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Irishman
04-07-2019, 06:52 AM
Does anyone on the forum, using ‘traditional oils’ paint solvent free? I know there is the ‘ loads of things are solvents’ argument but I’m talking of solvents as they are generally thought of. I’m not too concerned about the cleaning but the thinning. Thank you.

DMSS
04-07-2019, 08:51 AM
I have experimented just a little bit with oils, and I also wish to paint solvent-free. So far, the most satisfactory experience I have had is to paint the first, very lean layer with water mixable oils using water as a thinner, and then regular oils with no medium (just some added walnut oil if needed) for subsequent layers. But, please take this with a grain of salt because I am no expert -- I did one painting this way.

Irishman
04-07-2019, 09:02 AM
I have experimented just a little bit with oils, and I also wish to paint solvent-free. So far, the most satisfactory experience I have had is to paint the first, very lean layer with water mixable oils using water as a thinner, and then regular oils with no medium (just some added walnut oil if needed) for subsequent layers. But, please take this with a grain of salt because I am no expert -- I did one painting this way.
Thanks DMSS. That seems to be the way to go alright. Could I ask what colours you might have used in the WMOs in that instance?

DMSS
04-07-2019, 09:04 AM
Burnt Umber and Titanium White.

Irishman
04-07-2019, 09:24 AM
Burnt Umber and Titanium White.
Thank you David.

Red 9
04-07-2019, 07:56 PM
Shouldn't be too difficult. You could use walnut oil throughout the whole painting, which is a nice slippery oil. A couple of brands like Blue Ridge and M. Graham use walnut oil in their paint and it definitely makes the paint easier to move around. Gamblin and Rublev also make solvent free gels if you need to add more body to your paint. Have fun!

Seaside Artist
04-08-2019, 01:19 AM
Gamblin SF gel is excellent. It takes very little, a large tube last a long time. The liquid is also great. I use walnut oil to clean my brushes and then wash with dish soap and water. I have zero odors from my painting.

AnnieA
04-08-2019, 02:50 AM
Gamblin SF gel is terrific, but be aware that it's a fat medium and so fat-over-lean needs to be considered. I'm searching for the holy grail myself: a solvent replacement for the first loose pass with thinned paint on an alla prima painting. I've recently gotten some Sennelier Green For Oil Thinner, which so far seems to work just the way I'd hoped. But nobody is really sure what it's made of and Sennelier isn't saying, so until someone figures it out, it's a use-at-your-own-risk material.

graz
04-08-2019, 09:35 AM
I've tried many options for going solvent free and the technique that falls short every time, with all of these products, is the thinned underpainting.
There is nothing that gives the same feeling as a solvent when scrubbing in a thinned wash. Walnut oil and gel have too much of a "slippery" or "greasy" texture unlike the lean, almost "dry" feeling of turpentine.
I've settled on Oil of Spike as it behaves very much like turps (very strong cutting power and no oily feeling (despite the name). The scent is pleasant as well. There are debates about its' safety but it seems like the best choice for now.

Delofasht
04-08-2019, 12:17 PM
There is nothing that gives the same feeling as a solvent when scrubbing in a thinned wash. Walnut oil and gel have too much of a "slippery" or "greasy" texture unlike the lean, almost "dry" feeling of turpentine.

Ah! This is the definition of the feeling that is different, the thing people are looking for. The optical effect is easy enough to achieve by painting into a couch of oil, but it does feel different under the brush.

In regards to common fat over lean concerns, a couch of oil is a very tiny amount of oil, and in many respects is performing the same function as a layer of paint over the priming to adjust the absorbency. Think about it, if one is painting on an oil primed surface, using solvent, they are probably already painting lean over fat (since there is oil in the priming at that oil). If they are painting on a gesso primed surface then the surface absorbency is going to risk sucking all the oil out of that first paint layer, leaving it underbound.

Fat over lean really should be more about flexible over inflexible, and thick over thin.

Last comment regarding this is that I paint into a couch of oil as my first layer in a very loose manner, on a surface that is a bit absorbent (my preference). The oil couch keeps the surface from absorbing too much of the oil in my paint, allowing the paint to slide easily for some time before beginning to settle. It is a wet, slippery feel, not like the dry turpentine wash of oil painting practice in my childhood (a number of decades ago).

Richard P
04-08-2019, 04:07 PM
I like the slippery nature, so just add walnut oil to tubed oil paints.

You have to try different things and see what you prefer. Everyone has different preferences and ideas in art.. :)