OIL painting: problems with MEDIUMS...
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    Angry OIL painting: problems with MEDIUMS...

    Hey guys! I`m having a problem maybe some of you can help me:

    I`m learning to paint in oils by myself; I`ve watched DVDs, and I did an extensive research on the internet and asking people; and I`m getting very good results!

    But I`m having a problem with mediums... I`ve been trying many mediums to see what works best for me; started with turpentine, it worked ok but I feel it`s too liquid for me.

    Then tried a thick fast dry medium; it was better but too thick for me; and it dried too fast! what I like about oils over acrylics is that you can retouch the painting days before and the paint is still wet, also that you can blend with your fingers and stuff, and this medium dries so fast that it`s almost like painting with acrylics.

    I tried thinning the medium with turp... and it almost made a mess!! now the medium started to melt the paint that was already there and showing the white gesso underneath; so I learn that: you use MEDIUM OR TURP, you can`t mix the two or you get this horrible chemical effects.

    Now I`m experimenting with linseed oil... and it works SO GOOD; for me, it is the best one; not so liquid, not so thick, it`s perfect. BUT; I`m having problems when the oil is accidentally mixed with the turp... the same thing happens, it totally smudges the existing paint and takes it off, it melts the paint.

    I`m sure I`m doing something wrong... is it possible that I`m using a turp that is too strong that takes off all the paint?

    Hope you can understand the question; my english suffers a little when I have to explain something technical like this.

    Thank you!

    The Light and Dark Arts of Cristian Saksida
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  2. #2
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    I start with turps for the first wash, then switch to refined linseed oil. Linseed oil on linseed oil works fine for me if I work alla prima or give layers a day to dry.

    I've never tried turps, then linseed then turps. Turps thins, linseed "fattens". I would imagine that mixing the two (especially if you were trying to do it fast) would give you enormous problems and a muddy look.

    Turps is designed to thin or "take off" paint, so I guess that using it on wet paint would be a bad idea. Daresay somebody could give you better advice, though...

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    Maybe try mineral spirits? I use it instead of turps. And I also use Galkyd, which seems to work fine enough for me. I have never tried to use thinned paint on top of fat paint, though. I was taught to always go thin to thick.

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    this medium dries so fast that it`s almost like painting with acrylics.
    I tried thinning the medium with turp...
    Turp will make it dry even faster. That's what it's for kinda..

    Turp reduces the "oil like" qualities of oil paint, that's why it's a "thinner".

    If you want slow drying add oil to it. It'll be touch dry in a week, completely dry in 300 years.

    This is why 50/50 oil/turps is a popular medium.

    Doesn't do much except make paint a bit runnier..

    is it possible that I`m using a turp that is too strong that takes off all the paint?
    Perfectly possible, all solvents are not created equal. More likely, the first paint layer hadn't dried yet..

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    Here's a good place to start: http://gamblincolors.com/
    Most professionals I know use Gamblin's "Gamsol" for their turp. A good medium can be made from 1/3 Damar varnish, 1/3 Linseed oil and 1/3 turp. One key thing to keep in mind is a little medium goes a long way - it gets out of control pretty quickly. Liquin is popular and so are Gamblin's "Galkyd" and "Galkyd Lite".

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Here's a good place to start: http://gamblincolors.com/
    Most professionals I know use Gamblin's "Gamsol" for their turp. A good medium can be made from 1/3 Damar varnish, 1/3 Linseed oil and 1/3 turp. One key thing to keep in mind is a little medium goes a long way - it gets out of control pretty quickly. Liquin is popular and so are Gamblin's "Galkyd" and "Galkyd Lite".

    Remember there is a real difference between turpentine (essentially made from pine sap) and mineral spirits such as Gamsol. Although they both work great for diluting paint or cleaning brushes you do not want to use mineral spirits with Damar as it does not dissolve the crystals.
    You must use real turpentine if you are using Damar in your medium

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    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=172160
    This thread by William Whitaker shows a great example of very simple medium usage in a multilayered painting. Mediums do not have to be fancy- he is mostly using pure linseed oil( later on using oleogel as well)in between his layers. I honestly cannot recall ever using a varnish in my medium( maybee once) but I would advise against it if you're just starting out. Complex mediums only serve a purpose to an artist that knows what he's doing and WHY he has each ingredient in his medium.

    "A drawing is not necessarily academic because it is thorough, but only because it is dead. Neither is a drawing necessarily academic because it is done in what is called a conventional style, any more than it is good because it is done in an unconventional style. The test is whether it has life and conveys genuine feeling."- Harold Speed
    [[Sketchbook]]
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    Thank you guys! I learned a lot from this topic; I didn`t know about the 50/50 oil/turp; it makes perfect sense, I didn`t know that turpentine makes the paint dry faster; I got to try that.

    I have the suspicion that what I am doing wrong is that I`m using the wrong turpentine; I`m using something that we call "aguarras" in my country... and it seems like it is not the same as real turpentine; I found out that in art stores you can buy something called "essence of turpentine" and that is what I should use, mixed with linseed as suggested by you; let`s see what happens.

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