Oil painting involves using pigments mixed with a drying oil medium as the binding agent.
Oil painting is a technique that uses paints containing pigments mixed with drying oil as a binding agent. Artists apply these paints to a canvas, and the most common oils used in this process include linseed oil, walnut oil, poppy seed oil, and safflower oil.
Oil painting has been a central medium in Western art for centuries. It started in Europe around the 12th century but really flourished in the 15th century, thanks to Dutch painters like Jan Van Eyck. Over time, artists began to prefer oil paint over egg tempera and switched from wood panels to canvas. This shift in materials also led to various innovations in style and technique. For example, Caravaggio used dramatic lighting, Rembrandt layered thick brushwork, and Impressionists played with new ways of mark-making.
Later movements like Fauvism and Abstract Expressionism brought vibrant colours and unique approaches to the canvas. Neo-Dada artists like Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg even incorporated everyday materials into their oil paintings.