Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...
that consists of particles of pigment
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.Many materials selectively absorb...
suspended in a drying oil
A drying oil is an oil that hardens to a tough, solid film after a period of exposure to air. The oil hardens through a chemical reaction in which the components crosslink by the action of oxygen . Drying oils are a key component of oil paint and some varnishes...
, commonly linseed oil
Linseed oil, also known as flaxseed oil, is a clear to yellowish oil obtained from the dried ripe seeds of the flax plant . The oil is obtained by cold pressing, sometimes followed by solvent extraction...
. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by the addition of a solvent such as turpentine
Turpentine is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin obtained from trees, mainly pine trees. It is composed of terpenes, mainly the monoterpenes alpha-pinene and beta-pinene...
or white spirit
White spirit [CAS 64475-85-0], also known as Stoddard solvent [CAS 8052-41-3] or mineral spirits, is a paraffin-derived clear, transparent liquid which is a common organic solvent used in painting and decorating. In 1924, an Atlanta dry cleaner named W. J. Stoddard worked with Lloyd E...
, and varnish
Varnish is a transparent, hard, protective finish or film primarily used in wood finishing but also for other materials. Varnish is traditionally a combination of a drying oil, a resin, and a thinner or solvent. Varnish finishes are usually glossy but may be designed to produce satin or semi-gloss...
may be added to increase the glossiness
Paint and other finishes come in a variety of finish gloss levels, which correspond to different levels of specular reflection.Some common names for levels of gloss include: flat, matte, eggshell, satin, silk, semi-gloss, high gloss. These terms are not standardized, and not all manufacturers use...
of the dried oil paint film. Oil paints have been used in Europe since the 12th century for simple decoration, but were not widely adopted as an artistic medium until the early 15th century.