Simplify Your Oil Paints for Better Artistic Results

In the world of oil painting, less is often more. Keeping the chemistry of your paint as straightforward as possible can benefit both the visual and structural aspects of your artwork.

Opt for oil paints containing only pigment and a drying oil, such as linseed or walnut oil, mixed in the ideal ratio for each pigment. Regrettably, tubes of pre-made artist paint don't always list all ingredients. While artist-quality paints traditionally did not include fillers or driers, some contemporary artist-quality paints do contain modifiers. To minimize the number of ingredients, choose professional-quality paints.

High-quality paints will predominantly use lightfast pigments, with occasional exceptions for special non-lightfast paints like genuine rose madder. Non-lightfast pigments, or fugitive colors, are generally not intended for painters but rather for conservators restoring old paintings with original materials. To create enduring art, it's best to avoid these fugitive colors.

Modern painters have access to lightfast, permanent alternatives to the old dyes, ensuring that their work remains vibrant and visually appealing over time. Embracing these options will help you create lasting, high-quality artwork.

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