PDA

View Full Version : Using M. Graham walnut oil


Jake61314
01-30-2019, 02:30 PM
Hello,
I work in a number of mediums, but primarily with oil paints. I have a couple of question about M. Graham walnut oil:
(1) Does it need to be refrigerated?
(2) Can it be used for "oiling out?"
Thanks so much!

Delofasht
01-30-2019, 05:57 PM
No, it doesn't need to be refrigerated and yes it can be used for oiling out.

Now... you could refrigerate it if you wanted to, but it's not necessary as an oil painting medium (unless you also plan to use it to make a salad dressing as well).

JCannon
01-30-2019, 06:20 PM
Walnut oil is refrigerated to prevent it from going rancid. There's nothing wrong with painting with rancid oil. In fact, everyone does it.

My only problem with the M. Graham oil is the price. Spectrum Naturals -- which I've talked about too often in these pages -- makes a refined walnut oil intended for salads, but it also works very well as an oil for artists. You can get 16 ounces for $6.99 at Wegmans (a hifalutin' grocery store here on the east coast of the U.S.). M. Graham's walnut oil lists at $10.65 for four ounces.

Am I the only person who can't help thinking of the "walnut" episode of the Dick Van Dyke show...?

Seaside Artist
01-31-2019, 04:35 AM
I clean my brushes with the grocery store version...BUT M Graham walnut oil is an entirely superior walnut oil made of the very best walnuts grown. I had my reservation before buying it, but they were more than happy to give me information on the walnuts they use. Grocery stores version companies do not use the same quality. It is food grade, but not equal to this artist grade. I am still working with the 16oz bottle I purchased 2 years ago and it isn't rancid...I store it in the studio area.

Harold Roth
01-31-2019, 07:00 AM
I use walnut oil from various sources, but I don't store it in the fridge and it hasn't gone rancid. If you DO store it in the fridge, always let it come up to room temperature before you open it, because a cold container of metal or glass can get condensation on the inside from the warm air and that can make the oil go rancid.

I still haven't found a store here in the Providence area that has Spectrum walnut oil. So weird because I could get it easily when I lived in upstate NY. Instead I've gotten walnut oil from Kremer, which is pricey, and from Jedwards, which is way cheaper ($32.90/gallon) but the shipping can be steep. And then I have really spoiled myself by getting the water-washed walnut oil from Art Tree House, which is cheaper than the Graham oil.

Still, when I use up all my walnut oil, I am going to switch to poppy oil. I bought some from Kremer last year and made sun oil from it, and I've been experimenting with using it unrefined. It doesn't take much longer to dry than walnut, it's cheaper, and it's more slippery.

Raffless
01-31-2019, 09:53 AM
Walnut oil is refrigerated to prevent it from going rancid. There's nothing wrong with painting with rancid oil. In fact, everyone does it.



Its already rancid as soon as you take the lid off.:)

Dcam
01-31-2019, 10:29 AM
Here is a question hopefully in keeping with the Thread:
I have used walnut alkyd medium and quite liked it.

Harold or J: could you add say....a galkyd or liquin to that Spectrum oil and get the same quick dry effect?

contumacious
01-31-2019, 11:29 AM
Here is a question hopefully in keeping with the Thread:
I have used walnut alkyd medium and quite liked it.

Harold or J: could you add say....a galkyd or liquin to that Spectrum oil and get the same quick dry effect?

I have used the Spectrum straight and with some Galkyd added. It works like you would expect it to, faster drying with the addition of Galkyd, but a bit slower than Linseed with a similar amount of Galkyd mixed in. I bought a pint of Willamsburg Alkyd Resin to test with making fumed silica gel. It made the gel too self leveling. I am going to try it with walnut oil and will post a new thread when done. For those who are big time into walnut oil, you can get a gallon of cold pressed, refined for about $40. That translates to $5 a pint.

Dcam
01-31-2019, 12:37 PM
Thanks Contu.

