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Thread: The Big Oil-Painting Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyarlathotep View Post
    Oh and i dont really know what i'm doin as far as oil painting materials goes.. so far as paints and paintbrushes. What is linseed oil for? makin paint thinner? or slower drying? off to paint whee !
    Linseed oil will make the paint thinner but will increase the drying time, but it also keeps it at an oily viscous consistancy. Tuprentine, turpenoid, gamsol, OMS (oderless mineral spirits), mineral spirits (the entire group is usualy refered to as turps) all thin the paint and decrease the drying time, but they will make the paint consistency move more and more watery. Mediums that are sold commercialy like liquin or Neo-meglip do whatever they say on the bottle, some increase some decrease some are liquid some are gel like, read them and play around with them to figure out what ones to use.

    Now if you decide to use turps or oils or mediums in your paint you will want to paint fat over lean aka thin to thick. Paints with turp in them are thin or lean. Paints with oil in them are medium and paints with commercial mediums are thick or fat. A good set of initial mediums are Turp, half turp half linseed oil, and liquin. And you would use them in that order as your painting advances with pure tube (no medium) placed in between the half and half mixture and the liquin.

    hope that helps.

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    Wow this is such a good thread!
    Stevekim recently posted some good info about oil paints as well:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=107987

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetoblivion314 View Post
    Linseed oil will make the paint thinner but will increase the drying time, but it also keeps it at an oily viscous consistancy. Tuprentine, turpenoid, gamsol, OMS (oderless mineral spirits), mineral spirits (the entire group is usualy refered to as turps) all thin the paint and decrease the drying time, but they will make the paint consistency move more and more watery. Mediums that are sold commercialy like liquin or Neo-meglip do whatever they say on the bottle, some increase some decrease some are liquid some are gel like, read them and play around with them to figure out what ones to use.

    Now if you decide to use turps or oils or mediums in your paint you will want to paint fat over lean aka thin to thick. Paints with turp in them are thin or lean. Paints with oil in them are medium and paints with commercial mediums are thick or fat. A good set of initial mediums are Turp, half turp half linseed oil, and liquin. And you would use them in that order as your painting advances with pure tube (no medium) placed in between the half and half mixture and the liquin.

    hope that helps.
    I would like to add that turps is a term that is usually used for solvents wich
    are petrol based ( OMS, white spirits, etc.. ). Not for turpentine. And it's good
    to make the distinction. Turpentine is a strong natural solvent derived from
    pine trees.
    About the mediums. It's not true that paint with medium added is the 'fattest' per se.
    That depends on the oily structure of the paint itself and the recipe for the
    medium. A medium should be seen as something you add to the paint to make
    it do things that 'tube paint' can't.
    Usually quality paint coming from the tube is just fine. Use of mediums isn't
    really necessary for beginners

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art_Addict View Post
    I would like to add that turps is a term that is usually used for solvents wich
    are petrol based ( OMS, white spirits, etc.. ). Not for turpentine. And it's good
    to make the distinction. Turpentine is a strong natural solvent derived from
    pine trees.
    About the mediums. It's not true that paint with medium added is the 'fattest' per se.
    That depends on the oily structure of the paint itself and the recipe for the
    medium. A medium should be seen as something you add to the paint to make
    it do things that 'tube paint' can't.
    Usually quality paint coming from the tube is just fine. Use of mediums isn't
    really necessary for beginners
    Thanks for making that clear, Art Addict. I always thought artists referred to turpentine as turps! I was also confused because there is also turpenoid. hehe

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    I always thought artists referred to turpentine as turps!
    Well, some do...

    Turpenoid is just another petrol based mineral spirit. I don't really know why they named it the way they did cause it only confuses people.
    Probably to give the impression it is connected with turpentine somehow hinting to better quality.

    Last edited by Art_Addict; October 29th, 2007 at 06:35 AM.
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    Turpentine also has the most marvelous smell.

    From Gegarin's point of view
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    just like gin!
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    Turpentine also has the most marvelous smell.
    I agree ! Smells like a fresh forest in the fall

    On a side note. For people who have allergic reactions with using turpentine or wish to use a product with similar qualities there's also spike oil.

    It is made from lavender and has the same pleasant smell as regular lavender oil.
    But it's a very powerfull solvent as well. It's expensive though..

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    I adore oil of spike lavender. It has a beautiful smell, and is more slippery under the brush than turpentine, and is a more aggressive solvent.

