Art: The Big Oil-Painting Thread

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    The Big Oil-Painting Thread

    There is a lot of information about oil-paints scattered about ConceptArt.org. I kept thinking that it would be cool to have it all in one place. . . so here it is! The big thread on oil-painting.

    If you have information to add, add it! If you know of a link that should be on this list, let me know! If I have made a mistake, correct me!

    Enjoy!


    ConceptArt.org threads about oil painting

    Oils- Avoiding Gloss? Info about varnish.
    When to varnish an oil painting?
    Making my own masonite boards - tips? All about supports.
    Paper vs. Canvas About different surfaces.
    Painting Surface Working large and with mixed media.
    ghetto easel Build your own easel.
    Question about oil paint fumes. Info on fumes and safety.
    Does it really matter which black I use? The black and white discussion has many shades of grey.
    Oil Palette Colors: Which are "warm", which are "cool"?
    oil question: warm white?
    Acrylic painting questions Some info on how acrylics and oils compare.
    Gouache Mostly about gouache, but with some talk of oils as a comparison.
    new to watercolor, what should I look into? Just on watercolors, but useful when researching mediums.
    [url=http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=64674] undrepaintings as explained by Ilaekae and JasonManley

    Books on Oil Painting

    Alla Prima; Everything I Know About Oil Painting by Richard Schmid. Every artist should read this book.

    Web Resources and Inspiration

    k4pka’s blog on learning to paint.
    Nick Jainschigg 18 months of daily paintings can be educational!
    Duane Keiser The original painting-a-day artist. Watch his videos!

    Last edited by chaosrocks; June 4th, 2007 at 01:01 AM.
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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    Oil Paints Made Easy

    Written with help from k4pka – thanks!

    There are already lots and lots of references out there for oil-painters of all levels. It’s rather overwhelming. I’ve had a few people ask me what I am using, or what I would recommend for someone who is just starting out. So. . .

    First you need a place to work that has good ventilation. You shouldn’t use this stuff in your bedroom or somewhere where small children will get their fingers into it. Your studio space also has to be protected from paint, if you care about the furniture. Use a drop-cloth if you are working on the kitchen table.

    You will need some means to prop up your painting. An easel with small table next to it is one possible setup. Easels are expensive, however, so instead I have a wooden box that came loaded with a beginner’s set of oils, to which I clip my painting while I work. (The box and my studio setup are below.) I often pack up the box and take it outside, where I work sitting on the ground. At any rate, you will need some way to prop your painting up in front of you – something stable, because a painting face-down on the carpet is a sad, sad thing.

    Another useful trick is to use a second chair. Have it facing you and lean the canvas at your preferred angle on the chair in front.

    You will need some place to put wet paintings. A bulletin board is good for this, if it’s stable. What I have is a sheet of homosote (a sort of cork-board material) that I bought at Home Depot. I had them chop it into pieces small enough to get into my car, and I painted them white with house paint to look pretty. But you don’t need to get even this fancy. Just prop up your finished painting against a wall where people and pets won’t run into it. Don’t leave wet paintings laying flat, however, because dust will settle on the painting and become a part of it as the surface dries.

    Back to the supplies. . . I started by buying a beginner’s set. It contained fairly good materials, but they were 50 years old! The jar of oil had turned into jelly, among other annoyances. If you buy a set, just be aware that some of it may have to be replaced due to bad quality, and the paints will likely be student-grade, which means less pigment in the paint.

    If you want to buy just the bits and pieces, you will to find an art supply store and fill your cart with the following.

    A palette. Almost any non-absorbent flat surface will do. You can wrap tinfoil around cardboard if you want. However, I suggest at the beginning getting either a disposable palette tablet, or a sheet of masonite or a masonite palette. Later you can upgrade to something more fancy like a wooden palette or a sheet of glass. What is most important is that you have lots of room to mix colors.

    A palette knife. It should look like a little trowel and it should have a bend in the neck between the trowel-part and the handle. Don’t get the kind that looks like a butter knife.

    Paint solvent. Either turpentine, turpenoid, or some other equivalent such as mineral spirits (also known as white spirits). (In the UK there is a substance called Turps Substitute. This should be avoided at all costs, as for oil painting, it is no substitute at all, and smells absolutely horrendous.) Buy a small can. This stuff is to oil paints as water is to watercolour. You can use it to thin down the paints so much that they even look like watercolours if you want. Keep in mind that even if you get something “odourless”, it still emits nasty fumes.

