. The paint is then applied to the painting surface either with a brush or spatula.

Is it necessary to prepare (pre-priming) the picture support (canvas)?

A primer is important in oil painting . It protects against environmental influences and regulates the absorbency. This ensures that the paint adheres well, the layers of paint can dry well and a good color intensity of the oil paintings is guaranteed.

At the same time, the fibers of the canvas are protected. Likewise, a certain light resistance is guaranteed. Because whether it is acrylic, oil or another painting medium - paints sometimes contain aggressive substances or are acidic.

However, modern oil paints are now free of lead. With the exception of the colors Kremser white and Naples yellow. Oil paints containing cobalt (cobalt blue) and cadmium (cadmium red) are also not free of toxins.

In the past, the canvas was still pre-primed by the artist himself. A mixture of glue and water (bone glue) as well as other materials such as alum, chalk (plaster) and egg. Actually already true works of art, even before the actual oil paint was applied.

Meanwhile, all canvases are available in specialized stores with a normal pre-priming. The perfectionist primer again with a ready thin layer. A good primer protects the painting from the signs of age (peeling paint).

Why should you prime a canvas when painting in oils?

A primer protects against the sometimes aggressive paints, it provides an assurance of an even absorbency of the painting base, it reduces the structure of the canvas and thus provides an even base, it protects against the paint pushing through to the back of the canvas and it improves the color intensity on primed base.

What is an oil painting?

Very simple: a canvas, which is painted with oil paints. Wood or cardboard can also be used as a painting surface. With wood, thin boards are suitable (I would not use a thick planed board - at most for the "farmhouse"), the cardboard must in principle be thick enough to "carry" the oil paint.

The canvas in oil painting is usually stretched on a wooden stretcher or support frame.

The necessary oil paint - it is available in specialized stores in tubes or cans - is applied to the prepared (primed) canvas with normal brushes (bristle hair) or spatulas.

What is a stretcher frame?

A stretcher frame is a frame construction made of wood. Softwoods such as spruce, fir or pine are used for this purpose. Depending on the intended use, e.g. for paintings, a fabric is stretched, primed and then painted.

In the past, a fabric made of flax fiber, also linen, was used for this, but today cotton is used almost exclusively for this purpose. The better the cotton together with the primer, the more color brilliance for a better oil painting. This is an important component in oil painting.

Can I make a stretcher frame myself?

Yes! If you want to build a stretcher frame yourself, you can use a prefabricated kit or create the frame completely yourself. Indispensable are tongue and groove ends on the strips and a bead on the top of the strip.

In hardware stores, wood and art stores are available tongue and groove slats specifically for the construction of stretcher frames.

Step-by-step instructions:

1. position miters
2. saw in tongue and groove
3. sawing support strips
4. saw off keyways and wedges
5. put frame together
6. pull up the canvas.

Tips & Tricks:

The corners of the canvas they can fold diagonally to the triangle, fold, and tack. Beginners please deal with the properties of wood and material. Many artists build their own stretcher frames. In the specialized trade, however, these are relatively cheap and available in the desired design (material, shape). On this subject, you can also find many contributions in the art forums. Instructions and tips are available in art stores.

What are oil paints?

Like all paints that can be artistically painted, oil paint consists of a binder and color pigments. The special feature of oil paint is the high proportion of oil in the binder. Since oil cannot be mixed with water, turpentine is used as a thinner.

Oil paints are very durable and lightfast. As a rule, they are opaque.

Tips on oil paints:

Oil paint can also be made semi-transparent (glazed) by applying a thin layer of paint or thinner.

How long does the oil paint take to dry?

Oil paint differs from, among others, acrylic and gouache paints, especially in terms of drying time . It is even with thin application thicknesses a few days and can be extended by special techniques to weeks.

This property is particularly essential for large-format works and the wet-on-wet technique. In addition, special painting agents can be used to revive oil paint that has dried slightly.

What are the advantages of oil painting?

Oil paints are characterized by intense color impressions and color brilliance. The high lightfastness, opacity and durability are further advantages of oil paints. Furthermore, the opacity of the pigments differs and is designated as opaque, semi-opaque, semi-transparent and transparent.

The long drying process of oil paints is an advantage, because in this way the colors remain paintable much longer, so that a work still remains correctable in case of minor errors.

In addition, numerous painting agents make it possible to change the properties of oil paints so that they dry faster or even slower, for example, when painting a very large-scale oil painting or in wet-on-wet techniques.

What are the disadvantages of oil painting?

