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oil paintings

Oil paints are made by blending colored pigments into some kind of oil, preferably a medium like linseed oil, walnut oil or poppy seed oil.  Depending on which oil was used, oil paints can be more or less yellowish and take different lengths of time to dry.

In Europe, where linseed oil paints are most popular, the technique of painting with oil pains is believed to have originated in the thirteenth century. However, these paintings had more decorative value than artistic worth. There is also some evidence to suggest that oil paints made using vegetable oils were used in applied art by the ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Christian monks also used oil painting techniques in their art.

The main advantage with using oil paints to create art is that the paints take longer to dry and hence corrections and alterations are possible unlike with quick-drying paints like watercolors.
World-renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci  and Rubens experimented with various unique techniques to create oil paints which would add different textures to their works. What all artists have endeavored to create was the ideal oil paint concoction. Today, good oil paints would be best described as paints that take longer to dry, paints that will blend easily with other colors and paints which are available in a wide spectrum of bright and vivid colors.

Among famous oil paintings in India, few have received as much acclaim as the original oil paintings of artist Raja Ravi Verma. His works were what one of the main Indian artworks to attract international attention in the nineteenth century. Vermaís favorite themes included the great Indian mythological works of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Today the technique of painting with oil-based paints is common in India and such paintings have been created by famous Indian artists on various materials. Indian velvet oil paintings usually portray landscapes.

Miniature oil paintings are also popular in India, especially in the North and typically depict scenes from Rajput and Moghul dynasties. Typically, in India oil paintings for sale can be found at art galleries of oil paintings or even at various cottage industry outlets. Un-established Indian artists are also willing to undertake custom oil paintings, which may be a family memberís portrait or a painting of a valuable family heirloom as per the individual or familyís desire.

When purchasing an oil painting, you can assess the value of the painting in part on the basis of the theme of the painting. For example oil paintings of lions in Africa are fairly common and may therefore be considered to be cheap oil paintings. However, with any oil painting the buyer should also consider the attention to detail as this is another indicator of the artistís skill and therefore the value of the artistís work.

Cleaning oil paintings is a task that is best left to professionals, especially if the paintings are very expensive. If the paintings are not expensive, and relatively new then you can simply dust off any accumulated dirt or dust.

Author ~ Anjana Vaswani


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