    Something to put the solvent in. The cheapest option is to use jelly jars with lids. Pour a little solvent into the bottom of one jar. Use it to thin your paints and clean your brushes (which isn’t necessary all that often, if you wipe the paint out of the brushes between colors). Put a lid on it when not in use. When that solvent gets yucky, pout it into the second jar. Let the gunk settle to the bottom, and pour off the reasonably clear stuff back into your first jar to use again.

    Alternatively, art stores often carry glass jars with a spring in them. Fill that to just above the spring. Wipe your brush on the spring to clean it, and the gunk will settle below the spring. The only problem is I’m not sure how to remove the gunk from the jar – I just dropped off a full spring-jar at our neighbourhood recycling day to get rid of it.

    Absolutely do not pour your solvent down the drain! It will poison the water supply if you do that. You will need to save your dirty solvent and take it to your neighbourhood dump when they have a special household waste disposal day. Your town hall should be able to provide you with information on this.

    Rags or paper-towels. You will want a decent supply on hand. An old phone book can be used, too, along with a few rags. These are for wiping paint off of hands, brushes, palette knife, palette; they can be used to dispose of the leftover paint that is scraped from your palette, and they can be used to wipe away parts of your painting like another brush. When they are full, they go in the trash. Landfills can absorb the small amount of heavy metals from the paint that get thrown away. Rags can be bought in various quantities from places that sell house-paint; or you can rip up an old shirt.

    Oil paint travels. If you get some onto your elbow, it’ll rub off on your shirt, your wall, your sofa, your kids. Its slower drying time can mean it travels quite some distance! So get in the habit of keeping a tidy workplace. I recommend that you pick up latex gloves to work in, to keep the solvents and heavy metals off of your skin. They also help to prevent the paint from being transferred around your house. If the phone rings, you can strip off the gloves. Latex gloves can be reused for a while if you powder your hands before putting them on. Having a designated set of painting clothes is also a good idea, because oil paints won’t wash out.

    A small amount of paint can be removed from clothes/carpet/any material if it is still wet, using small amounts of clean solvent along with clean rags. The clothes/carpet/any material will then require a quick wash in the machine, or with soap and warm water to get rid of any solvent remaining on it.

    Brushes! There are many kinds. I’ll just tell you what you need to start with. Get four bristle (hog-hair) brushes with chisel-shaped bristles. (The ones with the long bristles are called “flats” and the shorter ones are called “brights”.) Two of those should be larger, and two smaller; say three-fourths inch and quarter inch. When you paint, one of each will be for light colors, and one of each will be for dark colors. That will allow you to go for longer periods without opening the jar of solvent.

    A decent quality chisel-brush will let you make wide marks in one direction and thin lines in the other. Wipe them on a rag to remove paint when changing similar colors; swish in solvent and then wipe on a rag when changing between colors that are rather different. When you are done painting for the day, gently scrub them in the sink with a white bar of soap and work out the soap with your fingers. You will want to have a designated oil-paint soap-bar, and (if at all possible) a designated oil-paint sink. Don’t use the kitchen sink. This stuff should stay as far as possible away from food.

    Let the brushes dry on their sides – not upright or leaning against the bristles. This will help the brushes to keep their shape. Just like with colors, supplement your brush collection with new brushes one or two at a time to try out some of the other shapes that are available.

    Painting surfaces! There are so many choices. Personally I loathe prefabricated canvasses and canvas-boards, but they get the job done. For ease, you can’t beat rectangles of masonite. Masonite is wood-pulp board used in the parts of furniture that are hidden. It can be bought cheaply in giant sheets at places like home depot, but, as I recently learned, they will charge you an alarming rate to cut it up. The easiest solution is to buy the pre-cut boards offered at many art stores, or order a bunch from an online supplier like Dick Blick.

    Illustration board is another option. It will be stored in drawers somewhere at the art supply store. Ask an employee to show it to you. It comes in various thicknesses and surfaces (hot and cold press) – but those things don’t matter much. If they have small sheets in the size you want, great; if you decide you really like it as a surface, then you will want to invest in a carpet knife and a big metal straight-edge, so that you can cut it however you like. A note about cutting – don’t do it on hard-wood floors or Persian rugs. The best place to cut the stuff is on top of wall-to-wall carpeting. (But test it out carefully behind the sofa before you really trust me on this.)

