4

I admire the glass-like smoothness of some classical paints.

I know to polish the gesso until it's smooth like eggshells, not to leave brush marks by mixing stroke directions, and using thin paint and glazes extensively.

Are there other ways to achieve that glass effect?

3

Thin out the paint layers and add a little more linseed oil to the paint.

The thinner you apply the layers the less likely you will leave brushstrokes. The paint will however take longer to dry, some of the colour might yellow over time, and it may need more layers applied to the piece.

My suggestion is to play around. See what gets you that effect best!

| improve this answer | |
2

Thinning the paint too much will weaken the binding in oil paint and the paint will likely flake off. Polishing the gesso may also reduce the ability for the paint to adhere to the surface. The best way to get the super smooth finish is to blend the paint very well.

  • Fan brushes are the best tool to reduce any brush marks on the surface of your painting.
  • Make sure the brush is dry before using and wipe clean onto a dry rag between strokes.
  • Stroke the brush very gently at a 90 degree angle across the surface in a herringbone type pattern alternating from left to right.

This shouldn't disturb the painting but will reduce the brush marks.

| improve this answer | |
0

To knock down your paint thickness, texture and take away brush strokes you could scrape the surface with a palette knife.

It's a gentle controlled scraping of the paint surface which is intended to leave the softest ghost image of the last layer applied. If you want to achieve soft transitions in your paintings that's one of the techniques to help get you there. Here's an example of the process youtube.com/watch?v=J2aptvHIJIY

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Would this not cause problems with smearing the paint? – Catija Jun 30 '16 at 19:23
  • It's a gentle controlled scraping of the paint surface which is intended to leave the softest ghost image of the last layer applied. If you want to achieve soft transitions in your paintings that one of the techniques to help get you there. Here's an example of the process youtube.com/watch?v=J2aptvHIJIY – John Vukelic Jul 1 '16 at 1:29
  • 1
    You don't say any of that in your answer. Please explain more completely so that your method is easier to duplicate. – Catija Jul 1 '16 at 12:09
  • Will do. I'm still figuring out how this stack exchange thing works. – John Vukelic Jul 1 '16 at 12:12
  • Applying paint with a palette knife can give you a brushless finish but has less control than a brush, it is great for impasto effects and a very specific kind of look. But scraping after painting with a brush will only damage the work, fine if that is what you are going for but not a good way to eliminate brush marks from a painting. – rebusB Aug 17 '17 at 18:31
0

Glossiness in oil paintings is achieved through the painting medium used. The mixture of varnish(es) with the linseed oil and turps determines how the paint will look when dry. There are a number of premixed mediums you can buy, and you can make your own from recipes in artist reference books. Linseed oil on its own does not have the gloss or weight to settle into a smooth surface, that is the job of the varnish (or other kind or resin.)

Another major factor in eliminating brush strokes is the choice of brush you use when painting. White bristles are firmer and will leave brush marks, the softer (red) sable brushes and fans will be smooth. Painting with a soft brush and then lightly flicking over that with a fan brush to blend is a classic technique.

It is a mixture of medium and brush technique that gives you that super smooth finish.

edit: to downvoter, could you explain why?

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.