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Starting An Oil Painting Hobby? Do Not Forget The Linseed Oil And Brush Cleaner

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If you want to start painting as a hobby and think that you would like to work with oil paints, then you should purchase all of the supplies you need beforehand. While paints, brushes, and canvases are surely the most important items that you should buy, there are a variety of other items you should pick up as well. Keep reading to learn about two of these oil painting supplies and also find out how they are used.

Linseed Oil

Linseed oil is a light yellow oil that is extracted from flax seeds. This type of oil is used in a wide variety of products like soap and linoleum, and it is typically used as a wood preservative as well. When it comes to painting, the oil is used to help dry paint through a process called polymerization. The oil is the one that is mixed with pigments to create your oil paint, and you can mix in a little extra to make sure that your paint dries more quickly. While linseed oil is considered a slow drying oil, adding more will quicken the drying process a bit. Linseed oil can also be used to extend your oil paint and thin it out as well. The oil helps to create a sheen when painting, so you can add a shiny surface to your pieces. Linseed oil can even be used as an adhesive, if you want to try your hand at adding gold leaf or other delicate elements to your painting.

A small amount of linseed oil can go a long way, so use your paintbrush to add one drop of the oil at a time to the paint on your palette. Mix the oil into your paint and the use it as you normally would.

Refined linseed oil is considered the standard oil to mix with oil paints. However, there are other types of artist oils you can experiment with if you like. Safflower, hemp, poppy seed, walnut, and sunflower oil are a few good options. Poppy seed and safflower are good clear oils to use if you do not want to change the tone of the paint you are working with. Walnut oil is best used if you want to add durability to your painting. This is wise if you decide to layer your paint.

Brush Cleaner

The best oil paint brushes are the ones that retain their shape and also resist bristle damage over time. Sable brushes made from sable hair are among the best brushes you can buy. These brushes are typically quite expensive though, and dried oil paint along the bristles can quickly damage or completely ruin your brushes.

To help retain your oil painting brushes and your pocketbook at the same time, make sure to purchase a tube of oil brush cleaner and preservative. This material is a gentle soap that is made to remove oil paint from paint brushes. While mineral spirits can do a much quicker job of removing paint, this solvent can dry out the bristles fairly quickly and cause them to become brittle. The gentle soap will not do this.

To use the brush cleaner, wipe the majority of the paint off your brush with the help of a cotton cloth or a paper towel. Add a small amount of water to the tub of cleaner. With gentle pressure, swirl the brush over the top of the wet cleaner. Move the brush in a circular motion until you begin to see lather building on the bristles. Rinse the brush off with water to remove the cleaner and the oil paint. Repeat the cleaning process until you see lather building on the paintbrush that appears white in color. This will mean that all of the oil paint has been removed. If you do not intend on using your clean brush for some time, then leave the white lather on the bristles. Use your fingers to flatten the bristles of the brush and allow the lather to dry. This will preserve the brush. Just make sure to clean off the soap with warm water before you intend on using your brush again. 

For more information about paint supplies, contact a company like Koontz Hardware