    You can also stretch and gesso paper, or stretch your own canvas. The former involves soaking a large sheet of paper, taping or stapling it to a board, coating it with gesso, and letting it dry. It’s a little involved, but it makes a surface that’s great for doing oil sketches. Canvasses are just as involved, but more bulky and a lot more expensive. Don’t bother with canvas until you have some experience painting.

    Whatever surface you use, you will want to cover it in acrylic gesso first to make it non-absorbent. (Called “priming”) So pick up a container of that, and a cheap house painting brush to smear it around. At least two coats will be necessary for most surfaces. This surface can be sanded very smooth, but don’t bother with sanding at the beginning. Newspaper or a drop-cloth is also necessary if you don’t want to get gesso on the floor. I use a large drop-cloth from a hardware store to cover my living-room floor so that I can gesso ten or twenty small boards all at once. Eventually, with more experience, you can experiment with the different types of primer available.

    Paints! Oh goodness, there is endless debate over what makes the best basic set of paints. I don’t know what the best basic set is. A traditional inexpensive “student” set is:

    yellow ochre
    ivory black,
    cadmium red
    titanium white

    Notice that this does not represent a full colour-wheel. The ivory black is essentially a very dark blue, and so you do have the three primary colours, red, yellow and blue along with white. With just these four paints, an astonishing number of colours can be mixed.

    Another basic student set is the Double Primary palette:

    cadmium yellow
    lemon yellow
    cadmium red
    alizarin crimson
    ultramarine blue
    cobalt blue
    white

    This gives a palette with a “warm” and a “cool” version of each primary colour. Again, intermixture between these can yield an incredible amount of colours, more than enough for masterful painting.

    One last super-budget paint-combo is this:

    Burnt Umber
    Payne’s Grey
    Titanium White (optional)

    This colour combo gives you a monochrome palette but with just enough warms and cools to make it feel colourful. If you use this combination on a white ground, you can get results similar to a charcoal and sanguine drawing. These colours can work well as the first layer of full-colour paintings, too.

    Try one of these combinations, and when you find you’re frustrated with the limitations of the colors, go supplement this palette with new colors one or two at a time. Also, there is not much reason to bother using student-grade paint. They are a false economy. They cost less because there are less actual pigment particles in the tube, along with more “fillers” like chalk, wax etc. If you want less pigment, you can buy the artist grade variety and add more oil to your paints.

    Pigment names can be very confusing. Anything that has “hue” in the name means that it is a replica of an expensive pigment (for example a cadmium pigment) made using a cheaper pigment. Although they may seem more cost effective, they usually aren’t, because the “hue” is never as strong as the original and so you end up using more of it.

    You will want to avoid anything called just “red” or “blue” or anything that has “hue” in the name. You generally want the tubes with names that tell you exactly what chemical or organic compound makes up the colour, such as “cobalt” or “titanium”. If in doubt, it is always a good idea to look up a colour you want on the internet, to find some information about it.

    What is paint, anyway? Paint is a colourful substance, ground into dust, and then held together with a binder. In this case, the binder is oil (Generally linseed or safflower). That oil can be thinned out with more oil if you think the tube consistency is a little stiff. You can buy a small bottle of linseed oil while you are out shopping. When you work, pour a little bit into a container and try adding it to your paints with your brush, or pallet-knife. It isn’t necessary to use this stuff, any more than it is necessary to put solvent in your paints. But to learn the sorts of things that oils are capable of, you will want to spend some time working with paint thinned with each so that you get to know how they change the look and feel of the paint.

    Mediums: There are all sorts of painting mediums available for oil colours. It is best to start out without using any of these, and so getting used to how the paint handles from the tube, or thinned with either solvent or linseed oil. The idea of mediums is to modify how the paint “handles” (I.e., how it feels, how it flows, how easily it comes off the brush, how fast it dries, how glossy it looks etc) They are only worth investigating once you get used to how the paint behaves straight from the tube, in its most basic form. After all, you need a little experience in order to see what difference the medium is actually making. Many artists don’t use medium whatsoever.