JCannon
01-31-2019, 03:05 PM
This earlier Wetcanvas thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568058) explains why I've steered clear of M Graham walnut oil with alkyd. Also here (https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRV7rvQUYvm-OmzFkYi5DaxcIDVIKVyFCQBmTugaFdbvo9tAlf0).

Check out this image (http://www.realcolorwheel.com/oilyellow.htg/402x535oiltest.jpg), which comes from this page (http://www.realcolorwheel.com/oilyellow.htm). The sample labeled J is the M Graham Walnut Alkyd medium. Sample E is, I believe, Galkyd. Other tests of Galkyd are similarly impressive.

The only explanation I can come up with is that not all alkyds are created equal.

Personally, I'd feel safer combining Galkyd (often considered the best of its kind) and grocery store walnut oil. But your mileage may vary.

This is NOT meant to slight the M. Graham company, which makes superb paint. Perhaps we should classify it with the top-tier "snob paints" -- that is, Vasari, Blockx, Williamsburg and so forth.

Harold Roth
01-31-2019, 06:12 PM
I have used the walnut alkyd from Graham but I quit using it because it made my throat scratchy unless I put a fan blowing across the painting and it is stickier than just plain walnut oil. I hate any drag on my brush. The slower drying time of plain oil has not been a problem, because I always have a bunch of paintings going at the same time. Something is always dry enough to work on. Also, I was surprised, coming from acrylics, that the slow drying time of oils would for me turn out to be an advantage. It gives me time to pull away from the painting and work with others so that when I come back to a work, I have a better perspective on what to do next. I haven't used the walnut alkyd for several months now, and it feels fine not to. And that's why I will switch to poppy when I use up all the walnut oil. Also, I am a longtime gardener and have a special relationship with poppy, which is another reason why I will switch.

I should say that I deliberately use fast-drying pigments almost exclusively. This really helps when using slower oils.

I like Graham paints but I have found that for some reason their tubes and a couple Daniel Smith are the only ones I have that leak oil. None of the Williamsburg, Sennelier, or Blockx leak oil. I do not know why.

I asked Graham about the yellowing thing and they did not respond.

Richard P
01-31-2019, 06:15 PM
Harold: I'm interested to hear that poppy oil is more slippery than walnut oil. I thought of the semi-drying/drying oils walnut was the most slippery.

Delofasht
01-31-2019, 06:26 PM
I like Graham paints but I have found that for some reason their tubes and a couple Daniel Smith are the only ones I have that leak oil. None of the Williamsburg, Sennelier, or Blockx leak oil. I do not know why.

My bet is that of lower filler usage, or possibly that the walnut based oil paints could have taken even more pigment than what was put in the tube. Now keep in mind, the walnut based oil paints also have a higher pigment load already, so imagine the possibility that they could still have taken more... mind boggling. I have had separation of some pigments based on the pigment as well, in some old tubes of Grumbacher pretested, Rembrandt, and Winsor and Newton many years ago.

Harold Roth
02-01-2019, 07:21 AM
Harold: I'm interested to hear that poppy oil is more slippery than walnut oil. I thought of the semi-drying/drying oils walnut was the most slippery.
Have you tried poppy oil? It's like water compared to other oils. To me it is more slippery than walnut, even the sun oil I made from it.

Delo, I did not know that walnut oil holds more pigment than linseed. Does poppy oil?

Delofasht
02-01-2019, 10:28 AM
Delo, I did not know that walnut oil holds more pigment than linseed. Does poppy oil?

Yes Poppy oil does allow for higher pigment loading, this is in part why some brands use it for their light and white colors. They can load them up more and produce a brighter and more dense white or light color... that said, not every manufacturer who uses Poppy for their lights actually does load them to max. Underloaded paint tends to have more oil separating in my experience, I have especially noticed it on my hand ground extender when I used too little of the inert pigment.

Harold Roth
02-01-2019, 06:19 PM
That is good to know! I have been wanting to try making some of my own paints and will try it with poppy seed oil.

