Oil Painting Information - Is That Really True?

This is an ongoing article so will be added to from time to time...

To follow the fat-over-lean rule simply add a few more drops of medium to your paint in subsequent layers.

This is a misleading statement I have found in a number of books on oil painting.
To simply state 'add more medium' suggests beginning with thick paint containing only a small amount of medium and then diluting it with more medium in later layers. This is peculiar as one would be more inclined to begin with very thin paint and build the density of the paint in later layers (unless glazing). The fat-over-lean rule requires that you use paint with a higher oil content on later layers of an oil painting in order to avoid cracking. Medium is a mixture of oil and turpentine. Therefore, to follow the fat-over-lean rule when using medium, it is the proportion of oil to turpentine that must be adjusted for each layer, not the proportion of medium to paint.  This will allow you to work fat over lean and thick over thin.  An easy way to do this is to use medium with a high proportion of turpentine for the first layer and use medium with a lesser proportion of turpentine in subsequent layers. You can make this by buying turpentine and stand oil separately and mixing them to make your own medium for each layer.

Colour theory only provides a rough guide to colour mixing, using the three primaries will result in muddy secondaries, learning colour mixing is a matter of trial and error, etc.

Very good vibrant oranges, greens and purples can be achieved using only the three primaries, providing you use the correct ones. All other needed colours (browns, blacks, greyish blues, earthy greens, fleshy pinks, etc., etc.) can be achieved using only the three primaries (and often also white) with a good understanding of how the primary colours behave in relation to one another and given some practice. Advancements have been made in colour theory / scientific knowledge as it applies to colour mixing in painting within the last few decades.
A major proponent of this is Michael Wilcox with his amazing book "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green" which actually explains the physics of light that occurs within paints and exactly what happens when they are mixed.

Tertiary colours are those achieved by mixing primary colours and secondary colours together , for example red-orange from orange plus red, or yellow-green from green plus yellow.

I wouldn't want to go as far as to say that this very common meaning of tertiary colours is false, but I would say that it is bordering on pointless. At what point does one stop calling an orange a secondary orange and start calling it a tertiary red-orange, and does it matter as long as you can get a reddish orange when you need it? And to get a reddish orange you would simply just use a higher proportion of red when mixing the orange!

Here is a seldom found meaning that I would say is far more useful:
Tertiary colours are those colours that result from mixing three primary colours together, i.e. browns, greys, blacks or dirty primaries / secondaries (for example a muddy orange achieved by adding a little blue). (The word 'tertiary' actually comes from a Latin word meaning 'third').

When oil painting, one must always hold the brush far back on the handle.

This may be appropriate if wanting a more expressive effect, but certainly not advisable if working delicate parts of tight realism. Would it not be more helpful to say that one should hold a brush in whatever way is most comfortable and effective for each painting situation? This may be at the back of the handle, the middle, or the front (like a pencil), with the arm stretched or drawn near.

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