Beginner Oil Painting: Peonies

Hi friends! Today I have a fun and relaxing oil painting tutorial that would be a good project for someone who would like to try out oil painting for the first time.

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I am using water mixable oils which behave exactly like traditional oils (slow drying, rich color, buttery consistency) without the need of stinky solvents. You can simply use water to rinse your brushes and thin your paint. The misconception is that oil paints are stinky and fumey but that’s not quite true, it is the solvents that can be stinky and harmful. As with any paint though you should respect it and work with it as it is intended in a safe manner. I’ll share safety tips at the end of the post 🙂

This tutorial is sponsored by Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Supplies:

Studio safety tips!

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  1. Don’t eat your paint! I know this sounds silly but it is important to keep food out of your studio and to wash your hands properly before eating and drinking. I have dipped my paintbrush in my coffee before and luckily I noticed it before I took a sip! 🙂 If you do want to have a drink handy use a covered water bottle or travel mug. This will also save you from spilling your drink on your art! Also if you use a cup for paint water or a dish as a palette don’t use them again for food.
  2. Get the gloves! If you are worried about absorbing chemicals into your skin you can wear surgical gloves. I prefer to use a barrier hand cream but I am not too worried about absorption because I don’t get that much paint on me and I don’t often use the toxic stuff. I know the chalky feeling of pastels give some people the “oogies” so gloves would be a great solution to this!
  3. Say it, don’t spray it! Watch how you apply your paint. Many paints (especially expensive quality artist ones) are not meant to be spray applied due to hazardous chemicals in the pigments. Read the labels before you airbrush or spatter your inks and paints and never blow your pastel dust. Instead tap the paper into your trash so the dust falls down and doesn’t get kicked up into the air where you might breathe it in.
  4. You gotta keep it ventilated! Our paints, sealers, fixatives and adhesives can emit fumes. Even the odorless products are not great to breathe so you need to make sure you have air circulating. Cracking a window and using a fan is great or wait til the end of the day to use the worst offenders and then let your studio air out overnight. Listen to your body, if you start to feel light-headed or get stuffed up open a window and take a break. Some people are more sensitive than others so when possible take a whiff of a potential product at the store before buying to make sure you can tolerate the smell.
  5. Protect the pets! Dump out rinse water (or cover it) at the end of the day so curious cats won’t imbibe your delicious paint water. Also store wet paintings up on a high shelf or easel so they are not walked on or rubbed against….don’t ask me how I came up with this tip…
  6. Watch the young’uns! Your art materials are perfectly safe if used as intended. The labels will tell you if there are hazardous materials and often how they should be handled and whether they are safe for children. And “safe for children” also means if used for their intended purposes.  Obviously you don’t let your kids drink glue or eat crayons. Still, the best way to keep your kids safe in the art room is to always supervise them. If you can’t, then, an inexpensive latch on the door too high for them to reach is cheap insurance. If you can’t block the kids away from your supplies as they are in a shared space use containers that the little ones can’t open. This is one reasons I don’t particularly like odor free products like Gamsol. It looks and smells like water even though it is a powerful solvent. It makes me nervous because small children or pets might not know the difference so always I keep it in its original safety capped container. *Gamsol is a great product for dissolving colored pencils and I use it but the fact that is has no odor freaks me out!

I hope these safety tips made you aware of potential dangers without scaring you. There is no need to be afraid, just be aware of what you are using and how it should be used and you will be fine. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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11 Responses

  1. Good reminder in the tips. What about disposal.How do you safely get rid of dirty water and left over paint?

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  2. hey, omg – i love these peonies. Might be a dumb question, but can you use acrylics too ?

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  3. Hi Lindsay,

    A great painting today and fabulous tips for a safe painting studio. LOL I understand why but it is quite funny the first safety tip. :O)

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  4. Hi Lindsay

    Thank you for this email with the link to your Blog Post – Beginner Oil Painting

    I have read your blog thoroughly and I think you have passed on useful information.

    Lorraine

    :O)

    >

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  5. my favorite flowers. May get me painting again.

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  6. These are really pretty, I love the creamy quality of oils. I was wondering if you may have heard of colors of nature? They make natural oil paint and watercolour, vegan and non toxic. I am considering them,
    Thank you for your wonderful tutorials, fellow Mainer

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  7. I like the way you have played down the paint in this piece – I must pull out my oils and a canvas and have a go
    Jen

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  8. Good tips and LOL at dipping paint brush in your coffee! Nice painting too 🙂

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  9. I LOVE YOUR LESSONS…i love to paint mostly in oils
    haven’t tried waterr based yet

    Like

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