The oil paintings and acrylic paintings are mostly painted on the canvas (linen or cotton) stretched on a wooden frame. Furthermore, solid supports can be used (wooden boards, plywood or chipboard, cardboard ..).

The background material is usually furnised with the basic primer coat = sizing agent and sepsis. The primer coat protects the background against harmful external influences, together with providing a suitable surface for application and adhesion of paint.

Oil paint

Its base is a mixture of colored pigment, oil and turpentine. It also contains a range of other components that further refine its properties:

  • - Pigment - solid component obtained chemically or mechanically from the mineral and vegetable products, has usually a powder consistency
  • - Oil - linseed oil, most often refined one
  • - Turpentine - a binder and a solvent, for the paint thinning or against the paint drying out during the work
  • - Cobalt Siccative - for reducing the drying time
  • - Warnish - for creating a glossy finish (Dammar Varnish)
  • - Wax - for ensuring a matt finish (beeswax)

Linseed oil as a base medium gives many excellent properties to these paints: luminosity, transparency and opacity, flexibility, delicacy, covering power, texture and durability. The oil painting dries gradually and slowly thanks to the oil base and it provides plenty of time for mixing the required tones and for maximum refinement of painting (its completion or prospective changes).

Drying process: in contrast to the water-based paints the oil paint doesn't dry by the evaporation. The process of drying is due to oxidation, i.e. chemical reaction with air in which the paint dries and hardens gradually from the top to the bottom layer. After the drying the paint stays glossy and elastic, and leaves the unchanged colorfulness and fresh appearance to the painting.

Oil painting

Oil painting is one of the noblest, the most versatile and the most plastic artistic means. Oil paints can be applied to any existing style of painting, both for very careful painting full of details and for completely free expressionist themes illustrating characters or gestures.

Oil painting is absolutely versatile artist's tool. Elasticity, luminosity, clearness or covering power of the oil piants provides to the painters everything they need and to the oil paintings a huge tematic and plastic potential. Thanks to a large variety of technical possibilities offered by oil paints each artist can create their own style. (back to top)

Acrylic paint

It is a polymer of derivatives of acrylic or methacrylic acid. This material was discovered in the fifties of 20th century - as a by-product in the manufacture of new plastics. Acrylic paints are made of fine rubbed particles of pigment, dissolved in water and mixed with a binder - a special plastic compound = polymeric resin.

The acrylic paints can be thinned by water too. (back to top)

Acrylic painting

Painting with the acrylic paints is basically just as versatile as painting with oil paints, plus it provides additional features. It is the speed of drying (allowing the quick painting or repaint), insolubility (when the paint dries, it can not be dissolved again), they are suitable for the painting on any surface (paper, canvas, board...), they can imitate oil painting (they behave almost as much as oil paints). (back to top)

Combined painting

During the painting of the picture, we can use layers of both - oil paints and acrylic paints. What is necessary to be careful – it is a big difference in the drying time. Because the oil paints dry very slowly there is a risk that the both paints thicken and make the dim and nasty areas.

But with proper and patient procedure you can benefit from the outstanding features of these two media and you can get very interesting and impressive results by their combinations. (back to top)

Final warnish

As the oil in paints dries gradually, layer by layer, through the oxidation, the oil painting generally requires a long period of time for their complete drying. It takes about six months by the thin layers of paint, up to one year by “heavier” work.

Then the whole area of the painting is coated with the final warnish. The painting is varnished, partly, that the layer of varnish protects the layers of paint, and partly, that the warnish layer unifies the differences of the paints surface (different gloss or dullness of the color areas). (back to top)


To set the picture in the frame can complete the look of the painting and point out its effects. Of course it helps to protect the painting too.

However, the frame can be conceived too as a mediator between the painting itself and the surrounding where the painting should be placed. It is therefore necessary to consider not only the alignment of the frame with "its" picture (frame color, its width, its shape ...), but also its appropriate design and tone in face of the space and details among which it should be placed. (back to top)

Technic in my paintings

Background: the paintings are mostly painted on the cardboard with linen-cover and fitted with several layers of sepsis.

Painting: the paintings are performed with oil paints or acrylic paints or with a combination of both.

Final warnish: all paintings are coated with the final warnish (matt acrylic warnish or Dammar varnish). (back to top)

© 2010 • Jarmila Matyášová - • All rights reserved