    Turpentine is a paint thinner, not a paint medium. Using Turps alone in your underpainting will potentially result in your first layer(s) being underbound Ė too much pigment/filler/stabilizer, not enough oil. If it looks chalky, it is likely underbound. That can cause paint failure down the road. Is it something to worry about? /shrug Opinions vary...

    We have all been told that the construction an oil painting is simple Ė fat over lean. We have all heard that axiom over and over. Oil paints do not dry, they cure, and they cure from the outside in - that is, they blister over the top and then dry down into the center of the layer. The oil converts from a liquid into a solid by oxidation. The traditional wisdom says that the best way to "build" a painting structurally is to start with very lean colors for your underpainting, move to colors with more oil content and/or adding a fatter medium for subsequent layers, and finish with more oily colors/mediums layers as you proceed. The whole point of this again is to ensure that the layers are put down in such a way that the layers will dry in sequence and you will not end up with a layer underneath still drying while a layer on top has skinned and dried - crack!

    Now let's add a medium that has a siccatif or drying effect to the paint...this whole fat over lean thing becomes sort of a mute point. The old axiom of fat over lean had to do with the curing rates of oil paints Ė never put a slow drying paint under a fast drying paint, donít put a thin layer over a thick layer, etc. Now, you still have to be a bit smart when you use mediums that dry faster and give layers time to cure a bit before applying the nextÖdonít put thin over thick if it is not fully cured yet, etc. But largely, the worries of fat over lean go out the window when you introduce a medium with a drying agent in it. Drying agents cause the paint layer to dry from the inside out, not skin over and dry from the outside in. This accelerated curing rate means less chance of having wet layers underneath as you paint over top.

    Something that bugs me is the attempt by paint manufacturers to make all their paints handle the same. Oil paints cure at a different rate depending on what is in them. AND, oil paint is not just pigment and oil Ė it has stabilizers and fillers in it. One silly thing paint manufacturers do today is try to make all their paints exactly the same. Raw umber is markedly different than Cad Red, but if you use both of them from Utrecht, they will feel and handle almost the same. I believe this is a mistake Ė that means that they added more oil and fillers to the Umber, and less oil and more stabilizers to the Cad Red. Most of the major paint manufacturers do this and it drives me crazy. /twitch /rant

    For me, all this has come down to three things that I take as truths:

    The most stable paintings from the old masters are paintings that had a high pigment to oil ratio. For me, this has meant:

    Use good paint. The best that you can afford. Cheap paints have more fillers like alumina hydrate in them. They take the place of the more expensive pigments. Studio Products paints (Cennini), Holbein, Vasarri, M.Graham, etc. are the better brands of paint I can recommend. Pick up a 37ml tube of any one of these in one hand, and then a 150ml tube of Windsor Newton Winton student grade paint in the otherÖfeel the weight of the two. The 150ml Winton will almost always be lighter Ė those are the cheap fillers taking the place of the pigment.

    Use mediums and solvents sparingly. Regardless of what medium you use, use as little of it as you can. It actually takes very little medium to affect handling or drying. Donít use mediums to dilute your paint, thus reducing the pigment to oil ratio. Use mediums to modify the handling quality, or speed or slow drying. It takes very little to accomplish those goals.

    Your mileage may vary...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art_Addict View Post
    I would like to add that turps is a term that is usually used for solvents wich
    are petrol based ( OMS, white spirits, etc.. ). Not for turpentine. And it's good
    to make the distinction. Turpentine is a strong natural solvent derived from
    pine trees.
    About the mediums. It's not true that paint with medium added is the 'fattest' per se.
    That depends on the oily structure of the paint itself and the recipe for the
    medium. A medium should be seen as something you add to the paint to make
    it do things that 'tube paint' can't.
    Usually quality paint coming from the tube is just fine. Use of mediums isn't
    really necessary for beginners
    yea i know it all depends. I was reffering to a generalization of commercially sold mediums like liquin and neo-meglip and galkyd. The actual fat over lean like Verdaccio said (great post by the way, thanks) has to do with curing speed and the percentage of oil in the mixture. The information i was using is on the Gamblin website and they say that all of their mediums should be considered fat.

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    What a informative thread.

