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How to avoid opaque areas in Oil Paint/Part one

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Hey guys! I would you like to talk about some issues but what issues? Well,those who have to face begginer painters! Have you ever heard about opaque areas? No? Well,they are for sure one of the worst problems that can affect beginners painters! What are opaque areas on a painting and why can they be a problem? They are drainage areas on surface of the painting caused by an excessive absorption of the medium by the painting support. Why does this happen? Basically for two reasons:

One: Too many retouches by the painter.This can often happen when you paint large-sized canvas or paintings very complex that need several sessions to be completed.

Two: Painter does not follow the Holy Rule “fat over lean”.By painting in different layers, in fact,you need to add larger amount of oil to the new layer compared to the previous one. If you do not follow this Holy Rule,the surface of the painting will be subject to opaque areas which will give an unpleasant appearance to the artwork.

Can become frustrating to keep adding colours and oil but realize one day later that the opaque areas are still there,ugly and unpleasant. They make colours off and  paintings without life and energy,in addition to increase the working time considerably as well as the waste of colour and medium. So what can you do to avoid this unpleasant inconvenience?

Logically someone could suggest to follow the rule “fat over lean” to solve the problem…but hey,,, just a moment,it is not as easy as it looks!

Despite you work hard to apply the “Holy Rule” scientifically very often it’s really difficult to avoid those annoying opaque areas…why? Well,keep reading this article and you’ll discover it.

In the first instance,primary importance is the preparation of the canvas.

If you use a priming of the canvas with chalky base, for example with acrylic gesso, the surface of painting will be  more subject to have opaque areas,while on the contrary if you’ll use priming with oil then the painting will be less susceptible to suffer from drainage areas.

Saying that,sometimes neither priming with oil can avoid those unbearable opaque spots…so what can you do about it?

There would be three solutions to solve this issue…if you want to know about it keep reading then…


This first solution to solve that problem is rather simple and immediate that it seems almost trivial, but be careful, you must do iy diligently!

The method is as follows: grab a cloth rag clean and dry,soak it in linen oil,(be careful not to overdo it because it could leak) and pass it with light and attentive hand on all the opaque stains that were formed on painting. Right after this operation,immediately you will notice that opacity will be gone and painting is vibrant and shining as before. It could seems that the problem is solve but…sometimes this simple trick couldn’t be enough! No worries! In the next articles i will show you the other two solutions that will solve the issue in a definitive way. At the moment i wish you good paint and see you later!

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