The basic elements of an oil painting

Published: Friday 19 January, 2018

A fine oil painting relies on the artist's overall mastery and skillful use of the most basic visual elements of it. The ingenious oil painting is the use of some essential elements in the basic elements, thus forming personal style of many artists.

 

Oil painting belongs to visual art. The most basic visual elements of oil painting are form and structure, line, shade, texture, space and color. A fine oil painting relies on the artist's overall mastery and skillful use of the most basic visual elements of it. The ingenious oil painting is the use of some essential elements in the basic elements, thus forming personal style of many artists.

 

Form and structure are the most basic elements of an oil painting. Form refers to the spatial characteristics of an object, and structure refers to the three-dimensional structure of it. In describing an object, form marks its expressiveness, so artists must know the features of visual images, and have a keen ability to reflect objects profoundly. They should find in depth what aesthetic meaning and performance value hidden in the form and structure.

 

The line is the main part of an oil painting, human's earliest description of natural objects is from lines. There is no substitute for visual elements in the art of painting, thus artists change lines constantly to reflect the emotional experience of their life. Vertical straight line is solemn and lofty, standing for eternal feeling; horizontal lines bring people a feeling of calmness, quiet, and distance; oblique lines make people feel full of tension, slash, and the sense of danger; the curve is the expression of tenderness, elegant, romantic feelings; cross lines are solemn and quiet; irregular lines are of bitter grief and restless agitation.

 

Dark, white and grey are the three most important colors applied on painting, and they are also the most basic means of expression in painting. A rich shade of bright and dark can vividly show the shape, space and texture of a still life. From meticulous to strong, bright and dark colors consist of a rich visual picture. The bright colors are flat and light, and the dark shades are heavy and mysterious. The interlace of black and white embodies artists' subjective emotions.

 

The texture in realistic oil painting is a very important element of expression.It can give people satisfaction and pleasure in the senses, and make people feel their desire for touch. It is precise because the sense of quality can produce a strong stimulus to the vision and cause excitement and impulse. Realistic painting has always been favored by the world. In modern art, the concept of texture has changed a lot, not only for the realistic description of objects, but also for the different texture of materials being used. 

 

The vision and interest of a picture enrich the visual language and enhance the spirit of the picture itself. Space is the visual depth produced by the art of painting on a two-dimensional picture. The picture's space contains not only the real space, but also the imitation of the real space, which is the illusion space created by the artist through using lines, shades and colors. And it is the distant space produced by human's visual emotion. The variety of size, level, tone can make people feel a sense of space. In modern painting, artists make more use of color to create picture's space.

 

Color and shade are inseparable, and the relationship of light and shade is reflected by the lightness of color. The adjustment of color can take into account the shade of color and the colorful world which is made up of color, thus color is life, that's the meaning of color. However, visual perception of color varies from person to person. On the one hand, there are color-blind people; on the other hand, people's subjective feelings can directly affect the sensitivity of vision to hue as well as people's likes and dislikes of different colors. The subjective color forms the different colors of the artists apply.