Art: oil paint/turp advice...
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Thread: oil paint/turp advice...

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    oil paint/turp advice...

    well Turpenoid that is. I've recently been wanting to really try my hand at oil painting. I've done a little bit in the not so recent past, but nothing serious. I went out today and picked up a bunch of supplies but am wondering how people here dispose of their turpenoid? Do you let it evaporate outside? Pour it down the sink/toilet? Drink it with some vodka?

    Same with excess oil paint? d'ya just scrap it off the palette and throw the excess paint away or do you dispose of it in a special way?

    Also do you guys in general buy pre-primed canvas/canvas board? Or make your own and treat it? Or treat some other type of board/paper for oil painting? I picked up a bunch of canvas board to get started but would be interested to hear about other materials.

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    right now im using water oil paints. no turp needed cus the wash with water. when i did use the real stuff i just pu it down he stink. might not be the safest thing but its waht i did. the paint i just smear on an old rag and let it dry there.

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    One advantage of mineral spirits (turpenoid etc.) over turps for brush cleaning is that they are reusable. Let the solids settle out for a day or two and pour the cleared solvent off the top. Some people use two or three big jars in rotation. When too much sediment builds up, pour off as much as you can, scoop out the junk, and throw it away. Same thing with paint rags and palette scrapings. Locked away in a landfill or incinerated, the amount of "hazardous waste" generated by art materials is negligable.

    The water system is another story. Never pour solvent down the drain, both because of possible contamination and because, being less dense than water, it can cause a hell of a clog.

    If you're really concerned, contact your local sanitation department and find out if they have special hazardous waste pick up days or drop-off locations.


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    |ntern: I've dumped turpenoid down the sink in the past too. doesn't seem like such a great idea to me anymore though (now that I'm older... and actually own the my sink and the pipes... )

    Elwell: Thanks for the advice, I never actually thought of reusing the stuff! And thanks also for the word of caution on solvent disposal.

    I did my first oil painting tonight in more than 8 years. It's gonna take some practice that is for sure! (whew! tough stuff to get the hang of!)

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    Yea, by all means recycle the turpenoid. It's reusable indefinitely as long as you cycle out the sludge periodically. There are many art schools, mine included, that have clogged drains because turp was poured down it.

    For excess paint, you might want to just gather it up and store it in an airtight container. It makes a great gray and you can use it to prepare canvas or boards if you don't want a stark white canvas.

    You can paint on board or board with canvas mounted on it. If the canvas isn't preprimed, you can prime it by applying PVA glue (elmer's would work), let the glue dry, then apply acrylic gesso. Linen will be too expensive for you if you are just starting out with.

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    Thanks fr the advice MadSamoan. Up to now I've been using canvas board for my paintings. It works pretty well but I want to experiment with a smoother surface. I have access to free illustration board from my day job (in all shapes and sizes) so I'll be trying it out soon. As I understand it isn't necessary to seal plain illustration board with glue as it isn't porous like canvas. All I need is a few coats of acrylic Gesso yes?

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    You'll still need the glue. The glue's purpose is to keep oil from reaching the board. The oil from the paint will rot the board. Acrylic gesso is still porous and over the years, the oil would seep into the board if glue weren't used.

    That's awesome that you have access to illustration board. Like I said, just put a coat of glue on the board, let it dry, put several coats of acrylic gesso. If you're looking for a smoother surface, try sanding each coat of gesso with a fine grain sandpaper or steel wool between coats.

    Oil primer gesso is pretty smooth, but it takes weeks to dry.

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    Well I started today with a coating of Elmers on an 8x10" illustration board. The board totally warped into a perfect arc once the glue was applied... it absorbed the moisture from the glue. I was a little perterbed at first but the board did eventually settle down back into it's normal flat surface once the glue dried. However now the board feels less stiff than it originally did. I wonder if this is normal? Do you guys back your boards onto sturdier material like foam core or do you paint directly on the glued/gesso'ed board?

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    welcome to the world of oils. try mounting your board on foamcore and tape up the sides. then what i do is i coat the board with Krylon clear coat stuff, it is a spray that is used to varnish illustration but if applied it will seal the board.you can then gesso the board or paint straight on it. anytime that you spray a coat of this stuff it is like creating a new surface so you can then change mediums. i would recommend this method. it will allow you to obtain the smooth texture of the boards. make sure though, that you do not store the painting in a humid enviroment because depending on the size of the board you may be prone to bowing. keep it in a nice dry place and you will not have this problem. when you are done you can mount the board on something harder and then frame it. when it is sandwiched you will never have a bowing problem. hope this helps. good luck
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    elmers glue???
    is that a new thing? is that like the new pva size? like in higschool when some teachers would suggest spraying hairspray on my pastels.
    just get some liquatex gesso, it's cheap enough. or get some crystal clear spray and spray your board and start your painting.

