Oil paint can be applied to canvas (heavy cotton or linen fabric), wood or wood panels, masonite or hardboard, paper or card as well as many other surfaces.
The surface on which the paint is applied should be sized or sealed (especially for canvas surfaces) and primed so that the oil paint does not peel off when dry.
Rabbit skin glue is a traditional size for an oil painting canvas surface. It can be bought in powder form and then mixed with water and boiled to make a gelatinous glue which is then applied to the canvas.
Several coats of gesso (a paint primer) are then applied to the surface.
Oil paint can be applied in various ways. A few examples are:
- Impasto (thick, textured paint)
- Glaze (a thin application of oil paint that has been mixed with linseed oil and turpentine, or other glazing mediums)
- Scumble (paint applied using a dryish brush that is gently applied and picks up the surface texture of the canvas or board)