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Photo by Max Wehlte Enlarge

Oil Painting Palette
(Max Wehlte,Public domain)

Oil Paint

Oil paint is a thick colorant, composed of powdered pigments and a binding agent, originally natural linseed, walnut, or poppy oil. Its drying time is rather long, an inconvenience greatly compensated for by its capacity to blend well and mix colors. It thus enables the artist to create gradations and contrasts of great quality.

In studios at the turn of the 19th century, oil paint was preserved in pig bladders. It was only in 1840 that the first tin tubes appeared, and painters could at last easily travel with all the equipment necessary for the exercise of their art. This was a true revolution for artists, who could henceforth work outside the studio. Among the first to benefit from this, let us note the Impressionists who were interested in, among other things, lighting effects.

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