<- Visual Arts
The word oil comes from the Latin word for it "oleum". In the past olive oil was removed and then combined with other chemicals to add color, it was because of this the paints adopted the name "oil paintings" through the passage of time. However the oil that is more widely used nowadays is linseed which is mixed with mineral pigments to provide colorful.
Oil painting was already very well known in the Middle Ages and used in combination with tempera paint as well as on its own; it was also used to do touches in pieces of gypsum. The first great artists of oil painting were the flamencos.
It was discovered that the oil paint could be applied to different surfaces without its general qualities changing much in appearance, what did vary were the preparation techniques as it is very different to paint on canvas, wood or copper.
Painting with oil improves the detail and accuracy as well as increases the depth of the scene, because the color remains opaque under several layers of varnish it has incredible resistance to ageing through the passage of time.
To carry out this technique one will undertake a process of preparations on the wall in which the mural is intended to be painted. This process involves saturating the surface of the wall lining or second-hand placement of the wall to form a surface which is united and smooth. Several layers of oil are applied up to the point where the wall no longer absorbs more.
When the surface is dry a layer of white lead is applied, oil, lead and yellow clay are used as a refractory. The last layers given are a dusting of very fine marble, lime and one more linen oil application. At the end of this treatment process the wall is left with a finish that has a somewhat shiny, yellowish resinous look.
At the time this technique was being established, the painter would prepare the canvas by putting a layer of starch glue, glue or rabbit sugar and dry the preparation by adding a layer of gypsum and another layer of glue in orthogonal direction to the previous one. Finally the fabric is scraped to make it smooth.
Currently painters prepare the linen cloth with a layer of carpenters glue, when it is dry a layer of gypsum is added, sanded and then another layer of plaster is applied. The cloth used for a painting canvas is usually woven from linen, hemp or cotton; it is sometimes also called by the type of painting that will be carried out on it, temper, oil, acrylic, etc.
Starting in the eighteenth century during the era of Baroque art, painters were doing more oil paintings on canvas because it was more practical for creating new compositions. A few reasons for this were that the paintings could be any size, they could be completed in a single day and because it was much easier to retouch a painting at any time unlike a temple mural or a tablet. The materials used by an artist were of much importance, the use of different formats started the words canvas or oil to be used instead of the words tablet or mural to describe paintings.
Oil on Wood
This technique arose between Flemish artists who were painting approximately around the fifteenth century.
To apply this technique it was important to use a new board that was in good condition. The tablets that did not have these features were subjected to a process of repair with a layer of carbonate white earthy lime, resulting in a piece of wood that is compacted and smooth, ready to be used for painting.