Gigalot
02-03-2019, 10:20 AM
That is good to know! I have been wanting to try making some of my own paints and will try it with poppy seed oil.
It might be better to try refined and sun bleached linseed oil for that! At least, such paint will dry.

Delofasht
02-03-2019, 10:43 AM
It might be better to try refined and sun bleached linseed oil for that! At least, such paint will dry.

Poppy oil dries, paints made with it dry, companies have paint lines using it for their light colors even. Now, how long it will take to dry is a different question entirely, as paints made with poppy, walnut, and safflower can take significantly longer than linseed oil to dry. This is actually a desirable property for many artists who may want to work wet into wet for extended periods of time.

AnnieA
02-03-2019, 11:11 AM
I often use M.Graham walnut oil, which I like very much because of the drying time. But I find M.Graham walnut alkyd medium to be problematic. It tends to dry way too fast for me (although I was near a heater + using Prussian blue at the time I noticed the problem, so that might have been part of it). But a more concerning problem is that it dries tacky and stays that way for too long. And, a small sample bottle of it that I had stored away in a drawer (for a very long time) was dark brown when I took it out. Perhaps it needs light to remain clear, but all that was enough to make me turn away from that particular product. Every other experience I've had with any M.Graham product has be very positive, but not with that alykd medium.

I also use Spectrum Walnut oil for cleaning, but I thought because of different refining methods it wasn't acceptable for painting with.

Delofasht
02-03-2019, 02:01 PM
I also use Spectrum Walnut oil for cleaning, but I thought because of different refining methods it wasn't acceptable for painting with.

From what I have found, their oils are just expeller pressed and run through a filter to remove any sediment that may remain from the pressing (unless they specify otherwise on the label, which they have on some oils). Having seen other walnut oils that have been expeller pressed by hand and similarly filtered, I believe that to be the case.

That said, I decided to check with the manufacturer directly regarding their production process methods. If they respond to my query, I will be sure to include any other details regarding processes here.

Harold Roth
02-03-2019, 02:35 PM
It might be better to try refined and sun bleached linseed oil for that! At least, such paint will dry.
I don't like the smell. And it ALWAYS smells rancid. I like the smell of walnut and poppy and the oils I have do not smell rancid. Plus they do dry.

Harold Roth
02-03-2019, 02:36 PM
Poppy oil dries, paints made with it dry, companies have paint lines using it for their light colors even. Now, how long it will take to dry is a different question entirely, as paints made with poppy, walnut, and safflower can take significantly longer than linseed oil to dry. This is actually a desirable property for many artists who may want to work wet into wet for extended periods of time.
And you can make it dry faster by using particular pigments, like cobalts, stuff with manganese, or earths. My paintings with walnut oil usually take 2-3 days to dry, unless I have used a lot of titanium. With poppy oil, a couple days more than that. I usually have anywhere from 3-7 paintings going at once, so it's not a problem for me.

Delofasht
02-11-2019, 03:27 PM
I also use Spectrum Walnut oil for cleaning, but I thought because of different refining methods it wasn't acceptable for painting with.

Follow up, here is their response to my query:

ďSpectrum's refined oils are expeller pressed oils from which gums, non-fatty materials, and pigments have been removed. ""Expeller pressed"" is the extraction of oils by mechanical means without the use of harsh chemicals such as hexane, leaving no chemical residues.ď

Nothing is added to the oil, just pressed and mechanically filtered. This is how the oil used for artists should be made, most refined artists oils are chemically refined and then they filter out the chemicals as well. Also, they need to heat refined artists oils for their initial pressing, again for bleaching, deodorizing, and then again for chemically refinement. I much prefer press, filter, and use.

Harold Roth
02-11-2019, 07:34 PM
This is really good to know about Spectrum.

Pinguino
02-11-2019, 08:22 PM
Just a reminder, for those who dropped in late...

Above, Spectrum Natural Walnut oil was discussed, in comparison to walnut oil specifically produced as an art medium. Although the quantity and kind of trace materials is likely different in those cases, nevertheless the underlying main ingredient, walnut oil, is the same.

