Art: How long is too long to paint over oil?
 
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  1. #1
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    Question How long is too long to paint over oil?

    Once oil is dry is there a certain amount of time when you shouldn't paint over it anymore? I have a couple pieces that I had moved on from about a year ago, can I go back now and start working on them again?

    Should I hit them with some retouch varnish or something first?

    I thought I heard someone say once that after an oil painting has dried for a while you can't, or rather you shouldn't, paint on it again. As usual though, I was probably only listening to half of that conversation.

    Anyone know the rule?

    Thanks!

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    There are artists who have worked on a single oil painting over the course of many years. (The Mona Lisa is one example.)

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    There are artists who have worked on a single oil painting over the course of many years. (The Mona Lisa is one example.)
    yeah, that really doesn't answer the question. There's a difference between working on a painting over the course of several years and waiting years between one layer and the next.

    I'm sure there are countless artists that do it, the question is whether it's a good idea or not for the "health" of the painting.

    I'm not so good with the advice...Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?

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    It will be absolutely fine. The only possible problems you might have are beading/lack of adhesion, but a thin coat of retouch will take care of that.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    There's a difference between working on a painting over the course of several years and waiting years between one layer and the next.
    And what is that difference, exactly?

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

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    I think Firefly means you could work on a painting over the course of years and still not have more than a few weeks/months go by between layers.


    Tristan Elwell
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    hello,

    i read that Chaim Soutine painted over old paintings that he purchased specifically for that purpose. there are only a few of his works, as far as i know, that were done on a blank canvas. :)

    konstantin

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    Thank you for the feedback Tristan. The adhesion concern was probably the half of the conversation I had floating around in my head about reworking an old painting.

    I figured I'd have to use the retouch varnish anyway to bring the color back, so I'll make sure I do that now.

    Thanks!

    I'm not so good with the advice...Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?

    my painting blog
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    last time i was at the SFMoMA there was an interesting thing on "The hidden Picasso". He had painted over an old painting with a new one and they found the old one through x-ray imaging and pieced it together with color and everything. It was pretty cool.

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    Yes I agree you can paint over a painting. I do it sometimes and I never had any problem. The main concern is to make sure it is dry and also that to be conscient that if there are any textures on the under painting, these textures will show throughtout the new painting. You will have to work with them, then.
    Nicole

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