View Full Version : How to use oil colours

07-07-2001, 09:12 AM
Basic question.
How to dilute the colours?
thinner, kerosene, turpentine?

07-07-2001, 01:53 PM
While this thread will probably end up being moved to the oil painting forum, (which you can run a search there and find discussion on this topic), and where you will note sometimes debate and controversy on this and many other subjects.
I will mention that some painters assert that turp 'muddies' colors. And yes, some painters use kesosene and other thinners as well.
If I can assume from your question you are after basic info,

let me suggest that you try using as little thinner as possible in your first attempts in oils. Learn to FINELY apply and model the color as thinly as possible with full bodied paints (right out of the tube). Work small and finely, (working on small hardboard panels is ideal for this). This will teach you a lot about how oil paint behaves, and you can obtain wonderful results. You might consider staying with only monochrome painting until you have a good 'feel' for paint handling and values, which most students too soon skip over. Just a few thoughts...

07-11-2001, 07:27 PM
Hello , I've been painting for 10 months with excellent instruction. I was in class last nite and was reflecting how most of my problems in executing a good oil painting have disappeared since I stopped almost ALL USE OF THINNER!!!! I use soap to clean my brushes after class, I try to keep one brush for each of the color types (warm, cool) and wipe them, on a rag or paper towel, between colors. Thinner is death when mixed with the paints, in my opinion. Especially in the beginning of the painting.
I paint using an imprimatura wipe out of a raw umber base and then lay in with opaques. My medium, (which I use little of, only to wet my brush lightly, at the beginning, ) is a mixture of 1/2 stand oil, 1/2 oderless mineral spirits. This is really good information and I wish that I had it ten months ago.

07-13-2001, 12:50 PM
Hello When mixing colors, I like to use Winsor & Newton Liquin. It blends well into the colors. Cleaning my brushes, I use a cleaner that is made for oils. Will rinse my brushes in low odor turp. Hope this helps.

07-19-2001, 01:58 AM
The three liquids mentioned are all solvents. Their intended use is for removing, cleaning and diluting; not for painting. They will all weaken the paint film and dull the color. Only in the very early stages of painting, as in laying down a wash or drawing the composition should they be used alone with paint. In middle stages, turpentine or mineral spirits can be used sparingly and most often mixed with a medium to make the paint more workable. As someone else advised, it is instructive to paint without using these solvents in your paint at all. Straight from the tube and perhaps with a little medium, today's paints can be manipulated quite well. Save the solvents for their intended purpose.

BTW. Kerosene is not recommended in the painting process. However, I have used it to keep my bristle brushes supple. Once a week, after a thorough cleaning, I soke them in kerosene overnight. This does wonders.