Art: Oil Painting- advice on medium please?

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    Oil Painting- advice on medium please?

    Hi all, hope this is the right board for this, if not, sorry, feel free to move it.

    Here's the story, after 5 years of doing pretty much no traditional art at all, I've decided I want my hobby back and I'm going to take up oil painting again.

    Now I've done it before and have a pretty good idea what I'm doing but when I did it before I had access to a studio, now I only have a small flat- my problem is that turps etc will stink the place out pretty quickly and with winter approaching I can't just leave the windows open constantly..Also space is pretty limited so the quicker I can dry my work and safely store it the better.

    I've heard people talk about odourless and fast drying mediums for oils but since I never really needed them before I never bothered to find out more about them, so any pointers on what I should be looking for, specific brands etc?

    -Flake

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    use turpinoid, which is a mineral spirit as your thinner (not a medium).
    and just use linseed oil as your medium. MOST drying mediums have a stink becuase of the colbalt or the alkyd, so i wouldn't recommend you using them in a small space.
    you just have to paint thin, for fast drying, and reconize which colors dry faster. those are the two simpliest things you can do. for minimal fumes. keep in mind you use VERY little of both. it's generally a good idea to use as little of both as possible on your paintings. this stuff won't hurt you unless you eat it and if the fumes are still too overwhelming it's probably not a good idea for you to paint with oils.

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    Cool, thanks.

    I'll head down the art supply shop and grab some of that and see how I get on with it.

    -Flake

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    Jrr's right on about the turpenoid and linseed oil. If you really need to cut the drying time, add a few drops of cobalt drier to a 50/50 oil/thinner mix. The drier itself stinks, but in the those amounts there shouldn't be appreciable fumes. You could also experiment with Gamblin's line of mediums, which are marketed as being low odor.

    Also, get an exaust fan for your window. It will clear any fumes out quicker, and since its blowing out, not in, you can use it even when it's pretty cold.


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    Thanks guys, you've both been very helpful.

    If all goes to plan I'll be posting some very average paintings in a couple of months.

    -Flake

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    yeah, remember that just because it's odorless doesn't mean that it won't kill braincells to breath it. Of course, some people are more sensitive than others. I personally don't use any medium in my oils. I've tried in the past, but I just like it better without.

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    There are several brands of OMS that work quite well. Some, even Turpenoid still have a bit of an odor, but unless you soak your work you shouldn't notice. It's usually the oil smell that lingers longer since the solvents evaporate rather quickly. I'm rather sensitive to turps, myself.

    Just to toss it out there, water mixable oil paints need no turpentine solvent. Holbien Duos are the best recommended, but Artisans or Max are decent. They dry at about the same rate as oils, but there are fast drying mediums for them also.

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    if you value your iq points, ventilate at ALL times... and if it says non toxic, don't trust it, it lies (apparently, this is just me passing on what my art instructor said at the safety seminar)

    don't know if this has been said, can't bother to read anymore:

    linseed oil= thicker, decreased drying rate

    turpentine and alternatives= thinner paint, dries like acrylic

    turps + linseed= your best bet, just fiddle with the different amounts to find out the consistency you want

    anyone who reads this, please correct me if im wrong.

    deprived me of my coil
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    Has anyone heard of Liquin? It's supposed to be a type of Linseed oil, or a synthetic version of it, maybe. I got a bottle for free, and was wondering about its pros/cons/etc


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    Liquin is Winsor & Newton's alkyd based medium. Supposedly accelerates drying, but I didn't notice it to be that much faster. There are other mediums out there with drying agents added to them, cobalt & maganese, etc. They're a bit pricey, though.

    I usually don't lay paint on that thickly. General advise is to keep your added medium volume very small, since the more you add the slower it dries and the greater risk of yellowing. I like to use stand oil myself as I prefer the smooth way it blends, but it can be a bit shiny.

