Materials & Techniques

Oil Paint

Oil paint is pigment ground with oil. Linseed oil is most commonly used, although poppy-seed and walnut oil are also suitable. Whereas tempera paint and frescos dry rapidly and require speedy paint application, oil paint takes much longer to dry. Artists in the 15th century exploited the medium's slow drying time in order to create highly detailed images that could be reworked over days or weeks. Artists and audiences also appreciated the brilliant colors produced by layering oil paint in thin glazes.

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