Oil painting is perhaps the most dominant and popular art medium used in the history of art. Oil Paintings have created a very special place for themselves in the history. In the absence of photography, each era of significance used this medium to cast its rich traditions, culture and rich art on the canvas for the future generations to remember their greatness. Of the many media available between the medieval and the modern times, Oil paintings were specifically chosen as the medium of communication for its versatility, creating a range of opacity and intensity through infinite combinations of color and forms. It is not very clear on when oil painting as an art style was first practiced but the scientific research shows that the earliest record of oil paint used was cave paintings from the Afghan region of Bamiyan. This dates back to the fourth and ninth century, nearly a thousand years before the Europeans started making oil paint formulations around the fourteenth century. The ancient civilizations formulated paints using protein based materials and animal fat as a binder. The color pigments were extracted from a diverse source of plants and minerals.
In the earlier part of the nineteenth century, an American portrait painter John G. Rand invented the first oil paint tube ushering a new era in Oil Painting. The paint now was packaged and sealed in tin tubes to preserve the texture and consistency. The paint in tubes encouraged many artists to abandon their academic practice of paintings in the studios and ventured into the nature to capture its romance.
Oil paint became an industrial produce by the end of the nineteenth century. The artists witnessed enhanced hues such as Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Yellow and Cerulean Blue along with the synthetic colors hitting the markets. In fact, nothing much has changed in the formulations since then.
Van Eyck born around the end of the fourteenth century meticulously executed with thin layers, whose thickness was around one thousandth of an inch exerting a greet control. These coats of translucent paints shone through one another as light reflected on the paint. Van Eyck has been known for composing sophisticated works full of iconography and context that he masterly created.
Leonardo Da Vinci, known for ushering Art Renaissance had envisioned planes and tanks much before they were realized, innovated techniques that made his paintings become masterpieces. The most famous of course is Mona Lisa. His technique behind his classical paintings is Sfumato (comes from the Italian word Sfumare, meaning to blend, fade and evaporate as smoke) in which the contours are rendered with soft, seamless transitions that give the subjects a youthful and exquisite grace.
Leonardo Da Vinci studied human anatomy to add liveliness and realism as far as possible. In his portrait, he painted tens of invisible transitions to realistically express contours of the facial features. He innovatively composed translucent paints, which allowed him to create subtle gradations.
Van Gogh a post-impressionist Dutch artist was much influenced by Georges Seurat, whose pointillism and divisionism paintings were the crave of the time. Van Gogh created 2000 paintings in the last ten years of his life producing some of the masterpieces that proudly adore the walls of the museums today.
Van Gogh’s styles included using his palette knife to place thick sums of paint directly onto the canvas creating forming almost sculptural canvas surfaces. The vast variations in his painting styles represent the inner conflicts which went through during the last years of his life.
Bathers at Asnières by Georges Seurat
In the recent past, Chic Wall (http://.chicwall.in) has been innovatively driving the oil painting scene. It has reinvented a number of genres including European Art, largely oil paintings artworks from mid to late nineteenth century to the earlier twentieth century, Mughal Art, Rajasthani Art, Kangra Art, Madhubani Art and the artworks created by Raja Ravi Varma. It has produced the artworks from these genre in more contemporary colors identifying them with the modern trends.
Chic Wall has also innovated a couple of genres including Rocked Art Oil Paintings. The artworks created are amazing pieces of art that embed the people into rocks presenting pre-historic times, the times, when the artists were a kind of limited to Rocks to express their creativities.