But this is not the case for Spectrum Natural Safflower oil (or similar culinary brands), in comparison to artist-grade safflower oil. In this case, the underlying safflower oil has a very different composition, regardless of how it is processed. The culinary oil is high in Oleic Acid, an oil that just barely cures to a weak film in a very long time. Thus, the culinary oil is unsuited to artist use, except possibly for cleaning brushes at the end of a session, prior to final cleaning with soap and water, or for storing brushes immersed in oil.

Delofasht
02-11-2019, 10:49 PM
Thank you Pinguino for that clarification, you are most correct. My query was in regards to the processing methods and not the applications of their oils. In this case being that their Safflower Oil is of the high oleic variety, not one compatible for artists mediums or as a paint thinner (very good for cleaning brushes at the end of a session before washing with soap and water).

Even better than Safflower oil for cleaning brushes though is coconut oil, it is solid at room temperature, but liquid at body temperature. This means warm water or your body heat will cause it to liquify and allow it to be worked through the bristles by hand (even with gloves on). This can be followed up with soap and water or left alone after rinsing, the trace amounts in the brush will not affect a paint film in a more negative way than the oils left in a brush by soap because they are the same oil (bar soaps use coconut and palm oils, both dry at room temp and liquid at body temperature).

JCannon
02-12-2019, 11:32 AM
Thank you for that bit of research, Delo. I now feel justified in my recommendation of the Spectrum Natural oil.

Also, it's cheap. And I am cheap. As the bard said: "Thrift, Horatio, thrift."

You can refine the oil further, using the methods on Spurgeon's page. Might make it dry faster.

Delofasht
02-12-2019, 12:12 PM
In my experience, walnut oil from all sources can be refined to be faster drying by heating to just below the point of smoking (around 300ļF for walnut oil) for just one to two hours. Longer times at a lower temperature results in a faster drying oil that has more body than the hourly method. This latter method can be done in a crockpot at 230ļ for a couple days.

The oil heat bodied like this does darken slightly from the original color in the bottle, but doesn't darken any further when drying. It is always lighter than Linseed oil I have used, but there can be methods to bleach linseed oil (the dried films from which still yellow).

M Graham's walnut oil is good, and if anyone should ever feel uncomfortable about using a "food quality" walnut oil for painting then using the artist's quality branded oil is perfectly fine. Another excellent walnut oil is sold by ArtTreehouse, and it beautiful in color and handling, their water washed variety is more pale than their regular walnut oil and has a slightly more dense body. All walnut oils are extremely slick and slippery, heat bodied or water washed varieties are a little more viscous but still slippery.

Harold Roth
02-12-2019, 02:08 PM
Thank you for this info about heating it!

Delofasht
02-12-2019, 02:32 PM
Do a small sample of it before committing to a large size. It has a different feel and you will want to explore the different properties. I like it as a medium quite a bit, recently heated some myself, so I have been using it in a similar fashion to stand oil, but it is not quite as viscous.

Richard P
02-12-2019, 03:40 PM
All walnut oils are extremely slick and slippery, heat bodied or water washed varieties are a little more viscous but still slippery.

I've just bought some Poppy Oil to see how that compares to the Walnut Oil. Have you used them too?

Delofasht
02-12-2019, 04:10 PM
My experience is limited, I remember thinking Poppy oil seemed less viscous more like Safflower oil in feel on the brush. It is an extremely subtle difference though, so the value I was getting with Walnut oil made it the clear choice for me. I could not source Poppy oil in the volumes I am getting Walnut for a similar price.

JustAStudent
02-12-2019, 05:07 PM
Any history of using camellia oil? It gets gummy and tan almost exactly like the linseed oil Iíve found on the outside of leaky tubes.... so Iím curious how it compares.

Pinguino
02-12-2019, 05:26 PM
Forget Camellia oil. (1) Most available products have other ingredients, either for use on skin or as a lubricant. (2) Quick search reveals that indeed the oil can get gummy over a loooong period of time, but that's not what you need.