    Now, what to do with those paints? Squirt out paint in little worms on your palette. Use the palette knife to cut off chunks of those paints, move those chunks around, and squash them together. You will want to do most of your colour-mixing with the knife like this, so that your brushes don’t get gunky and worn-out. Then dip your brush in the combined colour and paint. Or, dip your brush in linseed oil, then in the paint. Or dip your brush in the solvent first. Or use your rag to scrape paint off the painting, or use the palette knife to apply paint! There are no rules to this, only different things to try.

    Cleaning up! Scrape leftover paint onto paper towels or old phone-book pages and toss them in the trash. Heavily soiled rags can go in the trash. If you have a reusable palette, use the palette knife to scrape off as much of the paint as possible, then dip the corner of a rag in some solvent and use that to wipe the surface off. Glass and other hard surfaces can be scraped with a razor-blade if necessary, and wood and masonite palettes do well when rubbed with oil now and then. Brushes get cleaned first with solvent, then with soap. The palette knife gets wiped clean. Dirty solvent gets saved for recycling.

    There are various ways that you can save paints from one painting-session to the next, as well:

    Plastic wrap. This is good except you lose some paint when you take the wrap off the next session.

    Freezer. Oil paints freeze excellently. Put the palette in a big sealable container (a Tupperware box for example) and stick it in the freezer. Let thaw for an hour before resuming.

    Another way if you have a designated painting sink, is to half fill the sink with water and submerge the palette over night. Make sure to get as much water off the palette before resuming the next day. (I am squeamish about putting water on my paints, but k4pka says this works.)

    That’s it! For now don’t worry about fat-over lean rules or varnishes or which pigments crack in which situations or crazy dangerous things like making your own paints – that can all be learned later if you want to. There is a lot of drudgery and science to oil painting that you do not need to know immediately, or even necessarily at all. You actually now have everything that you need to know to make a complete oil-painting! Experiment and play and, most importantly, have fun.

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  6. #3
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    Thank you Seedling, very much.

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    MY Sketchbook - My super inactive and not so cool SB, to be active and really cool sometime soon. ^^
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedling View Post
    I am squeamish about putting water on my paints, but k4pka says this works.
    Water on the oil paints cannot do a thing, what with the oil repelling the water and all, it just beads off.

    Getting water on a bristle brush that is being used for oil painting however is absolute hell! The oil and water trying to repel each other inside the brush results in a horrible flabby brush. Its very strange, and cannot be sorted out other than washing the brush in soap and water, and letting it dry thoroughly. This is a real pain when painting outside in the rain!

    Seedling, as before mentioned, great idea, great guide, great thread! Ought to get (deservedly) stickied soon!

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    Briliant thread. Takes a lot of the pressure and scare factor out of oil painting. 5 stars, my friend.

    Deselect
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    Quote Originally Posted by k4pka View Post
    Water on the oil paints cannot do a thing, what with the oil repelling the water and all, it just beads off.
    I wouldn't go that far. Storing oils under water will slow down drying, but doesn't stop it completely, since there's still some oxygen dissolved in water. Instead of skinning over, the paint tends to thicken until it eventually passes the point of usability.


    Tristan Elwell
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    don't forget the mylar for sketches
    and I have been using Computer "vellum" as a frosted mylar
    with good results
    chaos

    To see the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.

    Sketch book

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...ight=chaos%27s
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I wouldn't go that far. Storing oils under water will slow down drying, but doesn't stop it completely, since there's still some oxygen dissolved in water. Instead of skinning over, the paint tends to thicken until it eventually passes the point of usability.
    This is true, I have only ever used this measure over night. Best bet for longer term storage is the freezing.

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    thanks for posting this, seedling.

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    Jushra - my pleasure. :-)

    HEY! If any of you experienced painters feel like posting pictures of your studios, or the way you lay out paints of a palette, or anything else you can think of, I would love to see how other people arrange their spaces and supplies.

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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    Thanks for the links and information, here's a couple more that i've found. Some repeat what has already been posted though, like about brushes.

    Painting Glossary:
    http://www.gamblincolors.com/oil.pai....glossary.html
    Color Mixing
    http://emptyeasel.com/2006/12/22/how...-mixing-color/
    Brushes
    http://emptyeasel.com/2007/03/02/an-artist%e2%80%99s-guide-to-oil-painting-brushes-and-the-paintbrush-types-youll-need/
    Glossary of the different Oils (linseed, poppy, etc..) and what they do
    http://www.cad-red.com/mt2/oil.html#linseed

    And generally just the site emptyeasel.com I found useful.