    Does anyone have any advice on oil painting on wood (like plywood)? I like to incorporate the grain of the wood into the image itself, so white gesso isn't an option, and clear gesso makes it look "foggy". I'm super new to oils, so I'm not positive of the best way to approach it. I'm definitely loving the blendability of oils over acrylics... there are some examples of what I'm doing on my sb page (linked below), and an artist who also uses oils on wood this way is linked here, to give you an idea of what I'm going for.

    Any and all help would be appreciated!!

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    Or you could do a shellac/renatured alcohol thing. It will tint it yellow though...

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

    This would be my Pleine Air blog
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    Or, you could shellac it. (AH! Timpa beat me to it!)
    Or, you could oil it with a boiled oil wood finish until it won't absorb any more.
    Or, you could use a commercial wood sealer.


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    Beyond just the preparation of the surface, you might consider just buying sheets of wood veneer. Different species of wood gives you more choices of color and grain patterns. You can glue it to a firm surface like MDF or hardboard, and then size it for painting.
    http://www.oakwoodveneer.com/samples.html

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    Of the commercial wood finish products that are out there I would recommend going for a "PECAN" finish rather than something light like oak or something dark like mahogany color. It looks like the woman in your link is using a pecan finish ground on at least some of those paintings. It makes a nice golden color that is somewhere in the middle and will show up the grains nicely. The boiled linseed oil will make a rich golden yellow color but it will take weeks to dry instead of a day. If you have patience it's nice. It's not as expensive as those little cans of finish and I like the way it smells

    You need to sand wood to make sure it's smooth and there is a good tooth but you don't want to overdo sanding so the grind marks are visible. Don't use a radial sander like one of those drill adapters. Hand sanding is strenuous but is cheapest and you probably get the best control. Orbital sanders and belt sanders are better than the radial ones but they cost money. You'll probably want to go over the finish with a really fine grit sandpaper (or steel wool) after it dries because of the tooth thing, and because there are always these little damned bumps all over the place after drying. From what I saw in your sketchbook you have a delicate style and the bumps will probably foul up what you are trying to accomplish during paint application. Wipe your sanding dust off with a damp rag after each sanding/before you apply the next layer of something. Best of luck. Wood and panels rock.

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    I was hoping anyone who has any information regarding oil paint/solvent allergies could touch on them here (seems to be the place since it is the big oil painting thread as it would be helpful to others as well).
    I myself have been painting with oils for eleven years now and never had an adverse reaction until just these past two days when red blotches blew up on the backs of my hands mixed with stiffness. I know allergies can develop over time so I'm wondering if I've finally developed one to oils in general or to a specific thing that I was using which consists of: Grumbacher/Gamblin oils, turpenoid, and I was trying out the galkyd mediums which is new to me so maybe that's it.
    Perhaps a way to test for specific allergies?

    Thanks in advance and thanks for this thread to begin with

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyWilkerson View Post
    I was hoping anyone who has any information regarding oil paint/solvent allergies could touch on them here . . .
    Hi Troy. Iíve never had to deal with a reaction like that, but I can think of a few things you can try.

    Pick a spot on your body that is not normally exposed to any of your mediums, such as your leg. Put a tiny dot of each substance on your skin there. (You can use a marker on your skin to note what you put where.) Watch for reactions.

    Use latex gloves when you paint.

    Good luck figuring it out!

    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.

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    I thought about the typical allergen scratch/prick test and I'm gonna give it a few days rest before I try it. I'm hoping all this was just too much of a good thing so to speak as I had been cranking on some stuff for day stretches at a time.

    I was of the understanding that petrochemicals disintegrated latex (which is why we don't use baby oil in with condoms for example)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyWilkerson View Post
    I was of the understanding that petrochemicals disintegrated latex (which is why we don't use baby oil in with condoms for example)
    Hey, maybe that's why my gloves wear out at the fingertips! They last me a few days before tearing, though, especially if I powder my hands before putting them on.

    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.

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    I have a quick question. I used to oil paint when I was in high school and I havent picked up the brush in more than 5 years. My apartment is small and my roommates hate the fumes. Im planning on painting out on my balcony.

    I have two cats. They get into everything, I was wondering if there was a safe way to speed up the drying process. For example if Im going really well and have my background done and I want to let it dry out a little before working on the subject or foreground.

    I've heard a hair blow dryer set on "Cool" will work if you dont get too close to the surface or stay in one spot too long. Does anyone know if thats true?

