View Full Version : Fat oil painting mediums

12-04-2018, 08:36 AM

I live a long way from an art shop and today I bought Art Spectrum's Fat Medium for oil painting. At the time I could not find the ingredients, other than hydrocarbon...which is what?... turps? It is supposed to be low odour, I have become sensitive to turps and have been using a tiny bit of citrus turpentine on the lean layers when my paint is too stiff to put on thinly. I have since found out the Art Spectrum fat medium contains Naptha and heavy alkylate. I didn't want to buy anything alkyd like Liquin. On the label it says it is good for glazing. I have previously used a little bit of linseed oil in the fat layers.

Has anyone used this product? Would love some advice please.

12-04-2018, 09:12 AM
The composition seems be basically petroleum derivatives, and or petroleum distillates.

I do not understand why the word Fat is included.


12-04-2018, 09:21 AM
Yes, Humbaba, I am suspicious! It does not seem fat to me either. A bit of linseed oil might be better. Thank you.

12-04-2018, 02:26 PM
It is mostly fat, mostly an oil, only partially contains some solvent.
So the MSDS documents do not have to list non hazardous ingredients.
They non hazardous ingredients are obviously an oil, probably linseed, and it accounts for the bulk of the ingredients, so it is decidedly a fat medium.

Naphtha, petroleum, heavy alkylate 64741-65-7 1 - 10 % (mineral spirits)
Turpentine 9005-90-7 10 - 30 %
Ingredients determined to be Non-Hazardous - Balance (this is the oil)

12-04-2018, 03:19 PM
It would be a courtesy to list the ingredients non hazardous for us, mere mortals, to read:

From Winsor & Newton:

Not regarded as a health or environmental hazard under current legislation.
CLASSIFICATION (1999/45) Not classified.

Risk of self-ignition of rags and the like, moistened with the product.


12-04-2018, 04:11 PM
Thank you Sidbledsoe and Humbaba. I don't feel so suspicious of it now. I do not like alkyds like Liquin though. I am relieved it has some old fashioned oil like linseed.

12-04-2018, 04:50 PM
The MSDS only purpose is to identify hazards for transportation and spill concerns. Workers in the transport and handling of products may come in contact with a myriad of possible hazardous materials and they need all hazards positively identified.

But if Art Spectrum fails to list the ingredients on the container, then shame on them because artists have every right to know exactly what the materials are that they are using in their paintings that they are responsible for the proper construction of, and for the possible future archival considerations.

12-06-2018, 01:21 AM
Well said Sidbledsoe!

12-06-2018, 01:23 PM
Sun bleached Linseed oil is just fine to compose many oil painting mediums. It is self-made, so you do not have MSDS horror to read when you go to bed. Before reading evil MSDS, go to pharmacy to buy antidepressant there! :wave:

12-06-2018, 02:41 PM
Art Spectrum is one of the first companies I can remember to have full pigment and ingredient information listed on tube labels. The owner/founder was also always very passionate about only using lightfast pigments. One of the first manufacturers I came across that had that as their stated goal (I met him first nearly 30 years ago). He was an artist first and a businessman second.
I really liked the guy. Endless energy and passion when it came to his products and always looking to make them better!
Just FYI!

12-06-2018, 03:00 PM
Can anyone confirm that all the ingredients are listed in the bottle?. I think we all have an idea of how awesome the company is, and how awesome their products are, or how passionate the owner is with his stuff.

12-06-2018, 03:10 PM
They're not. Just directions for use.