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    I've never been one for saving paints on my palette from one session to the next. Typically I only lay out a small amount at a time of the colors I plan on using, and clean it all off when I'm done for the day.

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    Seedling, THANK YOU so MUCH for this! I've just 'started' painting in oils, but frankly I'm like a little girl prancing around the pool, not knowing where to jump in.
    I've started reading Alla Prima as well and I cannot recommend this book enough. I'm totally saving this thread and most of the links to my HD - again, big thanks for posting!

    Brendan Noeth

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    Some tried and true palette configurations. All colors listed are permanent.

    The Limited Classical Flesh Palette:

    Flake White
    Yellow Ochre
    Vermillion (can substitue Cad Red Light)
    Ivory Black
    Burnt or Raw Umber (for monochromatic underpainting/drawing. The dark umber areas will remain uncovered, to act as transparent and deep shadow areas)

    This is basically a red(verm.), yellow(ochre), blue(ivory black) configuration. The basic flesh mixture is the white and yellow ochre, with a touch of the red, and a smidgen of black to lower chroma, if desired.

    Extended Classical Flesh Palette

    Flake White
    Naples Yellow
    Indian Yellow (glazing)
    Vermillion or Cad. Red Light
    Red Ochre or Light Red
    Rose Madder (A transparent color. Don't buy the any colors with Lake in the name, as they are not permanent)
    Burnt Sienna
    Terre Verte or Green Earth
    Umber
    Ivory Black

    Classical palettes, idealy, are used in a layered technique, but alla prima is also possible and almost equal in the right hands (Rubens, Hals)

    Complete Classical Palette
    - as listed at

    http://www.ncartmuseum.org/monet/revolution1.html

    Flake White
    Naples Yellow
    Indian Yellow
    Yellow Ochre
    Red Ochre
    Vermillion
    Rose Madder
    Carmine
    Burnt Sienna
    Brown Madder
    Bitumen
    Cassel Earth
    Ivory Black
    Ultramine Blue (traditionally Lapis)
    Prussian Blue

    Modern Limited Palette (Higher chroma than classical, geared towards opaque, direct painting methods. A very, very basic landscape palette also.)

    Flake or Titanium White
    Cad. Yellow Light
    Yellow Ochre
    Cad. Red Light
    Alizarin Crimson (trans. It's like a darker Rose Madder)
    Cobalt Blue (or Cerulean if you prefer)
    Ultramarine Blue (trans.)
    Ivory Black

    Here you have a high chroma, RYB scheme, with warm and cool variations of each color. Permanent

    Extended Modern Palette


    Flake or Titanium White
    Cad. Yellow Light
    Cad. Orange
    Yellow Ochre
    Raw Sienna
    Cad. Red light
    Cad. Red Medium
    Red Ochre or LIght Red or Indian Red
    Alizarin Crimson
    French Ultramarine
    Cobalt or Cerulean
    Veridian
    Sap Green
    Burnt Sienna
    Umber
    Ivory Black

    The landscape palette
    (taken from http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/2...parkhurst2.asp


    'Landscape calls for pitch and vibration. You must have pure color and great luminosity, yet a range of color which will permit of all sorts of effects. The following will serve for everything out-of-doors, and I have seen it with practically no change in the hands of very powerful and exquisite painters. There are no browns and blacks in it because the colors which they would give are to be made by mixing the purer pigments, so as to give more life and vibration to the color. The Blackest note may be gotten with ultramarine and rose madder with a little veridian if too purple; the result will be blacker than black, and have daylight in it. The ochre is needed more particularly to warm the veridian'.

    WHITE.
    STRONTIAN YELLOW.
    ORANGE VERMILION.
    CADMIUM YELLOW.
    PINK MADDER.
    ORANGE CADMIUM.
    ROSE MADDER.
    YELLOW OCHRE.
    COBALT.
    ULTRAMARINE.
    VERIDIAN.
    EMERALD GREEN.

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    Thanks to everyone who has contributed stuff here!

    To those of you who have more experience using oils than I do, if you ever feel inclined to show your works-in-progress here, I’m sure you would have an appreciative audience. :-)

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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    Hey Seedling... loving this thread.

    1) Can you tell me more about tinting strength? I understand that adding white can change a color dramatically so having a chart that shows it changes is useful, but I'm sure there's more to it. What is the significance of weak or strong tinting strength?

