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  1. #1
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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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  3. #2
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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.

  4. #3
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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

  5. #4
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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.

    Tristan Elwell
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  6. #5
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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

  7. #6
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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.

  8. #7
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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

  10. #9
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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

  13. #12
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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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