5 Tips on Choosing an Oil Painting for Your Home or Office

Are you looking for some oil paintings to adorn the walls in your home or corporate office? Before you head out the door to find that fabulous canvas art to accent your décor, there are a few things you will need to consider first.


Marine still life with boat fenders“Boat Fenders”
Marine Still life by Teresa Bernard
9″ x 12″
Oils on canvas panel board

>> More info


Tip #1. Size — The first thing that needs to be considered is the size of the space where your painting will be displayed. This can be done by taking measurements of the wall space or area. If it is a large area you will want a larger size painting, a smaller area requires a smaller one. This is an important step that should not be neglected. If you purchase a painting and it doesn’t fit in the space you will be unhappy with your selection. Too small and the painting look lost and out of place in the all that empty wall space. Too large and the painting will appear crowded in the space or won’t even fit the space at all. As such it is a good idea to measure your wall space before even setting out to look for a painting to buy.

Tip #2. Color — The color scheme in your home or office needs to be considered as well. Your painting should complement the colors in the room unless you are going for harsh contrasts. You might not be happy if the colors in your newly acquired painting doesn’t match your sofa but clashes with it instead. Also keep in mind that colors play an important role in setting moods. Choose calming colors, such as light blues and greens for bedrooms and areas where relaxation is important or deep. Bold colors work well in rooms and spaces where conversation and entertainment take place.

Tip #3. Style — The next thing to consider is the style of your décor. Is it contemporary, traditional, or a combination of both? Why not mix and match? Not everything in your home needs to match or be the same. Think about mixing up patterns, textures and even eras. If your home is an older home with traditional décor, a piece of modern art just might look great! And the same goes for a vintage style painting in a contemporary setting. Remember to have fun and at the end of the day, as long as you love it that’s all that matters.

Tip #4. Subject — Next, think about what types of subject matter interest you in a painting. Still life, landscapes, seascapes, or wildlife? Paintings of faraway places or local hangouts? People perhaps. Art can be great conversation starters between you and visitors. You can choose a painting that is different or makes a bold statement. It can be fun to see what type of reaction your family and visitors will have upon seeing the painting for the first time.

Tip #5. Purpose — Make sure you buy something you love. Take your time to decide what it is you like in a piece of art. What type of paintings are you naturally drawn to? Is it a particular style, artist or period? Browsing through galleries, museums, art books and websites will help you to decide. This will be necessary to know if you are considering on buying art as an investment. Keep in mind paintings will take a long to go up in value, so it is best to buy a painting because you love it rather than waiting for it be worth a lot of money someday.

Once you have something in mind you will be able to find just the right oil painting to suit your needs and bring years of enjoyment to you, your family and friends.

Additional Reading

For additional information on this subject see article titled Some Things To Consider When Buying Oil Paintings For Your Home.

Common Paint Media Used By Artists

art bin paint boxAn artistic medium is the painting material used by artists to create their art. Everything a piece of art of made with is its medium. (The plural of medium is media.) For example, an artist may use “oil on canvas” or “tempera on wood”, etc. to compose a painting. Each of the items used in the creation of the painting are media. In this article, however, we are only going to look at paint as a medium. There are four common paint media: acrylics, oils, tempera, and watercolor.

Acrylics
Acrylic paint is a man-made, water-soluble paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. Even though they are water-soluble, they become water-resistant after they have dried. Depending on how thickly the paint is applied to canvas, an acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor or an oil painting. Clean up involves using soap and water. Acrylic paints are popular with many painters because of their fast-drying qualities.

  • Binder: acrylic polymer
  • Vehicle (solvent): water
  • Ground: prepared (gesso) or raw canvas, paper, wood, glass, etc.
  • Dries fast/permanent
  • Opaque/translucent/transparent
  • Versatile media – can be applied to almost any surface and can mimic oil, tempera, and watercolor paints

yellow rose flower painting“Yellow Rose of Texas”
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
18″ x 18″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info


Oils
Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that contains ground pigment (color) suspended in a natural drying oil (binder), commonly linseed oil. However the binder can also be walnut oil, poppyseed oil, or many other forms of oils from plants. The artist uses turpentine or mineral spirits for cleaning oil paint from brushes. Oil paint has been the dominant medium since the 1500’s. The richness and glow that oil gives to the color pigments is what makes oil paint a popular choice with many painters.

  • Binder: linseed oil
  • Vehicle (solvent): turpentine, mineral spirits
  • Ground: prepared canvas, paper, wood
  • Dries slow/permanent
  • Opaque/translucent/transparent
  • Versatile media

Tempera
Tempera (also called egg tempera) paint is a permanent, fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with egg yolk and water. Because egg tempera dries so quickly, painting with it requires the painting to be worked section by section. Clean up with soap and water. Egg tempera painting was the main method of applying paint to panel until after 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil painting. Tempera paintings are very long lasting and colors do not deteriorate over time.

  • Binder: gum Arabic and water
  • Vehicle (solvent): water
  • Ground: paper, prepared wood panel
  • Dries fast/water soluble
  • Opaque
  • Dry, matte surface
  • Egg Tempera: egg yoke can be added to make it enamel-like and permanent

Watercolor
Watercolor is a water-based painting compound that can be either transparent or opaque. The pigment is suspended in a binder, generally natural gum arabic. It is a moist paint that comes in a tube, thinned using water and mixed on a dish or palette. Use them on paper and other absorbent surfaces that have been primed to accept water-based paint. Uses soap and water for easy cleanup.

  • Binder: gum arabic and water
  • Vehicle (solvent): water
  • Ground: paper
  • Dries fast/water soluble
  • Transparent to translucent