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Thread: Some notes on oil painting materials

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    Post Some notes on oil painting materials

    PAINTS
    You can get by with four colors (mentioned elsewhere on this forum). Black (or Payne's Grey), white (titanium covers best), yellow ochre, and Venetian Red. (Venetian Red is warmer than Indian Red). These were the colors of the ancients and were the mainstay of the old masters. You can make any basic color you need from these. These are very good for getting flesh colors. All other colors are eye candy and should be added as you gain experience and master these four.

    BRUSHES
    My attachment shows four high quality pigs bristle filbert oil painting brushes at the top, a sable oil painter's filbert next, a large synthetic watercolor wash brush (useful for a lot of things) and a ratty old watercolor sable for blending. In addition, I use high quality Kolinsky sable watercolor brushes for fine work - #4 and #1. I'm told good artificial sables do almost as well and are much less expensive too.
    William Whitaker
    www.williamwhitaker.com
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  4. #2
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    PAINTS AGAIN.
    I suggest getting buttery paint, such as Rembrandt. Winsor&Newton and Grumbacher are too stiff.
    William Whitaker
    www.williamwhitaker.com
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    MEDIUM AND SOLVENT
    Painting medium is used to make the paint go on better. A good one is GRAHAM'S WALNUT/ALKYD painting medium, shown in the middle of the picture. You won't need alcohol, forget it!

    Some of you can go in together and bring a SILICOIL BRUSH WASHING POT and fill it with some ODORLESS MINERAL SPIRIT. Gamblin's GAMSOL is the best. The two brush washing tanks on the right in the picture are similar to Silicoil's tank, but not quite as good.
    William Whitaker
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    SUPPORTS (What you paint on)
    In Austin, I painted on a piece of FROSTED MYLAR taped to foamcore board. It's great for studies and sketches, is as thin as paper, easy to travel with, and very permanent. Good all around stuff.

    I also paint on ABS 1/16" thick panels. ABS is a plastic. Buy it at a plastics supplier in a white sheet. You score/cut it with a razorblade. Sand the shiny smooth surface with 220,320, 400 wet-or-dry sandpaper and you have the best painting panel in the world. Indestructible.
    William Whitaker
    www.williamwhitaker.com
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    CLEAN UP
    Oil paint is not messy. 20th century modernist painters were messy.

    Bring a roll of SCOT RAGS. If you're a cheapskate like I am, cut the sheets into four parts.
    William Whitaker
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    I made a picture mistake on the last post. It should have been this.
    William Whitaker
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    PALETTE
    After growing up being told wood palettes were old fashioned, (oh, those dear dead days...) I eventually drifted into naturally using one. They are very practical for many reasons I'll speak about at the workshop.

    Get one unfinished, sand and stain it, rub a few coats of shellac on the front and back. Sand between coats. This is about as hard as craftsmanship gets for artists! The shellac is not soluable in odorless mineral spirit, so your finish is safe.

    Your palette can be the small size! Just like a Wacom Tablet, you don't need a large one to do great things.

    Be sure your thumb hole is large enough and beveled to suit you, depending on whether you're right or left handed.
    William Whitaker
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    wow, thanks for all this info, William, it will prove invaluable to the attendees and everyone here on conceptart.org.


    i recall that steve asael used to tell us that he didnt like acrylic medium because it was "like painting on a tire". he had worries about its archival qualities, and that the suppleness of the base would crack the paint over the years.

    The mylar sheets are flexible; how do you handle this problem? i like the idea of using space age materials as a base for archival art. do you encounter any chemical interactions between the oil paint, solvents and plastic?

    thanks for taking the time to answer. im looking forward to your Tour of the Legion of Honor...
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    Thanks, Mr. Whitaker this is great!!!!
    New Sketchbook

    Old Sketchbook



    "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do." -Leonardo Da Vinci
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    Oil paint is like painting with butter.
    Acrylic is like painting with toothpaste.
    Your call!

    Oil holds more pigment than acrylic medium does, so there is more intensity too. I also think it cleans up easier.

    I have not used sheet Mylar for gallery paintings. If I did, I'd mount it on a solid backing like gatorfoam board.

    Oil paint sticks wonderfully well to ABS. ABS is microscopically porous and the paint bites in and stays. No chemical problems. No problems with turps and ABS. Oils and ABS love each other. You do not need to prime your ABS before painting on it. If the painting doesn't work, you can sand the dry paint off. It takes a lot of sanding, but it's a very economical use of art materials.

    A super solvent like acetone or Zylene will soften and eventually damage ABS, but one doesn't paint with those things.
    William Whitaker
    www.williamwhitaker.com
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    wow thanks for all the info. never ever heard of painting oil on mylar or plastic soo gona have to try that. got a few bottles of the mediums already(big fan of the neo meglip and galkyd) but never tryed the walnut alkyd.
    never updated sketchbook

    hopefully weekly updated blog
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    Im sorry, i meant acrylic gesso... my bad. you still answered my question though, thanks!




    Quote Originally Posted by William Whitaker
    Oil paint is like painting with butter.
    Acrylic is like painting with toothpaste.
    Your call!

    Oil holds more pigment than acrylic medium does, so there is more intensity too. I also think it cleans up easier.

    I have not used sheet Mylar for gallery paintings. If I did, I'd mount it on a solid backing like gatorfoam board.

    Oil paint sticks wonderfully well to ABS. ABS is microscopically porous and the paint bites in and stays. No chemical problems. No problems with turps and ABS. Oils and ABS love each other. You do not need to prime your ABS before painting on it. If the painting doesn't work, you can sand the dry paint off. It takes a lot of sanding, but it's a very economical use of art materials.

    A super solvent like acetone or Zylene will soften and eventually damage ABS, but one doesn't paint with those things.
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    also, could you perhaps show us a pic of how you hold your pallet? I never realized how you were supposed to hold one till i saw carl doing it, so maybe someone else might be wondering too... it would explain why you put your weight where you do as well....

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