    2) When I try to clean my brushes with odorless turpanoid, very throughly, squeezing out as much of the turp I can, then washing with soap and water later... I still end up with a stiff brush the next day. They aren't nearly as soft as when I started.

    3)I'm having a hard time finding any resources on how to "apply the paint" to the surface, techniques. Trying to paint realism by working wet into wet, making gradual value shifts by painting on top of another layer of paint without mixing the two. In other words, a lot of the artist works that I admire they paint a lot of value shifts by layering the paint on top of another without letting it dry (wet on wet). It looks almost like a paint by number but the different values are layered on top of another without mixing with the paint beneath. Like painting different values on extremely tiny leaves with a #2 filbert brush. Again, it's done wet on wet, but has to be something extremely simplistic that I'm simply over thinking, over looking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    Hey Seedling... loving this thread.

    1) Can you tell me more about tinting strength? I understand that adding white can change a color dramatically so having a chart that shows it changes is useful, but I'm sure there's more to it. What is the significance of weak or strong tinting strength?

    2) When I try to clean my brushes with odorless turpanoid, very throughly, squeezing out as much of the turp I can, then washing with soap and water later... I still end up with a stiff brush the next day. They aren't nearly as soft as when I started.

    3)I'm having a hard time finding any resources on how to "apply the paint" to the surface, techniques. Trying to paint realism by working wet into wet, making gradual value shifts by painting on top of another layer of paint without mixing the two. In other words, a lot of the artist works that I admire they paint a lot of value shifts by layering the paint on top of another without letting it dry (wet on wet). It looks almost like a paint by number but the different values are layered on top of another without mixing with the paint beneath. Like painting different values on extremely tiny leaves with a #2 filbert brush. Again, it's done wet on wet, but has to be something extremely simplistic that I'm simply over thinking, over looking.
    1) Tinting strength is how powerful a particular paint is in a mixture. It is a function of both the chemical characteristics of a pigment (for instance, pthalo colors are notoriously strong tinters) and the amount of pigment in a particular formulation (so student paints, which have fillers in place of pigment, have less tinting strength). Some beginners have a hard time controlling mixtures with high tinting strength colors (again, pthalos are a good example). Sometimes weak tinting strength can be an advantage. For instance, cerulean blue is a popular color with some portrait painters precisely because it can be used to neutralize flesh tones without overwhelming them.

    2) You're either not cleaning thoroughly enough or not completely rinsing the soap from the brush.

    3) You want your initial layers to be very thin. Try scrubbing your shadows in with brights to establish the form, then switch to long flats or filberts for the lights. You also want a paint that's not too oily, especially in the early stages.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    2) When I try to clean my brushes with odorless turpanoid, very throughly, squeezing out as much of the turp I can, then washing with soap and water later... I still end up with a stiff brush the next day. They aren't nearly as soft as when I started.
    I'm not Seedling, but there are many approaches on how to clean your brush from oil paint. One of the more effective ways in which I have been taught (and still apply to this day) is to first rinse it out with some form of mineral spirits. Wipe it off with a towel, an unwanted t-shirt, rag, etc then dip it in Canola Oil (any brand will do) to clean any excess residue and in addition to help keep the hairs wet, moist, and ready to go for another application.

    In the past I've used to clean my brushes with mineral spirits and then wash with cold water and a little bit of soap. I've discovered over time it will make the hair rougher, jagged, and difficult to use with every new use. Occasionally, I was forced to dip it in vegetable oil to loosen the hairs. From my own trials and supported with my teacher's experience washing it in water and soap is unnecessary if you plan to get rid of the oil paint. Mineral spirits combined with Canola Oil is more than enough. Now if you're attempting to mask away or erase the stains of a brush from whatever oil paint then you'll spend an awfully great deal of effort with varying success.

    And if it is in your budget I'd strongly recommend using Synthetic Sable brushes over Bristle unless you need a very large paint brush to lay in some background or you require some added texture which only a hard edge (and poorly taken care) Bristle could best a Sable.

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    1) Are you saying that tinting strength comes down to how intense the chroma stays after being mixed with another color (not just white)? So Ultramarine blue in oils are usually strong tinting strength?

    2) Shou - I forgot that Elwell had mentioned using vegetable oil also. I'll try the mineral spirits with canola oil (I don't recall canola oil at the art store). Is it 1 part mineral spirits, 1 part canola oil?

