Oil Painting

Oil Painting

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.

30 results found for "Oil Painting"

essay

Art in the Age of Femme Pleasure

As Janelle Monáe’s new album heralds the age of pleasure, femme visual artists are also imagining sexualities liberated from the male gaze.

Art in the Age of Femme Pleasure
guide

What is an edition?

At Avant Arte, limited edition artworks are our bread and butter. As with many good things, they come wrapped in jargon. Read on for a quick fix summary of everything you need to know to start collecting.

What is an edition?
video

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

A true pioneer, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s fictional portraits have influenced the 21st century renaissance of the black figure in mainstream art. 

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
interview

And the Oscar for Best Movie Poster goes to…

We speak with Hollywood’s favourite poster artist James Jean about art, film and a new category for the Academy Awards.

And the Oscar for Best Movie Poster goes to…
Artist

Gabriel Moses

Gabriel Moses (he/him) was born in London in 1998, where he continues to live and work. 

Gabriel Moses
Artist

Jenna Gribbon

Jenna Gribbon (she/her) was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, 1978. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Jenna Gribbon
Artist

Baldur Helgason

Baldur Helgason (he/him) was born in Iceland, 1984. He currently lives and works in Chicago in the United States.

Baldur Helgason
Artist

Chris Huen Sin Kan

Chris Huen Sin Kan was born in 1991 in Hong Kong. In 2021, he relocated to London with his family, where he continues to live and work.

Chris Huen Sin Kan
Artist

Christian Rex van Minnen

Christian Rex van Minnen (he/him) was born in 1980 in Rhode Island and lived in numerous US cities such as Denver, Los Angeles and Colorado, before settling in Brooklyn, New York.

Christian Rex van Minnen
Artist

Scott Kahn

American artist Scott Kahn was born in 1946 in Springfield, Massachusetts and now resides in upstate New York.

Scott Kahn
Artist

Daniel Crews-Chubb

Daniel Crews-Chubb (he/him) was born in 1984 in Northampton, United Kingdom. He currently lives and works in London.

Daniel Crews-Chubb
Print

Ready?

So Youn Lee’s candy-hued protagonist looks back with a question. Mango is found at the centre of many of So Youn Lee’s paintings. Wide-eyed, naked and often accompanied by their French bulldog Choco. In cosmic scenes of “gentle chaos”, the pair embark on various adventures – an allegory for Lee’s experiences as an immigrant in Los Angeles, and her reflections on the human condition. In Ready? Mango becomes ice cream-like, surrounded by fireworks and adorned with cherries. The oil painting, rendered in pastel hues, acid brights and mottled texture, has been carefully transformed into a UV flatbed print with deckled edges and a matte varnish seal.

Ready?
Artist

Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe

Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe was born in 1988 in Accra, Ghana, and is now based in Gresham, Oregon.

Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe
Artist

Angel Otero

Angel Otero (he/him) was born in 1981 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He now splits his time between the island and his studio in New York City.

Angel Otero
Print

Strawberry Tears

Absurdism, horror, and cultivated arbitrariness meet canonical oil painting in a distorted portrait by Christian Rex van Minnen.Grotesque and yet – somehow – delicious, plump gummy sweets float above a pulled and pinched face, veiled by a tattoo-esque layer of lurid cartoons. With a focus on tonal depth and richness of colour, the edition is printed in 34 distinct layers and finished with gold shimmer. Embossing and gloss varnish cause the gummies to jump forth from their surroundings, to surreal effect.Specks, bubbling and pitting are a conscious choice by the artist, conceived to echo the aged surfaces of the centuries-old Dutch Masters paintings that inspire his work. The irregularities, unique to each print, are achieved by curing layers of ink for less time than usual – an experimental technique developed in collaboration with printmakers at Make-Ready in London.The resulting artwork deftly entwines the precise technicalities of silkscreen printing with its lyrical unpredictability.

Strawberry Tears
Print

D.I.Y (Hand-finished)

A hammer in one hand and a nail through the other, all is not as it seems for the pink protagonist of D.I.Y by Nicasio Fernandez.The edition translates the rich pigments of Fernandez’ oil paintings into a vibrant 33-layer silkscreen. 20 prints have been intricately hand-finished by the artist, adding objects and details to create a variety of absurd scenarios – no two the same.“Painting should excite, agitate and entertain.”

