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painting the figure


module 2: Properties of oil paint.

Varnish application

Apply with either a soft wide brush that resists showing brush strokes, or a foam craft brush. Do a small square of the piece at a time, at most 6x6” until you cover the entire surface evenly with a thin coat of varnish. Only apply as little as you need to cover the entire surface evenly, but feel free to apply extra layers to make sure there are no patches of unvarnished area on the surface.


Contrary to what you may have seen, pouring a pool of varnish directly onto the surface is not proper varnishing technique. It tends to use too much varnish, and will be too thick where it pools, and potentially uneven as you spread it out. It’s a waste of varnish and may not even cover the painting properly. It might look cool on Instagram, but it is bad form.