Oil paintings are some of the most amazing works of art you’ll ever see. Most people are familiar with Leonardo Da Vinci or Raphael, but there are so many different styles of oil painting out there. With a history spanning thousands of years and spanning multiple continents, the various styles of oil painting out there are incredible in their unique way. Learning how to master these oil painting styles is hard work, but it pays off as you realize the breadth of options available to you. Here are a few tips for learning the most popular oil painting styles around.
Naive art is one of the easier styles of oil painting to learn because it doesn’t follow many of the principles of trained artists. Distance is less important and artists are free to focus on their unique sense of style. What you need to understand to make great naive art is to ignore what you don’t want to focus on. An object in the background can be the same size as an object in the foreground. Details can persist in objects located further away and colors do not necessarily mute with distance either. Naive art is in essence art made by those without formal training. Learning to put expression ahead of everything else is the core of naive art.
This style most people are familiar with and one of the most complex. Much of Renaissance painting relies upon an understanding of pressure and using it to create complex shapes. The size of your brush is going to matter quite a bit with Renaissance painting because applying pressure with a thick brush is going to lead to very different results than you might get if you used a thin brush. Beyond pressure, the medium you use will make or break your painting. Renaissance painters used fresco as their preferred medium because oils stick to the medium better and producer bright colors than other mediums. Practicing on fresco can help oil painters understand the dynamics much better than other mediums.
Netherlandish painting focuses a lot more on lighting than other painting styles and attention to smaller details. Any oil paintings gallery will have many examples of Netherlandish painting. Much of Netherlandish painting technique relies upon the “wet on wet” painting technique. This style of oil painting revolves around placing layers of oil paint on top of each other in order to achieve the desired effect. Timing and brush orientation are important skills to learn on the path to mastering Netherlandish oil painting. You’ll need to paint much more quickly than you might otherwise and you’ll need to keep your brush from touching the wrong parts of the painting. One of the best ways to practice wet on wet painting is to paint a circle using one brush and then paint over half of the painting with a slightly darker color with another brush. This will teach you what ” wet on wet” painting will do to your canvas.