    I try to avoid painting with solvents, except on the initial underpainting, since solvents are best used for cleaning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbclemons
    Just to toss it out there, water mixable oil paints need no turpentine solvent. Holbien Duos are the best recommended, but Artisans or Max are decent. They dry at about the same rate as oils, but there are fast drying mediums for them also.
    I saw the Artisan ones down the shops the other day but I wasn't sure if they were any good. How do they compare to standard oils and are there any disadvantages to using them?

    -Flake

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    The Artisans are okay, but have some things that annoy me. Some new tubes I've bought are too dry, and need to have a touch of medium and/or water to thin them down. Sometimes the paint has too much medium already in it and can be a bit sticky as it dries. I've seen the same with Max. The best thing about them is they're easier to find than the other brands (for me) and the whole using water thing. Since they're oils you can mix them with regular oils too, but that makes them harder to clean with water. Drying time is roughly the same as regular oils of the same thickness. I hear Duos dry faster. There's a fast-dry Artisan medium available. Before I buy more, I think I might try some of the other brands. I've heard about Lukas and Talen's brands too.

    -David

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    Aren't the water based oils made mainly as a substitute for people with allergies to regular ingredients? I think if you can stand to use traditional oils,etc. go with that.

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    I see, thanks for the info.

    Like you said, they're easier to find than the other brands (at least where I live) and they are reasonably priced, I think I'll grab a few tubes and experiment, if they don't suit me, no great loss and I'll pass them on to an art student friend or something.

    I think it's just so ingrained in my old fashioned brain that Oil + Water = No! that I'm struggling with the concept of water mixable oils, I'll never know till I try them I guess..

    Ta again

    -Flake

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    (P.S. Another thing I've seen sometimes is a slight value change when water is added to the browns, but it shifts back when it dries.)

    One thing I've found them very useful for is underpainting with water, and then painting over them with regular oils when they dry, best of both worlds.

    The water-mixable oils are not water based, they're oil based (linseed and safflower I think) with an additive that allows water to break up the oil. Water is a solvent to them like turpentine. From the tube, they're oils. Once the water you add evaporates, it's still an oil. Exactly what that additive is I don't know, since it differs with each manufacturer and they're not real descriptive about it. Since it's a modified oil, it's not possible to say what will happen to them in 100 years +, but that can't be said about alkyds either. In that sense, traditional oils are a safer bet, if used properly.

    Some links:
    http://www.winsornewton.com/
    http://www.grumbacherart.com/sanford.../products.html
    http://www.holbeinhk.com/

    -David

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    Yeah, I suppose we won't know if acrylics are a good bet for longevity for another couple of hundred years either, as far as I know even the most tested and lightfast of products are only assured for about 100 years under ideal conditions, saying that, a lot of paintings done with what were possibly questionable quality materials still look damn cool 300 years on.

    At the end of the day, my "Steve has a bit of fun with oils" work ain't going into any museums, so the lack of smelly solvents scores higher than archival quality, at least until I get a bigger house.

    Ta to all involved in the discussion, I'll post any progress / wips etc, but if anyone else has anything to add, feel free.

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    Water miscable oils are a solution in search of a problem. If you want oils, use oils, and good ones at that (which water miscables certainly aren't, since they are primarily marketed to hobbyists). For most people there's no reason not to use solvents if they are handled sensibly, and, for those who genuinely can't, there are solvent free techniques and strategies that will make real oils do everything the water miscables claim.
    If your primary concern is an odorless paint that thins and cleans up with water, use gouache.


    Tristan Elwell
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    We're already finding out that Acrylic isn't all that it was cracked out to be. Oil paint on wood panels still stand out to be the most durable method of painting. That is, if the wood you're painting on is thoroughly dry already and you keep it in a room with a stable moisture level.

    But to touch on a couple things said in this thread:

    My personal favorite turpenoid is Gamsol, as I can't smell it (I know it's toxic though) so that's peachy with me.

    I would advise against using only linseed oil as your medium, done correctly it's harmless. However if you mix too much linseed oil into your paint when it dries it will "alligator", or quite literally shrivel. I've seen this happen to a number of my peers' paintings. So if you're going to use it, try to use it sparingly.

