What Are Oil Paints?
On a simple level, oil paints are finely ground pigments suspended (coated) in an oil (usually linseed or poppy oil). The oil used must have the property of polymerising when exposed to the air. The polymerising process hardens the oil film but preserves its flexibility.
Starting to Paint in Oils
You will need:
Oil Paints Choose the best quality you can afford. If you need to save money, buy a small number of quality paints rather than a large number of poor quality paints. Look for 'artist quality' rather than 'student quality'
Solvent There are a variety of solvents available at your local art supply store. The one you choose can have a significant impact on the safety of your studio. Traditionally oil painters use refined Turpentine for thinning the paint and for cleaning brushes. Turpentine has a rather strong smell and some people have allergic reactions to it. Fortunately there are now a number of 'odourless' alternatives available.