Oil paintings take a correspondingly long time to complete because of the drying pauses. Mixing oil paints, with whatever color or material, is a tricky task, since oil paint is actually not suitable for mixing techniques due to its high oil content. Water-based paints in particular combine poorly or not at all with oil paint.

Thus, the painting surface is the decisive factor here to compensate for the disadvantage of oil painting regarding drying. Furthermore, admixtures for the oil paints are also available, which allows a faster drying time of the oil paintings. The oil paint adheres best to canvas and wood - so I also work with my oil on canvas paintings.

What are mixed techniques in oil painting?

Due to the binder oil paints are in practice rather poorly suited for mixed techniques. Possibilities and painting techniques: oil paint on acrylic, oil paint on watercolor, oil paint on charcoal and oil paint on colored & pencil.

The mixed technique oil paint-watercolor is limited to painting with watercolors as underpainting. According to the painter's rule bold on lean, the lean painting method may only be used as / in the underpainting. Therefore, only oil on watercolor.

Otherwise, the watercolors would bead up on the greasy oil paint because there is no adhesion.

Tips on mixing techniques:

Oil paints always at the end. The combination of oil paint and watercolor is the most common in most paintings, if this painting technique is used.

Which binders or oils are used for oil painting?

The drying and semi-drying oils used for oil paints are:

  • Linseed oil

  • Poppy seed oil

  • Walnut oil

  • Hemp oil

  • Sunflower oil

  • Safflower oil

  • Castor oil

  • Perilla oil

  • Wood oil (Tung, Chin. Wood oil)

  • Oiticica oil. 

Color pigments are added to the oil to obtain the desired colors.

What is the durability of oil paints?

The oil content in the colors in oil painting is the guarantor of a long shelf life. Thus, the oil paints are durable for many years and can be used again and again. To prevent drying out, tubes and cans should always be well sealed. At the edges of the tubes, or cans, the colors crust and dry relatively quickly. It is important to clean everything well after each painting session. It is best to wipe the threads of the tubes with a paper towel.

Many colors, especially titanium white or zinc white - the most commonly used - are offered in large containers, i.e. cans. If the paint is left to stand for a long time, an oil film develops along with the paint skin on top of it. In this case, it is advisable to mix well again with a thin wooden stick and, as far as possible, to stir the paint until it is creamy again.

What is the durability of an oil painting or painting?

The most indestructible and insensitive art is oil painting. Just think of the end of the Second World War, where numerous oil paintings had survived in the tunnels of the Salzkammergut.

Oil painting, used since the thirteenth century (new discoveries suggest as early as the 7th century), is considered the supreme discipline. The durability of oil paintings, which are mostly portraits, landscape paintings or genre paintings, is unsurpassable.

How important is a signature on the oil painting?

Signatures can be found on oil paintings since ancient times.

This tradition pursues the reason that the artists of the works are identified. Nevertheless, there are many artists who do not sign their works in order to make the painting look alone. Unfortunately, unsigned oil paintings have a lower value than signed ones, because it is difficult to determine whether these oil paintings are fakes or originals.

The signature of an oil painting is usually found in the lower right or left corner. Many artists also sign the back of the painting. 

Do I need protection over the painting?

Protection over the oil paints is not absolutely necessary.

If more "shine", more color brilliance, a more intense palette of shades is desired, you can treat/apply a varnish to the painting. In principle, varnishes for oil paint consist of a solution of resin in a solvent. They serve to protect the paint layer and determine the degree of gloss of a work in oil painting.

A good varnish must be reversible. That is, if you want to restore the oil painting , the layer of paint should remain after you have removed the varnish with a solvent.

Oil paints dry in a chemical process under the influence of oxygen and light. After the paint is dry, the oxidation process continues and an aging process begins. I recommend applying a final varnish after several years, This, of course, only after adequate drying time. If you work with spatula and oil paint "thick", it makes sense to wait a few years to dry. If you paint with a brush and "thin", you can start a first attempt after a year.

Oxygen absorption - and thus the aging process - is slowed down by a finishing varnish. At the same time, the varnish determines the final gloss level of the surface and protects the paint from atmospheric contamination.

Can I shorten the drying time of the colors?

The long drying time of oil paints is a major drawback. Oil paints do not have a set drying time. In general, it dries slower than the other types of paint.

Dependence - drying time:

  • The ambient temperature
  • Light
  • Wind
  • Other environmental factors.
  • Pigment color

Some paints dry faster than others drying accelerating painting agents also help. In the lower layers of the picture you can use acrylic paints - they dry quickly and the color effect is similar to oil painting.

