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Thread: Some basic questions about oils/binders/thinners/additives.

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    Some basic questions about oils/binders/thinners/additives.

    Hey peeps!

    I recently just jumped head first into oils and attempted to do a little research on what supplies and mediums and the type of palette I needed to begin working with.

    The colors I have as of now are Windsor & Newton:

    cadmium red medium
    ultramarine green shade
    raw sienna
    ivory black
    yellow ochre
    winsor green
    alizarin crimson
    burnt umber
    titanium white
    cadmium yellow pale hue

    Any insight on whether these color choices are appropriate for a basic palette would be great. I do realize that everyone has their preferences but I still seek on getting some feedback from someone who has had more experience than me.

    The type of linseed oil i have is the boiled linseed oil from the hardware store. I know there are many types of linseed oils such as raw, refined, cold-pressed, stand, etc. but I am not completely sure if I need to go back out and purchase something other than the boiled linseed oil I have. I also got turpenoid, which is a substitute of turpentine so hopefully that will work fine without the odor. As for speeding up the drying process I got Japan Drier. I think it would be suitable to use at a minimum to speed up my drying process but I am not sure.

    I am hoping by posting this I could get some help or suggestions on whether or not the color choices are something you would use on a regular basis, and if I am missing something obviously important in a palette please let me know. I am also curious if the type of linseed oil and drier I purchased would suit me just fine due to the price I got them at.(cheap for the size)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated because I have no experience with oils and the other mixtures. Due to my lack of experience I was hoping to draw some information from some of you so I can take back something if needed. Thanks!
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  3. #2
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    Oil paints

    Your choice of colors for a minimum palette are fine except maybe the addition of cadmium yellow deep hue and maybe some cobalt blue.
    Generally your choice of palette is pending your choice of subject and style you desire to paint. You can find a one page outline that covers
    all your inquires on my website. Make note of comments about use of driers in caparison to copal medium as well as information about
    Cold Pressed Sun Thickened Linseed Oil. Another outstanding resource about classical oil painting is Alexei Antonov's site Art PAPA.com


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    Raw Sienna and Yellow ochre are really close in hue, so if you wanted you could replace it with (raw Sienna) with burnt sienna. Also you might consider Ultramarine Blue rather than your green shade as you really don't have a truly blue hue on the palette.
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    You can find plenty of discussions on this topic already, so I'll just mention the one thing that pops out at me : Avoid boiled linseed oil. It contains solvent and driers that makes it fine for polishing the handle of your sledgehammer but not so good for artwork. It also has more problems with darkening. Get refined or cold pressed oil instead. Cold pressed can be more acidic with some impurities, so refined is generally recommended as a medium additive.
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    Just to repeat and emphasize two of David's points:
    Hardware store boiled linseed oil is not suitable for artistic painting. It will darken and wrinkle. Using it in combination with Japan drier (another problematic ingredient, as it is an undefined term with no standard ingredients) will make that even worse.
    There at lots of threads on starting in oils here. Search for a thread called "the Big Oil Painting Thread" for a start.

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    I recently did an oil painting for the first time as the final piece to one of my Art Foundation projects, I ended up buying Alcyde and Light Drying oil with my paints. I originally just painted onto the board from the tube, but because I had a limited of amount time to finish it, I mixed the Alcyde and light drying oil with the paint. This made the paint dry in a day, but it also gave it a peculiar varnished texture.

    Is anyone here who has decent experience with Alkyd and Light drying oil?
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    What brand/kind of alkyd? What brand/kind of light drying oil?

    Tristan Elwell
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    Thank you for the comments everyone. I will go further in my search for other threads as well. This is very helpful. Hopefully we could get a sticky up for this type of stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    What brand/kind of alkyd? What brand/kind of light drying oil?
    Daler-Rowney was the brand. Whilst it's simply called 'Light Drying Oil' on the bottle;
    Some basic questions about oils/binders/thinners/additives.
    (Any chance it says what kind it is in the small print? Sorry for the stupidly oversized image, I haven't got my Oil paint equipment at the house I'm posting this from)

    And the Alkyd's just titled 'Alkyd Flow Medium'. (I was curious when I first bought it, because of it's thickness)
    Last edited by Kagemusha22; May 14th, 2009 at 01:20 PM.
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    Did you mix them together? Use any solvents/thinners? Both of those ingredients will add gloss and speed drying time, using then together more so.

    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Did you mix them together? Use any solvents/thinners? Both of those ingredients will add gloss and speed drying time, using then together more so.
    I mixed them together before choosing the colour palette, just so I'd have a mixture ready to apply to a certain colour, but nothing else to the mix. I found that I used a greater proportion of Light Drying Oil than the Alkyd, just to thin out the mixture. I think the Alkyd added most of the gloss finish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Just to repeat and emphasize two of David's points:
    Hardware store boiled linseed oil is not suitable for artistic painting. It will darken and wrinkle. Using it in combination with Japan drier (another problematic ingredient, as it is an undefined term with no standard ingredients) will make that even worse.
    There at lots of threads on starting in oils here. Search for a thread called "the Big Oil Painting Thread" for a start.
    I haven't really had any problems with the boiled linseed oil, though I have used it sparingly.
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    I went out today and got many different things. Such as refined linseed oil, cobalt dryer. I also got some cool different things to add texture to my work. I went out to home depot and got some plaster of paris, wall texture mix, gloss super heavy gel, latex window glazing, and to mix them I have some really high concentrated colorants that are used to mix to make real paint. They are only sold for commercial use and my father bought them a while back and still seem fine with a little rust. These are decent sized cans but these are the strongest pigments to make paint.

    The colors I have with those are:
    Lamp black
    Pxn ext yellow
    Kx white blank
    G magenta
    E thalo blue
    D thalo green
    A ext red

    The oils I now have
    Raw sienna
    Cadmium yellow light
    Alizarin crimson
    Burnt umber
    Ivory black
    Sap green
    Cadmium red medium
    Titanium white
    Thalo blue
    Yellow ochre
    Flake white
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