How to Appreciate Oil Paintings

Published: May 25, 2014 | Category: Thinking

Art comes in many forms, it can be an oil painting or pencil sketch or even watercolor. Each form of art is unique in their own way and takes a sophisticated eye to really learn and appreciate the complexity and detail of each type of artwork. Oftentimes people don’t value art as much as they should. Not every can understand and see the value of art, but when you understand the time and hard work that goes into each piece of artwork you will then understand the value of each piece of artwork. Oil paintings are amongst some of the most widely appreciated types of artwork.

Oil paintings date way back to the 12th century in Western Europe. Artists in that time often mixed their oil paints with linseed and walnut oils to help with the drying time and also to increase transparency and glossiness. The advantage of using oil was that scraping out mistakes was much easier since the paint took nearly two weeks to dry. Also, since oil paints took a while to dry, the artist can use the oil paints for a longer period of time which gives them the flexibility of working at their own leisure. The great thing about oil paints is that it gives a richness to paintings that other paints cannot mimic. Oil paints create a more vibrant color and in turn will create a more fluid, unique painting.

The basic rule of oil painting is to paint fat strokes, meaning to paint layers with more oil on top of thin layers of paint. This will help to preserver the color of the paint as well as prevent the painting from cracking over time. As you can tell, oil paintings are extensive works of art that require much time and effort to do. Artists who choose to do oil paintings consider it a labor of love. Not only do they breathe the toxic fumes of the paints and turpentine while they paint, but there is also much prep work that needs to be done for oil paintings.

Now understanding the paintings is a completely different story. We oftentimes just see what the painting is depicting, but the meaning behind every painting is much deeper than what the painting depicts. The interesting about paintings is that there is no real right or wrong way of interpreting the true meaning. Paintings may mean different things to different people based on their life experiences. What a painting means to a young child may not mean the same to someone who is older. This is because a child’s experiences are limited when compared to one who is much older. Someone is older may be able to better grasp certain concepts of life illustrated literally.

Learning to appreciate oil paintings is something that is acquired. You need to understand the process of creating an oil painting in order to really understand the value of it. With the time and effort put into the painting, oil paintings are undoubtedly very difficult to create and create successfully. Appreciating a painting is not about understanding the message or not, as the message can be different with different people, but it is about understand the blood, sweat, tears put into the piece of art. The effort and hard work put into the art is something that people will not understand unless they are put to that task. Oftentimes, we don’t value the piece of art because we don’t understand how hard it is to create it. But once we do, we will get a better understanding of art and learn to appreciate it more.

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