Delofasht
02-12-2019, 05:34 PM
Sorry to say Student, no known history to my knowledge, reason is that it doesnít seem to have enough of the other acids necessary to create a stable paint film.

Now Hemp oil on the other hand... it HAS been used and does dry to a stable paint film. Currently Linseed is still the cheapest and one of the more flexible paint films, which is why it is used instead. I like Walnut oil but I am not trying to make a profit off my mediums or paints that I make with it. Hemp oil might be nice to use though, the green color of it is completely fugitive, so the oil is good.

Harold Roth
02-12-2019, 05:58 PM
Do a small sample of it before committing to a large size. It has a different feel and you will want to explore the different properties. I like it as a medium quite a bit, recently heated some myself, so I have been using it in a similar fashion to stand oil, but it is not quite as viscous.
Actually, that sounds perfect to me, because stand oil made of linseed is way too thick for me. I have plenty of walnut oil and will try this.

Harold Roth
02-12-2019, 06:03 PM
If people are poking around for other drying oils to try, there is perilla oil. It dries faster and harder than linseed but yellows more. I bought some but never got around to trying it. The yellowing might not be an issue for some artists; there was a thread a bit ago about creating new "old" paintings by using a yellow varnish (and inducing cracks that were colored with raw umber). Perilla oil might work as a medium for a painting like that. It has to be the perilla oil made from untoasted seeds.

Richard P
02-12-2019, 06:23 PM
My experience is limited, I remember thinking Poppy oil seemed less viscous more like Safflower oil in feel on the brush. It is an extremely subtle difference though, so the value I was getting with Walnut oil made it the clear choice for me. I could not source Poppy oil in the volumes I am getting Walnut for a similar price.

Makes sense. Did you find Poppy oil was as slippery as Walnut oil? I will try it out myself in the next few days, but thought I'd see what you thought :)

Delofasht
02-12-2019, 10:04 PM
Makes sense. Did you find Poppy oil was as slippery as Walnut oil? I will try it out myself in the next few days, but thought I'd see what you thought :)

Pretty much, it feels like it slides off the bristles easier, but spreads no further or more slippery than walnut oil. So the same volume ends up spreading over the same area, with about the same amount of glide once applied. Mixed in with paint it tends to make the paint feel like it comes off the brush easier. This makes sense as Poppy Oil is less viscous, just slightly so, then walnut oil.

JustAStudent
02-13-2019, 12:38 AM
Forget Camellia oil. (1) Most available products have other ingredients, either for use on skin or as a lubricant. (2) Quick search reveals that indeed the oil can get gummy over a loooong period of time, but that's not what you need.


To be fair, pure camellia isn't hard to get (used as a food-grade substitute for mineral oil to prevent rust on high carbon knives), and the gumminess seems to only take a few weeks to me (every time I put knives in storage for any length of time with it on them, they come out with a real unpleasant gum residue... so much that I hate using the stuff any more except for knives that I use at LEAST once a week... I'd rather use mineral oil and clean it off before use.

That said, yeah I'm sure if it's not used, there's good reason for it; just was curious as it seems like it'd be a good safe option if it happened to be suitable. Maybe I'll try walnut oil on my knives and see if it prevents rust and cures in a more pleasant manner.

Richard P
02-13-2019, 05:35 AM
Pretty much, it feels like it slides off the bristles easier, but spreads no further or more slippery than walnut oil. So the same volume ends up spreading over the same area, with about the same amount of glide once applied. Mixed in with paint it tends to make the paint feel like it comes off the brush easier. This makes sense as Poppy Oil is less viscous, just slightly so, then walnut oil.

That's useful, thank you!

Delofasht
02-13-2019, 07:50 AM
That's useful, thank you!

