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Oil Painting Techniques by Roger D. Arndt

Oil Painting Techniques

Canadian Artist Roger D. Arndt shares some of the oil painting techniques and secrets that he has learned and has used during his 47 year career with oil painting and printmaking. 

Through this new series of blog articles, Roger invites you to join him on a journey through the process of creating art using very specific oil painting techniques.

What makes an RDA painting different from other artists that are showing in galleries and art shows?

“It all starts with careful preparation, and the surface that I paint on. The choices I make at the beginning are reflected in the quality of the finished painting.

Over the years, I have painted on cotton canvas, linen, Masonite, birch panels, marine mahogany, aluminum and MDF, which is my preference. MDF or ‘medium density fireboard’ is a manufactured wood product made by hardwood and softwood and used extensively in furniture and cupboards. Wood fibres are bound with wax and resin binders to form panels under pressure and heat, making it denser than plywood. MDF is extremely smooth and hard – a great surface for my style of painting.

Preparing the MDF surface is time-consuming but well worth the effort. I start by cutting a four-by-eight foot sheet into painting sizes. I then cradle the painting for stability by gluing and clamping doorstop wood onto the back or side.

After drying for several hours, I seal the back surface from moisture with two coats of an acrylic polymer product by Golden artist supplies. After another few hours, I apply two coats to the front side using a 3-inch sponge roller. Finally, when that is dry, I sand the surface with a 180 grit sponge sandpaper block.

Now I apply sandable gesso – an acrylic white paint-like product that dries hard, and provides a foundation to accept the paint.  I apply three coats, and sand in between each coat. The result? A mirror-smooth, hard surface to paint on and one step closer to creative process.”

Oil Painting Techniques by Roger D. Arndt

Next: Join me for my next blog as I choose brushes and paints.