    3) I was doing exactly what you were describing right before you posted, Elwell. I was thinking it to myself as

    Dark to light (values)
    and at the same time...
    Thin to Thick layers of paint.

    But I haven't tried scrubbing the darks in. That's is proably it! I've always had a hard time having to refine my darks by layer it on top of each other after they dry. I believe I can make the oils in the dark shadow areas with a soft filbert to cover the light valued boards (tinted or not) in a slower precise process.

    Thank you very much for your input Elwell. I always appreciate it.

    Plus I wanted to include this link about brushes.
    http://painting.about.com/od/artsupp...es-filbert.htm

    Last edited by Bowlin; July 10th, 2007 at 03:00 PM. Reason: included link
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    You can deaden the chroma on a high tinting strength color by what you mix it with. Instead the high tinting strength is about how much of it you are going to need. If you want to make green using phthalocyanine blue and a yellow then just put in a speck of the blue (Ease in the blue in a very gingerly fashion. A little dab'll do you). The same is true if you make your black by putting phthalo blue into burnt umber. In other words the colors with a high tinting strength can outcolor the other colors, gram for gram.

    It might help the cleaning if you put a cleaning step of automotive hand cleaner (Goop, Gojo) in between the solvent (or oil) step and the final soap and water stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shou' View Post
    I'm not Seedling. . .
    Haha! :-) I’m just the thread starter. Most of the oil-painters around here know the medium better than I do. . . and hopefully they’ll keep sharing their knowledge so that I can learn more. (Oops, did I just leak my grand scheme? Heehe.)

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    2) Shou - I forgot that Elwell had mentioned using vegetable oil also. I'll try the mineral spirits with canola oil (I don't recall canola oil at the art store).
    You can purchase Canola Oil at any grocery story, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and possibly a Gas Station. I would question (and be extremely suspicious) any Art store's motives of why they would normally stock Canola Oil. Any manufacturer of Canola Oil will be sufficient unless it is from a not so well received source.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    Is it 1 part mineral spirits, 1 part canola oil?
    No. Sorry for the confusion. You do not mix them together (or at least try not to).

    First you rinse out the oil paint in Mineral spirits and wipe it down with a cloth. Second you take the brush (if it still has some oil paint or mineral spirits it is fine) to dab it into Canola Oil, swoosh it around similar to what you did with Mineral Spirits. From there you have two options of a) allowing it to soak in there for a while or b) immediately take it out and clear out any excess Canola Oil that may be dripping. Afterwards for best results (if I am remembering this correctly) when taking the brush out it is recommended to hold the end of the brush (pointy wooden side) and place it bottom to top down as it hangs vertically. By doing so it allows any liquid to gradually fall while helping the brush to naturally shift the weight of the hairs to the original position it was at when you bought it.

    Note: I'd advise to grab separate bowls/cups for each and do not use any plastic -- they do not hold well against those mediums. My teacher recommended to use glass.

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    I, on the other hand, would never recommend storing brushes wet with a non-drying oii like canola. Firstly because soaking bristle brushes in oil makes them limp and unresponsive, and secondly because any non-drying oil left in the brush can contaminate paint when it's next used and lead to drying problems.

    Vegetable oil (canola, soybean, etc) can be used to clean brushes if you want to avoid solvents altogether, but I would always follow that up with a soap-and-water cleaning.


    Tristan Elwell
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  29. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    1) Are you saying that tinting strength comes down to how intense the chroma stays after being mixed with another color (not just white)? So Ultramarine blue in oils are usually strong tinting strength?
    Tinting strength is more about value than chroma. For instance, mars violet is a strong tinter, but loses chroma dramatically with even a little white.
    Try this: Take ivory black, mars black, titanium white, and zinc white (preferably all the same brand, to minimize variables). Mix each of the blacks with each of the whites in 1:1 proportions and notice the difference in the resulting grays.