An interesting thing I have noticed is that the source of the oil (manufacturer) can make a difference to the handling qualities of it. This is true in Walnut Oil as well, M Grahamís is slightly more viscous than Spectrum right out of the bottle; same for Water washed walnut oil by ArtTreehouse. Linseed oil has it the most noticeably, every brand I have tried has varied so much that it is basically impossible to really just say that linseed oil is always thick. Some ultra refined versions are pretty light in feel and color. It is all quite fascinating to me, subtle differences like these remind me of grading teas or being a food connoisseur. Fun stuff, not always very applicable to most uses, sometimes extremely useful in identifying a specific attribute for a specific purpose.

JustAStudent
02-13-2019, 11:20 AM
Is artist linseed boiled? I know that outdoorsmen and woodworkers use boiled linseed to protect tools. The more itís boiled the thicker it is and faster it seals the surface it was used on.

Delofasht
02-13-2019, 11:47 AM
Is artist linseed boiled? I know that outdoorsmen and woodworkers use boiled linseed to protect tools. The more itís boiled the thicker it is and faster it seals the surface it was used on.

No, artistís linseed oil is typically not boiled unless we are trying to make a medium out of it. That said, the processes by which oil is refined often includes several steps that heats the oil, it varies by manufacturer. So the idea is similar, linseed oil that has gone through more heatings tends to be thicker. Boiling for woodworking linseed oil is done on less refined linseed oil, so the color is darker out of the container and is more yellowing. Interestingly, this is an aspect that is desirable for making wood glow (and it really does). Most of the fire from linseed oil occur because of misuse of boiled linseed oil, it is fairly common of novice woodworkers to not follow proper shop safety protocols.

Walnut and tung oil are also used as wood finishes, and they are slower drying but with different looking finishes. I enjoy the look of oil finished wood quite a bit, each with their different look, so clearer oils can look quite nice. Too bad those finishes often have additives, because they are even less expensive than food grade versions of drying oils. Maybe I could locate a manufacturer that just presses it and bottles it, then just run it through a filter myself.

JCannon
02-13-2019, 12:25 PM
"Now Hemp oil on the other hand... it HAS been used and does dry to a stable paint film."

I wouldn't advise anyone to get into the paint-making business these days. Too much competition. But if you really, really wanted to step into that field, I would suggest a line of hemp-based oil paints.

Now THAT would stand out. Many college kids would buy those paints on principle, regardless of quality.

Of course, if the oil has a greenish tinge, you'd have to solve that issue.

Pinguino
02-13-2019, 01:51 PM
... I would suggest a line of hemp-based oil paints. Now THAT would stand out. Many college kids would buy those paints on principle, regardless of quality. Of course, if the oil has a greenish tinge, you'd have to solve that issue.
Seems that what you say would be true. I live in a university community where there are numerous hemp-based products (whether you like it or not). However, the university bookstore's small art section only stocks acrylics, apparently because that's all the non-major painting classes use. Of course, there is also a private (and very good) art supply store in town, but it wouldn't have room for another line of products.

I also note that many of the students have a greenish tinge. Not sure whether alcohol or drugs are involved.

Delofasht
02-13-2019, 03:55 PM
15 years ago someone asked the question about whether we artists would be interested in a line of hemp oil paints. They evidently could see the future of where we were headed with art supplies. I believe the response to the query was met with mixed responses of feigned or disinterest all together. At the time, the cost to value analysis proved it not a worthwhile venture. Now that the regulations have shifted though, things may have changed to where there is a profitable market.

Pinguino
02-13-2019, 08:32 PM
15 years ago someone asked the question about whether we artists would be interested in a line of hemp oil paints. They evidently could see the future of where we were headed with art supplies. I believe the response to the query was met with mixed responses of feigned or disinterest all together. At the time, the cost to value analysis proved it not a worthwhile venture. Now that the regulations have shifted though, things may have changed to where there is a profitable market.
Does hemp dry at a suitable rate? Does it yellow? Does it interact with pigments? Is the cured film durable? Is it cost-effective? How about hemp alkyd? Etc., etc.

Ah, but when dealing with certain things, questions like that may go to the back burner [pun intended]. :rolleyes: