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


    Ask Maurice.Org


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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.

    Whatever you do, don't look at my Sketchbook and Painting Thread!


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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.


    Tristan Elwell
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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 02:20 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
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
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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.

    My sketchbook, if you really want to see it...

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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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    I'm probably going to be the only one to disagree and maybe bum you out a bit. Here goes. You can dive head first and break your neck. I would not advise someone who is starting to go with a palette that extended. Even/or especially if you are experienced with drawing and know your values, etc. All you really need, in my opinion, is like Raw Umber, Terra Verte, Venitian Red and White (titanium or Grumbacher mg)[IMG]
    This study was done with those three: Raw Umber, Terre Verte, Venitian Red + white
    Keep it simple at first. I would use Gamsol or oderless spirits and start to make some
    progress with the basics. I don't know if the painting shows above, or not, but you can do A LOT with a limited palette. THEN you'll know what you want to add and WHY. A lot of peeps start with a big palette and end up coloring, like coloring book coloring. I would start some exercises with turning simple forms, too. But I might be the only one who thinks this.

    Also, your palette is important. This seems to be one of the items that is pretty much up to the individual for comfort and convenience. Some people like glass - it's easy to clean. Some like tissue on
    something flat, some love a hand-held. I use both for different purposes. I would try to avoid the temptation to go out and buy so much. At first you just need a couple of good brushes, a nice flat, a round and a nice couple of filberts (medium range so you don't start painting nasal hairs).

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    Last edited by Raceme; May 14th, 2009 at 11:11 PM. Reason: wanted to add something
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raceme View Post
    I'm probably going to be the only one to disagree and maybe bum you out a bit
    ...
    I would not advise someone who is starting to go with a palette that extended
    ...
    Keep it simple at first
    ...
    you can do A LOT with a limited palette... I would start some exercises with turning simple forms, too. But I might be the only one who thinks this.
    Actually, most folks here who know what they're talking about would agree wholeheartedly.


    Tristan Elwell
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  18. #16
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    I would agree with you Raceme on going too deep with a palette can hinder your work without knowing how to use the paints. I see combos of just yellow ochre, ivory black, cadmium red, and tit white. Then I see an even lower budget with just Burn Umber, Payne's Grey, and Tit white. The reason why I went ahead and got this type of palette is because I am not completely set on just doing one type of genre of subjects but many and want to be able to experiment.

    Another thing, I realize that oil paints can be painted on acrylics and that it doesn't work the other way around. So for example, if I wanted to mix some medium gel with my acrylics and create a textured first later and then came in straight with medium and oils, would they work together well? Have any of you tried mixtures such as these?
    Sam

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    I think it depends a lot on what you want to do. I recently went to the Drew Struzan solo exhibit and he did work with texturing his surface. Even then, keep it simple. You can use a good gesso and make a nice texture. I really recommend doing some small tests. A big surprise for me was how useful drawing is because of observation skills, but painting is really different from drawing.

    I'm not so sure about mixing oil and acrylic too much on purpose. Have you ever been anywhere near a makeup counter in Nordstrom's? There's a lot of stuff there but you'd probably not want to see it all on a woman's face at the same time, eh?

    One really cool thing, almost a trend I'm seeing, is working on 5 x 7s. You can make a lot of mistakes really cheap working small. Also, look at Christian Schellewald's "LA <> SF" published sketchbook. He has a lot of wonderful small paintings printed in it. Painting will kick yur butt if you start without breaking it into digestible pieces (I think). This is coming from the girl who bought all the supplies a few times, took classes with people who were teaching with an extended palette right off and giving the old paint what you feel advice. I ended up thinking I could do nothing but fail. I tried a lot. My drawing was always pretty strong, just kicked my butt. The cool thing about keeping it pretty simple is you usually can tell yourself what you need to add. One thing, I had a teacher at LAAFA who really emphasized making your colors rich and making your brush strokes beautiful.

    A couple of years ago there was a J. C. Leyendecker exhibit in Fullerton, Ca. Two things freaked me out.
    one: How strategic and methodical he was. How carefully planned - amazing. Must have been what the illustrators were working. I've seen it since in the work of that period.
    two: How many paintings he did in two colors plus black or a red and black plus white. Crazy!

    I LOVE your excitement and enthusiasm. It's great for everyone!

    Last edited by Raceme; May 15th, 2009 at 12:46 AM.
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    Exclamation oils over acrylic

    About this method:

    Sam
    Another thing, I realize that oil paints can be painted on acrylics and that it doesn't work the other way around. So for example, if I wanted to mix some medium gel with my acrylics and create a textured first later and then came in straight with medium and oils, would they work together well? Have any of you tried mixtures such as these?
    Read the info on these pages about painting with oils & mixed media. They both cover the heavy impasto effects you what to create and how to achieve them. You can use acrylic as your heavy layer but honestly I don't recommend it. The reasoning behind this is that because it's chemically a water base paint, Acrylic paint requires at least three to four weeks or longer drying time before painting over with oil depending on the humidity. Usually with all acrylic and water based paint water ascends to the surface to evaporate as an emulsion dries. Oil paint dries slowly where it absorbs oxygen as it polymerizes. Thus, any moisture left in the acrylic layer is sealed off between the oil paint and the canvas sizing and will have difficulty escaping causing cracks and blisters long after the work is completed. Water soluble oils are no exception since they cure the same as oils.


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    It's certainly true that a limited palette can be used to make a perfectly acceptable painting. You could even use just one if you prefer, as how most underpainting is made. A limited palette will help you learn how the medium itself handles and to control values without adding the complexity of different hues. However, since you already have a range of colors there's no reason to avoid using them, and for color accuracy you're going to need them, just keep it simple.

    In fact, other wise advice you'll often see is before you get too far into all the things oils can do and complicate things with different medium combinations and so on, it's a good idea to keep things as simple as possible at the beginning. Likely, you'll not need anything more than the paint by itself.

    There's a certain science to using oils that at first seems complex: fat over lean - drying oil vs semi-drying oil - oil primer or acrylic - alkyds, etc., but the more things you add, the more complex it becomes. Start with the basics and pick up the rest as you go.

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