View Full Version : Oil Painting Mediums...

06-16-2001, 12:25 AM
[ i just started oil painting ] could I get a little help with the varieties of mixtures/mediums and what each has to offer...? thanks :]

06-16-2001, 06:17 AM
Welcome to oils! Wow, it's such a broad subject, with lots of differing opinions. There is a WC member currently doing a study of oil mediums and in his original thread there was lots of discussion about different methods. You also need to decide why you want to use a medium - what is it about paint straight from the tube that is unsatisfactory to you? Do you want to thin it, thicken it, texturise it? There's lots of options. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Have a look at that thread here, it's long but worth the read I think.
Mediums comparative analysis discussion (http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000612.html)

There's also a thread on glazing that might be useful too (on how to use mediums and glazing):
Glazing techniques (http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000394.html)


<BR>May the Force be with You.

06-16-2001, 06:45 AM
Hi, I use a 50/50 mixture of Stand oil and turpenoid (or other oderless mineral spirit)..I copied this simple formula (just pour one into the other) from a teacher who's work I like a lot. She (Christine LaFuente) paints still lifes and citiscapes with brilliant, clean colors in a very painterly manner...her brushstrokes are often visible...
I like this medium a lot, in spite of, other teachers warning me that it will be too thick and gummy, etc...It works well for me and often my brushstrokes feel just the way I want them to; fully loaded, juicy and decisively covering. I'm glad I found it, as Liquin is much more expensive and dries to a matt finish (so I'm told).

"Paint light and dark masses, not edges. Later,You can always draw edges around objects, if you want...
Paint abstract shapes of color...
When painting onto a flat surface, think flat shapes of color. Don't try to paint around an object. We're not sculpting...think; flat, flat,flat." - Christine LaFuente...(this coaching was given in a workshop on 'still life' and would also apply to 'portrait' and 'figure' studies)

[This message has been edited by Mario (edited June 16, 2001).]

06-16-2001, 04:25 PM
Ah yes, should have mentioned that I use Liquin (and linseed oil in later layers). I like liquin because it is exactly the opposite of Mario's medium - it makes the paint less thick. I use liquin in early layers and work towards straight-from-the-tube paint to the end. (yes, it does have a matt finish) Sometimes add oil in the final layer if glazing. I don't use turpentine or mineral spirits and anything like that in the actual painting.


P.S. Mario - I keep seeing your "flat, flat, flat" signature everywhere and it's stuck in my head! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif I did this monoprint (oil and pastel) keeping it in mind. Floating Garden (Japan) (http://www.tina-m.com/art/floatinggarden.jpg)

<BR>May the Force be with You.

06-16-2001, 06:30 PM
Tina ,

your not aware that one of the ingredients in Liquin is -

Mineral Spirits.

Also if you read the W and N fact sheet ,
Liquin does not strengthen your paint coat .
Stand Oil does from there fact sheet.

Also your coats are only dry on the surface , for that is the nature of cobalt as a drier , also an ingredient in Liquin.
The other drier in W and N use is Manganese.
See their fact sheet.

06-17-2001, 03:10 PM
can people clue me in on why these are so popular? they are the most requested products in our store and i have no intention of carrying them. maybe i am just old-fashioned?

but to me they seem "dangerous" due to high volumes of 1) artificial resins (alkyds) and 2) lots of driers. it seems to me that liberal use could lead to paintings that crack easily or "fall apart" over time.

but i know there are plenty of working artists out there who can't work without it. what does it do for you? please help me to understand!

when i need a medium that dries fast and adds transparency, i use a more traditional formulation:

1 part damar varnish (5lb cut)
1 part stand oil
3 parts pure gum turp

of course there is nothing mysterious about these ingredients and i get a quick-drying, glossy, transparent finish.