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How to Fix Your Drawing with Water-Resistant Medium before Oil Painting?

Updated: Feb 11, 2022

Rad Educators is a 1-year program intended to help beginner artists learn step-by-step techniques from professional artists across different mediums. This is in no way sponsored or promoted by any particular Art Brand.

Nilisha Phad is Rad Educator for Oil Painting - Portrait.

Let’s move on to the next step after drawing a 'block sketch'.

The next step is to fix your sketch with a water-resistant medium like either ‘waterproof ink’ or ‘acrylic paint ‘. When doing this, it is important to be as detailed as possible to avoid confusion in later stages.

The benefits of doing this are :

• Fixing of drawing with a water-resistant medium avoids the confusion of missing the initial drawing in later stages.

• The drawing is still visible after the first wash of oil paint is given as water and oil don’t mix, keeping the sketch intact.

After the sketch is fixed, it is time for the first wash. Following are the tips for a first wash according to how I work :

• Use 80% linseed oil and mix 20% turpentine in it. This will make sure that the linseed oil is not too sticky and does not cause yellowing and dryness in the painting after it dries.

• Choose colours that are transparent in the first wash. Whether the colour is transparent can be determined by looking closely at the colour tube. You will notice a ‘small square ‘ which indicates the opacity of that particular colour. • Studying and understanding the opacity of colour is important while mixing colours.

• It is essential to fill the first wash with colours that compliment the later stages of your painting.

• To determine which colours to use, study the underlying colours of skin tone . For example, in the following painting, I have created a ground wash before applying final colours.

• The first wash is meant to remove disturbing stark white of the canvas. So make sure you fill the entire canvas inch by inch and leave no white space.

Filling the canvas and creating groundwork often goes unnoticed which causes the painting to look unfinished in the end. It is, therefore, a very important step before one starts entering the final stages of completion.

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