Oil painting for miniatures - Experience sharing

March 06, 2013  •  1 Comment

I have recently started some oil painting, with the help of Cool Mini Or Not forum, I have bought few colors advised for a starting palette. Good quality ones mostly from Winsor and Newton artists line. I have painted a small mini entirely with oil to see how it will work... Strange medium when you have only worked with acrylics; feathering, layering, paint drying so fast... You need to start over except for the color theory and experience of color schemes.... 

Here some quick points/experiences that I found while trying:

- Don't try to thin your paint, which is normally the first advice for acrylics

- The paint is simply really really slow to dry, which has major advantages and disadvantages

  • advantages:
    • creating your palette is so fun, when I started I have put all my colors on the palette then mix them together trying to reach certain colors. At the beginning I have spent a long time doing this. It is so fun and you discover a lot. I even found it relaxing...
    • No rush, you can mix your paint, think about your color scheme with some paint on your brush, rectify stuffs later on, etc...
    • wet blending, this is also really fun, everything can be blended on the miniature. You can blend one color on top of acrylics to create your gradient, or two colors together without any stress, taking, applying and blending the paint together
    • Again, I repeat myself because I found to be one of the major advantages of oil painting, I found it extremely relaxing... 
  • disadvantages:
    • if you only work with oil, you need to be PATIENT. Which is my major difficulty. I am used to work fast, and try to paint faster and better. with oil you need to wait each layers are dry, it can take up to 3 days! But it is also a lesson, by working in China everything is constantly moving and going to a pace unknown in Europe, you get into the flow and have difficulty to go out without drowning. So I will have to master my patience using oil paint
    • no need to thin your paint, it is disturbing at the beginning because you cannot really change the thickness of the paint. As soon as I have put a small amount of thinner, it cannot be controlled easily. You cannot make different layers because it will take you over a year to finish it because you need to wait for the layer to be dry. The consistency of the paint is not easy to handle at the beginning, need to take a really small amount of paint.
    • Price, it costs quite a lot when you start. but few colors are required and they simply last FOREVER

- Mixing the color is fun, but also difficult. Especially when you want to fit an existing acrylic color... with the actual oil paint you have! 

- Oil paint over acrylic is quite efficient. I always find quite difficult to make my acrylic highlight avoiding chalky effect, you need to be really careful and patient going slowly to the highlight you want. If you have your base in acrylics make you general shadow and started your highlight then you can switch to oil to finish your highlight and kick it!

- You can also use oil to add some midtones quite easily, by simply slightly dry brushing the surface you want it with your brush with almost no paint. It will let a color film, adding a slight color variation really well blended

- If you want to continue with acrylics after oil, the best is to have a cheap airbrush and compressor to add a matt varnish layer (after oil paint is dry). It will cover the oil paint allowing you to continue with your acrylics

- Dark oil color + thinner (mineral spirit/white spirit) can be a good quick wash which can be adjusted using a cotton tip removing the oil where you don't want it. If you have a layer of gloss varnish (using an airbrush) before applying your wash it will almost flow by itself in all the recessed parts of your mini... Personally I didn't have convincing results. Maybe I am doing something wrong.

- The thinner/cleaner is quite smelly and can also be a problem. Acrylics are more convenient, using water as solvent! 

 

That's pretty it with my first experiences, don't hesitate to let comments to give me your point of view on oil paint for minis.

Now I can share some pictures I got using oil paint! 

My first oil palette I bought, I have added few colors to complete it:

My first 100% mini painted with oil paint:

 

My latest try with acrylics as a base highlights, midtones using oil

Enjoy!!!!


Comments

Ender(non-registered)
It's interesting to see that your interest in oils started around the same time as mine :) I will be following you blog and reports on oil paints. Keep up the good work. A question: Have you had a chance of trying metallic oil paints?
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