Oil painting is probably one of my favourite mediums to use while creating but since its been a while since I’ve used them and I had only ever created stuff from the technique I learned at high school, I thought I should do a little bit of research on it. The way I’ve only ever used oil paints is with turps (turpentine) and using that to thin out the paint in order to use it.
While I was looking up inspiration for my oil painting I noticed a lot of people mentioned the fat over lean method. This isn’t something I had learned in school so I was very intrigued. While I don’t find anything wrong with simply just using turps in my oil paints I want to try and achieve this method when doing one of my analogue illustrations. Basically the fat over lean method is using a thinned out oil paint for the bottom layer, say using turps, and in this layer most people just do a quick outline of what they are going to be doing using a neutral colour like burnt umber. This also quickens the drying time of that first layer. Then for the next layer where you will be adding in colour you make it ‘fatter’. This can be done by adding in mediums or oils, many people mentioned linseed oil but there are lots of a variety of things out there. And then if you wanted to add in a third layer with more detail, obviously you would be making it fatter again by adding more of the medium or oil.
Using this method is beneficial because if the underlayer is thicker and hasn’t dried yet and you then go and put another layer onto that may be thinner and dries before the first layer, it can cause cracking to the painting.
There are two artists that I came across while looking at oil paintings that have really captured my eye and I really like their style and they both have a different way of doing their paintings. The first, Lena Danya uses the method of creating a first layer with a neutral colour and then building onto it. I really like her style, especially her water series.
The second artist that I also really like is Daria Callie. I love how she just keeps the background plain but it still draws you into it.