    Tristan Elwell
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  30. #26
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    I was thinking that mixing practice and making swatches might answer some of people's questions through the valuable medium of experience. I went home this afternoon and made this as something people might try with their own palettes. Phthalo blue has high tinting strength, but look at the difference in chroma between 1 and 10 which were both mixed with phthalo blue. (or 1 and 2 for that matter)
    1. phthalocyanine blue plus lemon yellow
    2. phthalocyanine blue plus cadmium yellow deep hue
    3. Ultramarine plus lemon yellow
    4. ultramarine plus cadmium yellow deep hue
    5. cadmium red hue plus lemon yellow
    6. cadmium red hue plus cadmium yellow deep hue
    7. permanent rose plus lemon yellow
    8. permanent rose plus cadmium yellow deep hue
    9. phthalocyanine blue plus permanent rose
    10. phthalocyanine blue plus cadmium red hue
    11. ultramarine plus permanent rose
    12. ultramarine plus cadmium red hue

    above the numbers is increasing amounts of lamp black
    below the numbers is increasing amounts of titanium white
    As you can see, you don't need to add much black before your painting becomes a mud pie.

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    TINTING STRENGTH: This is the ability of a colour to change the character of another colour. We determine this by adding the same amount of Titanium White to each colour and observing the resulting strength of the colour mixture. Weaker tinting colours create light pastel mixtures. Stronger tinting colours create darker mixtures.

    Try scrubbing your shadows in with brights to establish the form, then switch to long flats or filberts for the lights.
    Somehow I completely missed the different brushes you suggested in this sentence. Makes sense.

    Try this: Take ivory black, mars black, titanium white, and zinc white (preferably all the same brand, to minimize variables). Mix each of the blacks with each of the whites in 1:1 proportions and notice the difference in the resulting grays.


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  32. #28
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    Name:  colorswatches.jpg
Views: 16470
Size:  93.3 KBHere is some more development of the earlier color swatch. I am featuring subtleties of brown and gray. The numbers on here can be shifted without addition of a third color. (e.g. To make #1 bluer, just add more Phthalo blue. To make it yellower just add more lemon yellow.)

    To make gray, many people might be tempted to go straight to lamp black plus titanium white as shown at A. To make brown it is tempting to go with burnt umber, possibly with more or less titanium white (see right column third from top).

    Other combinations include:
    B is #12 shifted toward red plus some lemon yellow
    C is #12 shifted toward blue with some lemon yellow
    D is #3 shifted toward yellow plus some permanent rose
    E is #3 shifted toward blue plus some permanent rose
    F is #7 shifted toward yellow with some phthalo blue
    G is #7 shifted toward red with some phthalo blue
    H is #10 shifted toward blue plus some cad yellow deep hue
    I is #10 shifted toward red plus some cad yellow deep hue
    J is burnt umber plus phthalo blue
    K is J plus some titanium white (see also Y)
    L is burnt sienna plus some phthalo blue and I lightened a corner with titanium white
    M is L with titanium white
    N is #9 shifted toward blue with some cad yellow deep hue
    O is #9 shifted toward red plus some cad yellow deep
    P is #1 shifted toward blue with some cad red medium hue and titanium white
    Q is #1 shifted toward yellow with some cad red medium hue (no white)
    R is #6 shifted toward red with some phthalo blue
    S is #6 shifted toward yellow with some phthalo blue
    T is burnt sienna plus yellow ochre
    U is T plus titanium white
    V is burnt umber plus lots of yellow ochre
    W is V except with more burnt umber
    X is U plus K (or Y)
    Y is J plus titanium white (see also K)
    Z is W plus titanium white

    As a bonus I put titanium white tints of straight tube color on the right hand column. Top to bottom they are dioxazine purple, viridian, burnt umber, cad red med hue, permanent rose, phthalocyanine blue (Georgian above and Graham below), ultramarine, lemon yellow, cad yellow deep hue, yellow ochre, and burnt sienna (Georgian above and Graham below).

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    Hmm, im sure it was a valid exercise for you, but it just confuses the hell out of me!

    Ive done the Richard Schmidt's Alla Prima color swatch exercise, and I can highly recommend it. If I were you I would redo the exercise above, (if you felt you gained alot from it) but make them proper swatches, gridded out with masking tape, for an easier overview, and clearer and more defined areas of color. right now they are difficult to compare to each other. but that may just be the graphic design nazi in me reading too much muller brockman...

    [url=http://galleryonefone.blogspot.com[/url] This would be my gallery in Sweden

    This would be my Pleine Air blog
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    Don't lose any sleep over it. It's just an empirical showing of how with the double primary type palette mentioned way above by Seedling, you can dispense with the earth tones, black, gray, secondary, and tertiary colors if you wish.

    And I mainly posted it because I thought this thread could use a bump.

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