Of course, the combination of both painting techniques is exciting. Oil paint is used to finish the oil painting in the final layers. However, you can also mix the colors with so-called siccatives and thus positively influence the drying process. A siccative is a dilution of metal compounds. This agent is available in different versions and accelerates either surface or deep drying.

Dry Season Tips:

Do not use animal oils. Even a drop of it ensures that the corresponding oil paint never dries out completely. By the way, since paints dry by absorbing oxygen rather than by evaporating water, using a hair dryer will not help. Place the painting in a cool, well-ventilated room.

How to clean oil brush?

Because oil paints are made from oil, you can't just wash them off the brushes with water. The colors should not dry on brushes, as this will ruin them.

Step 1: Cleaning

Wipe excess paint off your brushes with an old rag or paper towel to make them easier to wash.


Step 2: Solvent

Next, put turpentine or another solvent on a cloth to remove all traces of paint. Before disposing of the rags or cloths, soak them in water because the chemicals in them are flammable.

Step 3: Wash off

Then wash your brushes under warm water and rub them with a little dishwashing liquid. Wash them until all paint is removed.

Step 4: Drying

Drying in the fresh air.

When was the oil painting created?

Researchers have made a sensational discovery at the remains of the blasted Buddha statues of Bamiyan, of all places: In caves they found traces of oil paintings from the 7th century - 800 years before the supposed invention of the painting technique in Europe.

The world was horrified when the Taliban raged in Afghanistan and destroyed the above-mentioned Buddha statues by blowing them up. Not only these statues were destroyed, but also paintings that were in the back of the statues, in several caves. The origin of these paintings is dated from the 5th to the 9th century.

Scientists have succeeded - with state-of-the-art X-ray equipment - in detecting an oil content in the paint. In this sense, actually hundreds of years before the "supposed" discovery or invention of oil painting along with its then available technology.

European literature dates the beginnings of oil painting to the 15th century.

During experiments, researchers have discovered dry oil in samples from the Bamiyan caves. . The art of oil painting from the 7th century!

Some of the total of 50 caves (it is said that up to 12 caves) were thus painted oil technique . According to specialists, the oil may have been extracted from walnut or poppy seeds.

The Silk Road, famous and time-honored trade route between the Middle Kingdom and the Occident - now also back on everyone's lips - may have been the pivot for artists. In this time, these paintings were created on the passage.

How can I clean an oil painting?

The answer depends entirely on the value of the oil painting . With an expensive historical work of art, it is quite clear that a trained restorer must lend a hand here. Such a painting should at most be carefully dusted superficially! If the painting in question has more of an idealistic value, you can approach the matter cautiously.

However, varnish removal always involves certain risks, after all, you can damage the underlying layers of paint in the process. The best cleaning agent for oil paintings is our saliva. With the help of a cotton swab, it can be applied and rubbed in piece by piece, followed by dry cleaning. If you like it, you can use distilled water.

Are oil paintings investments?

In times of financial uncertainty and economic crises, when stocks and other securities are plummeting in value, many investors are interested in collectibles and collections as a stable and secure investment because their rarity and high demand mean that they often increase in value over many years.

But as a rule, investing money in oil paintings and oil paintings is much more complicated than investing in securities. Especially buying and selling here often turns out to be much more protracted and complicated than with securities, which can be acquired within a few seconds or minutes and, if necessary, can be disposed of right away. 

However, collectibles also have a non-monetary value in addition to their monetary value. Thus, the shareholder usually never gets to see his securities in the depot, while, for example, the owner of a beautiful oil painting by a well-known artist can enjoy the picture, show it to friends frozen with envy as a status symbol with a proud chest and also exchange ideas about it with like-minded art experts.

As with securities, with this form of investment, you need to get the best information about the particular field of collecting and the collectible in which you want to invest. But it is worthwhile to be interested in oil painting, many new opportunities arise.

What is my painting worth?

The value of a painting depends on several factors. In most cases, the following decides:

  • the artist or painter

  • the authenticity as well as

  • the quality and last but not least

  • the state

The degree of authenticity is determined by the condition of the work as original as possible. The canvas should not be trimmed, not doubled and the stretcher frame should be original. When valuing, it is important to know what is currently in demand. In order to estimate this correctly from case to case, it is necessary to constantly monitor the market. Likewise, the painting should ideally show no damage from previous restorations.

Oelmaler questions answers
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