D.I.Y (Hand-finished)
Print

D.I.Y

A hammer in one hand and a nail through the other, all is not as it seems for the pink protagonist of D.I.Y by Nicasio Fernandez. The edition renders the artist’s intriguing creation in a silkscreen print of 33 varying colours – capturing the richness of colour typically used in his oil paintings. Though uncanny, the pink figure is engaged in the everyday act of D.I.Y labour.“Painting should excite, agitate and entertain.”

D.I.Y
Print

INGERSOLL'S BRANCH

Emotional and physical memories meet – unconstrained by reality – in a domestic American landscape by Scott Kahn.Based on an original oil painting from 1989, INGERSOLL’S BRANCH recalls a visit to a friend's home in New Jersey. Kahn combines elements from various parts of the surrounding grounds. His paintings are not about representing geographical truth. Instead, they are a record of a mood, or a moment. Liberated by this approach, the scene is littered with visual contradictions. Trees from every season huddle together, and a vibrant blue sky is peppered with clouds threatening to burst.Each print is intricately hand-finished by the artist in oil paint – adding a new layer of depth and definition to the orange and green trees that frame the image.

INGERSOLL'S BRANCH
Print

Hot blue bath

Innocence and menace meet in a richly coloured scene by Jordi Ribes.Hot blue bath reimagines Ribes' original oil painting through labour intensive photopolymer etching. The unusual medium allows the capture of both meticulous detail and dense pigment, resulting in a sleek but amply textured print. Uncanny and restricted by the coiled bath, the central figure is surrounded by an undulating, vegetal landscape seemingly ready to swallow them whole.The edition will launch in three distinct colour palettes, conceived by the artist to be displayed together or singularly.

Hot blue bath
Print

Hot green bath

Innocence and menace meet in a richly coloured scene by Jordi Ribes.Hot green bath reimagines Ribes' original oil painting through labour intensive photopolymer etching. The unusual medium allows the capture of both meticulous detail and dense pigment, resulting in a sleek but amply textured print. Uncanny and restricted by the coiled bath, the central figure is surrounded by an undulating, vegetal landscape seemingly ready to swallow them whole.The edition will launch in three distinct colour palettes, conceived by the artist to be displayed together or singularly.

Hot green bath
Print

Hot orange bath

Innocence and menace meet in a richly coloured scene by Jordi Ribes.Hot orange bath reimagines Ribes' original oil painting through labour intensive photopolymer etching. The unusual medium allows the capture of both meticulous detail and dense pigment, resulting in a sleek but amply textured print. Uncanny and restricted by the coiled bath, the central figure is surrounded by an undulating, vegetal landscape seemingly ready to swallow them whole.The edition will launch in three distinct colour palettes, conceived by the artist to be displayed together or singularly.

Hot orange bath
Print

The Action of Three Primary Colours (Hand-finished)

Two years in the making, The Action of Three Primary Colours (Hand-finished) sees Jia Aili explore emotional expression through visual juxtaposition.The edition echoes the textural surfaces of the artist’s epic oil paintings with a series of silkscreen overprints and a layer of satin varnish. Drama is created through masterful use of colour, pulling inspiration from the chiaroscuro techniques of Old Masters. Dark greys, blues and blacks contrast bright white brushstrokes, which divide the composition into a series of dynamic geometric forms.15 prints have been intricately hand-finished by the artist in marker pen and acrylic paint. Paying particular attention to line and movement, no two are the same.“Painting is not a reproduction of the objective world, but meticulous care of the spirit.”

The Action of Three Primary Colours (Hand-finished)
Print

The Action of Three Primary Colours

Two years in the making, The Action of Three Primary Colours sees Jia Aili explore emotional expression through visual juxtaposition.The edition echoes the textural surfaces of the artist’s epic oil paintings with a series of silkscreen overprints and a layer of satin varnish. Drama is created through masterful use of colour, pulling inspiration from the chiaroscuro techniques of Old Masters. Dark greys, blues and blacks contrast bright white brushstrokes, which divide the composition into a series of dynamic geometric forms.“Painting is not a reproduction of the objective world, but meticulous care of the spirit.”

The Action of Three Primary Colours
Print

We, human race made this structure

Aya Takano's drawings and oil paintings share playful visions of a future free from social constraints.Like much of Aya’s work, We, the human race made this structure embodies her surreal reflections on precarious individual identities in sprawling urban surrounds. “I’m always thinking that cities nowadays are very weird structures. I think we can make them better places to live, that we have enough intelligence to do it - but we are not doing it yet. At the same time I have a strong love for the cities, which is also nostalgic. This artwork was born from these feelings.”©2014 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

We, human race made this structure

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Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.