    Cobalt drier, along with many other driers including Japan drier may darken your colors, or heaven forbid crack them when used incorrectly.

    Liquin is crap all by itself. One of my teachers gave me a recipe for a medium that's like 5 parts OMS 4 parts Linseed and 3 parts Liquin. It has a nice flow to it and doesn't smell incredibly bad. Atlernatively, you can also make a glazing medium with 7 parts OMS 4 parts Stand oil and 3 parts liquin.

    I personally don't use any medium, I prefer oil paint's appearance straight out of the tube, and I like the effects I can make with thick paint. Also, I decided that mediums were too convoluted and I was always worried that I was screwing up my painting by using the wrong medium.

    Hell, it happens ALL the time. Just take a look at Gericault's Raft of the Medusa, that man didn't have the slightest clue about mediums. The painting started to yellow vigorously TWO years after it was completed. (by that time Gericault died)


    The *most* we can do is at least outlive our paintings, right? (Not a problem in Gericault's case I guess, haha)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    Water miscable oils are a solution in search of a problem. If you want oils, use oils, and good ones at that (which water miscables certainly aren't, since they are primarily marketed to hobbyists). For most people there's no reason not to use solvents if they are handled sensibly, and, for those who genuinely can't, there are solvent free techniques and strategies that will make real oils do everything the water miscables claim.
    If your primary concern is an odorless paint that thins and cleans up with water, use gouache.
    Gouache is great stuff, but it's a poor substitute for oil. I find water mixable oils to be excellent, if used correctly, which goes for everything. To avoid them would be a pity, but to each their own. How it's marketed is irrelevant, it's the quality that matters. Always strive to use the best supplies you can get. If there's a look or approach you want to achieve, there's often more than one way to get there. I still use regular oils also, sometimes with OMS. I still use the Artisans since I have a set of tubes that I like using. If you choose to use something, use it because you like and trust the results they give you. That's the most sound advice I can say.

    -David

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    For the vast majority of all your technical needs (grounds, oils, resins, etc.), visit the forums at Cennini. They get it right nearly all the time.

    I would echo the linseed oil and turpentine advice. Turpentine is chemically inert when mixed with oils. OMS are not. While there are lots and lots of different mediums to play with, each with its own distinct personality, it is extremely wise to keep it simple in the beginning.

    In the most trusted research done to date, the overwhelming percentage of Rembrandt's mediums were found to be linseed oil and walnut oil.

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    Mediums...

    Most of medium use depends greatly on your time frame.

    If you get stand oil... forget it... you got days to play...

    Standard linseed... not bad...

    Liquin, fast ( or faster than linseed oild) about 8 12 hour dry to the touch... but in larger amounts stinks somethnig awful especially if diluted with turpentine.

    Galkyd - Alky medium fast drying 6 - 8 hour dry to the touch...

    Most of the mediums are more useful when layering paint or glazing... If you are working alla prima, the mediums can be a hinderance sometimes... It deends on your application and need...

    Hope some of this helps...

    Sebsprek
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    I know you... hahahaha!!!
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    Ta chaps, any and all info very welcome.

    That Cennini forum has some interesting articles even if the colour scheme is somewhat painful to look at.

    -Flake

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    Question

    Didn't seem worth starting a new thread for this, hence the bump.

    The readily available ranges of oils where I live are these..

    W&N Artists
    W&N Winton
    Daler Rowney Artists
    Daler Rowney Georgian
    Artisan water mixable

    Now from what I've read, the Daler Rowney / W&N Artist ranges are my best bet, would anyone care to suggest a good general palette from one or both of these ranges? ( I realise neither are top grade paints but between the two companies I was hoping there would be enough quality for a decent palette.)
    http://www.winsornewton.com/catalogue/index.php
    http://www.daler-rowney.com/prod_cat...asp?category=1

    Also feel free to offer alternatives but keep in mind Studioproducts etc are out of my price range what with import tax, shipping etc and I'd rather not buy online if at all possible.

    Ta in advance

    -Flake

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