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    The PVA is overkill on board if you're going to use acrylic primer on it. A few coats of gesso is enough; or acrylic medium (gloss or matt), or PVA, or gelatine size, or white shellac...

    To avoid warping from water-based primers, coat both sides. The "limpness" your feeling comes from the core of the board still being damp even though it's surface dry. When I work on illustration board I bind the edges to a piece of foam core so it's more substantial and to help it dry flat.


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    is that like the new pva size? like in higschool when some teachers would suggest spraying hairspray on my pastels.
    hehehehe

    The elmers leaves a semi gloss surface and bunched up in a few places. Will have to go over it with acrylic gesso anyway since I was practicing on a black illustration board. I think this would work best for me... the gesso. I can't stand the sprays... gets over everything, in your lungs, and I don't have a backyard to spray it in either.

    Thanks for the advice everyone! Taping the board to foamcore is a great idea and seems like it would solve my problem. I assume you detach the painting from the foamcore and reuse it as a backing once the painting is dry?

    Man I gotta stop messin with this stuff and just paint something!

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    I've never used illustration board with glue sizing and gesso, but I have used luan board (the thin wood used for doors) and have to deal with the warping problem. These are the steps I use.


    1. Coat the back with gesso to counteract any warping
    2. Coat the front with watered down Elmer's. Let it dry.
    3. Coat the front with gesso.
    4. Sand. (optional)
    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4.


    or you could mount canvas on the board with PVA/Elmer's glue and just put weight on it and then gesso the canvas several times.

    I'm not sure exactly sure if Elmer's is considered a PVA glue, if it is, it's considered the cheapest of the white glues, but the other white glues are considered true PVA glues. The glue is just to act as a barrier to keep the oil from reaching the board, which shellac could also do the same thing. I think the unknown factor with shellac is how well the paint will adhere to it over time.

    Gesso primer is porous, some more than others, and even with two or three coats, the oil can still seep through to the board over time. It's possible that with enough coats the oil won't reach the board, so if you want, you could skip the whole glue step and just put between two to four coats of gesso and hope for the best. If it turned out the gesso layers were not thick enough, It would be years before you would notice any rotting from the oil and many artists don't want their early work to survive anyways.

    You could substitute step number 2 with shellac either sprayed or brushed on. If you spray it and don't have a backyard, just use a cardboard box set on its side as a spray booth.

    There are endless combinations to try out to get a paint surface you like. I've read that Fechin experiemented with caseins for his painting ground and cottage cheese was actually a formula ingredient of his at one time. I have no idea how much of that is factual, but casein is a milk protein, so I can see the connection.

    Nowadays myself, my time is extremely limited with evening classes and a fulltime job, so I've pretty much stopped preparing my own boards and I just use mylar mounted on masonite or foamcore. If and when my work gets more consistent or I have more time, I'll probably switch over to linen mounted on board.

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    Hey ya'll.
    Great topic about painting grounds. I am a traditional artist that has been using oils / acrylics on masonite hardboard primed with several coats of gesso for many years and some of my paintings (oil paintings) are about 15 years old and I thankfully have not seen any degrading in the hardboard or paint (at least to the eye). But, I am interested in this new (to me) theory of using glue as a barrier. That's quite interesting. Hmm, I wonder if the glue itself however, could over many years effect the masonite or luan in some adverse way - due to chemicals in the glue. Are there any articles webpages that discuss this method?

    In the same manner, wouldn't using acrylic matte or gloss medium in place of glue? Would it also create a barrier before applying gesso? This seems to be the method of choice for other artist. What are your thoughts on this?

    Also on a different note, some artists where against the idea of using tempored masonite rather than standard masonite due to the tannins / chemicals that are used in the process of making tempored. Though, some of the aspects of tempored are for the purposes of creating a barrier against humidity correct? If so, then would this not actually be a positive factor for the artist in that it would seem to prevent decay better?


    Thanks so much for all the info. My paintings are on my website : www.ramonart.com

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    Hide glue will not adversely affect wood. Severe changes in humidity can affect the glue, however, as well as the wood itself. PVA adhesive and other aliphatics like acrylic medium can be substituted, but hide glue is more receptive to oil.

    About Hide glue.
    acrylic mediums versus hide glue for oils.

    Tempering hardboard does make it stronger and more resistant to moisture. There are also resins added for bonding, like urea formaldehyde (also in MDF boards.) Untempered is only held together by the wood's own cellulose. The amount of oil used for heat-tempering is miniscule (@3/10 oz per square foot.) Nonetheless, a layer of size is recommended for oil painting prep.

    Hardboard manufacturing process (PDF file.)
    Hardboard history & companies.

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    Great info. Thanks.
    BTW, I went to Home Depot yesterday and saw that they had 4'x8' masonite (tempored) sheets and some where on good palettes so they were quite flat as opposed to the normally wavy ones at that size.

    So, I have always painted on masonite and never on luan and so I am trying to make my decision on which to paint this on.

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