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    You are going to get awfully tired of holding up that blow-dryer, Rouko. Instead, hang a bulletin board in your room, and thumbtack your art up at a height where your critters wonít bump into it. If you need lots of space, go to Home Depot and buy a big sheet of homosote Ė itís a sort of compressed paper product that makes a great bulletin board. You can even coat it in house paint to match your apartment.

    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 Seedling, the helps much appreciated

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rouko View Post
    I've heard a hair blow dryer set on "Cool" will work if you dont get too close to the surface or stay in one spot too long. Does anyone know if thats true?
    A hair dryer works great for water based paints (watercolor, acrylic, gouache) which dry by evaporation. But oils don't technically dry, they cure; the oil combines chemically with oxygen, turning from it from a liquid to a solid. Heat will speed up this reaction, but it has to be sustained at a low level for an extended period. I've heard of some illustrators using heat lamps, but one has to be very careful to keep them well away from the painting.


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    You can use Galkyd or Liquin too. That will speed up the drying time. Galkyd can sometimes dry (or get tacky dry) as fast as 3-6 hours(which can also be annoying...). This depends on what kind of paint you are using though, Earth colors tend to dry quicker. Liquin is usually touch dry over night. Walnut alkyd (m. Graham's) is for me the "nicest" fast dry medium, i feel its not as aggressive as the others. To me, they smell like something you'd clean the rims of a car with.

    Get some small bottles and experiment a little. I use Galkyd when painting pleine air, and sometimes a like the added "drag" it gives, other times it annoys the hell out of me.

    Good luck!

    On the subject of drying with heat, i remember Dan (Dos Santos) telling us at the Society of Illustrators about an incident when he managed to burn down a newly rendered Big Ben he had been working on for a super tight deadline. I forget the details, but it was funny as hell.

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

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    Thanks everybody!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedling View Post
    You are going to get awfully tired of holding up that blow-dryer, Rouko. Instead, hang a bulletin board in your room, and thumbtack your art up at a height where your critters wonít bump into it. If you need lots of space, go to Home Depot and buy a big sheet of homosote Ė itís a sort of compressed paper product that makes a great bulletin board. You can even coat it in house paint to match your apartment.
    so thats what my dorm room is coated in. Its kinda cool but not really cause it doesnt really hold that much weight. Barely holds up my callender.

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    I have a question about fine detail and flowyness with oils. I painted in oils for a bit when I was in art school, and one time I...painted a mural...in oils...and haven't used oils ever since, and switched to acrylics. The biggest reason why I stopped using oils is because I learned how to paint using watercolor and gouache, and have a natural knack for controlling water that I seem to not have when using oils. When I paint with a water based medium, I can paint a long, flowy, snake-like brush stroke with ease, but with the thickness of oils this is very difficult for me. I was using thinner to make the paints more flowy, but the pigment was way too thinned out for my taste. Maybe I should premix my paints with some thinner in small containers? What do you do to improve the flow of your oil paints without thinning them so much that they act like a glaze?

    Also, the other difficulty I have with oils that I do not have with waterbased mediums is fine detail. It's the same problem as with the flow....the oil is too thick, and when thinned down, too thin. What techniques do you use to get fine detail, especially very long fine lines such as whiskers?

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  31. #118
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    thespirals: It sounds to me as if you have adjusted to the water based media in that 'body' in the paint is not an issue and are are comfortable with the particular way that pigment behaves in a water based solution.
    To answer your question specifically, oil paint will not be more 'moveable' under the brush by addiing oil over and above a certain point - it will only be as viscous as the oil itself and therefore thicker and slower than water in its handling. The only way to make oil paint 'looser' and 'faster' in its handling and resemble the handling of water based mediums is to use turpentine or white spirit as a thinners. It wont be quite the same as water based mediums but it will get pretty close.
    To sum up: use spirits as your thinners, not oil.

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  32. #119
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    Great topic. Used it for reference for a while now. I do have a question.

    In one of the recommended paint selections you mention Lemon Yellow. Is there an equivalent or a 'close to' for this colour?

    These are the yellows I can buy:

    Hansa Yellow
    Cadmium Yellow Light
    Azo Yellow
    Cadmium Yellow
    Cadmium Yellow Deep
    Indian Yellow

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  33. #120
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    "Lemon yellow" these days usually refers to any light, bright, cool yellow. Either cadmium or hansa are fine, cadmium is more opaque, hansa is cheaper.


    Tristan Elwell
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