View Full Version : Which black dries fastest?

04-13-2019, 07:41 PM
I need to paint the sides of some canvases black for an upcoming show. I want the paint to dry as fast as possible because I still need to varnish and frame the canvases. Which of these blacks that I have on hand would dry quickest?

- Mars Black, Grumbacher, linseed oil base.
- Ivory Black, M. Graham, walnut oil base.
- Chromatic black mixed myself from burnt umber and ultramarine blue, linseed oil base.

The last time I painted the sides of a canvas black, it took a long time to dry, but I canít remember which color I used. I suspect it was the Graham Ivory Black because walnut oil dries slower than linseed, right?

04-13-2019, 11:03 PM
Do you have some Prussian Blue? My tube of Gamblin Prussian Blue dries a lot faster than the same brand of Ultramarine Blue. My guess is the Burnt Umber mixed with the Prussian Blue would give a faster drying "black" than the Mars. The Ivory black would be the slowest of any of them.

You could also mix in some alkyd medium to speed things up even more.

04-14-2019, 12:15 AM
Mars Black.

Richard P
04-14-2019, 03:44 AM
Mars Black

Or, acrylic black..

04-14-2019, 06:45 AM
Ivory is slow drying especially in walnut, unless the maker has added a bunch of driers, Mars and Umber mixes are faster drying.
Between the Mars and the Umber mix, you must test your paints because
different brands can dry at very different rates, for the same color.
They could be similar or different, but it is a very simple and easy thing to test out.
Some ultramarines will dry much faster than others in particular, I have tested many drying rates for the same color/pigment, but in different brands, and can tell you that they are all over the map, I think mainly due to formulation differences, driers, etc.

04-14-2019, 07:39 AM
If its just the sides why dont you just buy a tube of Alkyd Black?

04-14-2019, 08:14 AM
Another vote for Prussian Blue mixed with whatever is the darkest umber in your collection. Both are fast-drying colors. You may want to toss in an alkyd medium or some genuine copal, if you happen to have some around. Perhaps some cobalt siccative. No need to worry about yellowing: It's black.

04-14-2019, 08:31 AM
Great! Thanks for the suggestions. I have Mars black as well as Prussian blue and burnt umber and alkyd mediums.

04-14-2019, 09:18 AM
Black acrylic would not hurt.....and super fast. You can also get black gesso by Golden.

04-14-2019, 09:55 AM
Use acrylic black for that.

04-14-2019, 02:05 PM
Black acrylic would not hurt.....and super fast. You can also get black gesso by Golden.

I initially was going to suggest acrylics, but figured the sides would be splattered with oil paint.....If not, then the acrylic paint would certainly dry the quickest!

04-14-2019, 02:42 PM
In this case, I would rather stick to oils because Iíve painted around the edges in spots. I use acrylics to tone my canvases, but am under the impression that you shouldnít paint acrylics on top of oils. Besides, I already have the oil colors that I need but donít have any black acrylics. Finally, I donít want to mess up a good brush painting black acrylics with it

04-16-2019, 04:00 PM
FYI, I tried the Prussian blue - burnt umber mix and it dried overnight!