Visual Arts Centre

There are many myths surrounding the oil painting process – do not use black paint, the paint are toxic and so on.

Oil Painting on canvas by Leon Devenice


Here are clarification to all the myths that are stopping you from picking up this art skill!

  • Oil painting is toxic

No, most oil paints are not toxic. However, some color pigments can be toxic, so check the label for ingredients like cadmium and cobalt. There are many brands alternatives that are contains non toxic colors!

  • Oil paint smells bad

No, oil paint has no smell. The source of the unpleasant smell actually comes from the solvent, such as turpentine or white spirit. If unpleasant smells is a problem for you, you can use a low-odor solvent or do not use solvents at all!

  • It is difficult

Painting techniques, just like any other medium and skill set, takes time and practice! But it is also great fun and therapeutic at the same time!

  • You need a medium to paint

No, oil paint straight out from tubes are ready to go onto the canvas. Mediums are used when you wish to alter or enhance the characteristics of the paint. In situations like to speed up the drying process, to add gloss or enhance the fluidity of the paint.

  • Do not use black

It is probably a rule passed from impressionists, but it is definitely not a rule to oil painting. You may use any colors that allow you to achieve the ambience that you wish for.

  • You have to work in layers 

There are many techniques when oil painting besides working in layers. Techniques such as “alla prima” or “wet in wet” allow a one go approach.

  • Paint the dark colours first

There is no fixed approach to which you paint first. Just be aware that painting wet-in-wet (with no drying time in between),  you cannot go over paint layers without changing the paint layer and mixing colors in the process. Often that is how you can end up with a muddy color.

oil painting class

Our student, Liu Hong who completed a scenery with oil. 

oil painting

oil painting

Interested to find out more about oil painting and try your hand in this art form?

Come join us in our studio sessions! We have oil painting classes from Monday to Sunday!

This art course is suitable for learners of all levels!

Find out more about our classes here! | Visual Arts Centre Oil Painting Art Course