From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments
with a medium of drying oil as the binder. Commonly used
drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut
oil, and safflower oil. The choice of oil imparts a range
of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of
yellowing or drying time. Certain differences, depending
on the oil, are also visible in the sheen of the paints.
An artist might use several different oils in the same
painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired.
The paints themselves also develop a particular consistency
depending on the medium. The oil may be boiled with a
resin, such as pine resin or frankincense, to create a
varnish prized for its body and gloss.
Although oil paint was first used for Buddhist
paintings by Indian and Chinese painters in western Afghanistan
sometime between the fifth and tenth centuries, it did
not gain popularity until the 15th century. Its practice
may have migrated westward during the Middle Ages. Oil
paint eventually became the principal medium used for
creating artworks as its advantages became widely known.
The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting
in Northern Europe, and by the height of the Renaissance
oil painting techniques had almost completely replaced
the use of tempera paints in the majority of Europe.
In recent years, water miscible oil paint
has come to prominence and, to some extent, replaced traditional
oil paint. Water-soluble paints contain an emulsifier
that allows them to be thinned with water rather than
paint thinner, and allows very fast drying times (13
days) when compared with traditional oils (13 weeks).