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Should You Oil Paint Dark to Light or the Other Way Around?

van dyck portrait to teach dark to light painting

I think most art students have heard the old adage “You paint dark to light.” One of the most basic principles of oil painting states to keep your darks thin and your light thick. Unfortunately, people try to follow this rule without knowing why and may get a pre-conceived “law” in their head that they are scared to break for fear they are not “painting right.

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