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Jess
08-31-2001, 08:18 PM
I enjoy all these posts and paintings, although everyghing appears very dark on my old PC and monitor. Everyone seems to be so accomplished and experienced, so I'm a bit embarrassed to ask "duh-brain questions (I may be fouling up the message icons also.)

I only received one reply (which I appreciated) to a question I posted a week ago, so I'll ask again in case I can find a concensus.

What is the best method to paint mist or fog? As an illustration to help frame it visually: Assume I have some trees in the background I wish to appear shrounded in fog or morning mist. Would I paint them a very light color to begin with? Let them dry before attempting any kind of wash? How much of what colors would one mix?

2nd Q: What is the best method to make a background blended, from light to dark, or visa versa? Use very liquid paint? Thinned with what? Medium? Which is best suited? How runny should the paint be? Or should it be applied straight from mixed colors of varying degrees of lightening? I tried both. Only got a blotchy effect. Extremely difficult to have a line-less, smooth transition.

Any help would be tremendously appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Jess

Verdaccio
09-01-2001, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by Jess
I enjoy all these posts and paintings, although everyghing appears very dark on my old PC and monitor. Everyone seems to be so accomplished and experienced, so I'm a bit embarrassed to ask "duh-brain questions (I may be fouling up the message icons also.)

I only received one reply (which I appreciated) to a question I posted a week ago, so I'll ask again in case I can find a concensus.

What is the best method to paint mist or fog? As an illustration to help frame it visually: Assume I have some trees in the background I wish to appear shrounded in fog or morning mist. Would I paint them a very light color to begin with? Let them dry before attempting any kind of wash? How much of what colors would one mix?

2nd Q: What is the best method to make a background blended, from light to dark, or visa versa? Use very liquid paint? Thinned with what? Medium? Which is best suited? How runny should the paint be? Or should it be applied straight from mixed colors of varying degrees of lightening? I tried both. Only got a blotchy effect. Extremely difficult to have a line-less, smooth transition.

Any help would be tremendously appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Jess

Hello Jess,

I create fog or mist by using white and scumbling it in and then blending it out over the form. Works great - you can do it with almost any white, but Zinc White would probably be the most translucent white you could use. I would paint the form normally and let it dry pretty completely before applying the mist.

As for backgrounds, let's take a lesson from Bob Ross. If I am doing a painting with a large background - like a sky - that I want a smooth gradiation from, then I will lay that in first using a lot of paint and a 2" house painting brush. Paint blends better if you are painting wet into wet, so I spray or paint the area with some medium first.

Hope that helps! :)

sarkana
09-01-2001, 09:39 AM
i recently painted some swimming pools and used some of these techniques to tone down the reflections i had painted into the surface of the pools:

- i painted the reflections pretty dark but using a painting medium so it would dry completely overnight

- i scumbled over the dried reflections with a big dry brush filled with lead white tinted slightly blue. (lead white is semi transparent and great for this sort of thing. additionally, lead is a natural siccative, so mixing lead white into things makes them dry faster.)

- when that layer dried (overnight) i glazed over the whole pool with alternating blue and green tranparent glazes.

glazes are a little paint added to a lot of medium so the medium is tinted but still very transparent.

there are many hundreds of good recipes for painting mediums out there. the less oil a medium contains, the more likely it is to dry quickly. here is the recipe i am currently using (may change next month!):

+ 1 part venetian turpentine
+ 1 part walnut oil
+ 4 parts pure gum turps
+ splash of oil of spike lavender (for pleasant smell!)

another very common and totally useful recipe is:

+ 1 part stand oil
+ 1 part damar varnish
+ 3 parts pure gum turps

enjoy!

Jess
09-03-2001, 03:39 PM
Dear Sarkana,

Thanks so much for the reply. I have printed it
for future reference.

The more I read on these posts the more I realize
how very little I know. :-)

I have a tiny bit of some kind of medium I paid a
lady $5.00 for. I don't even know what it is. On
pg. 70 of Dick Blick's catalog, I see several different
types of mediums. It's all very confusing.

You must have a good reason for mixing your own
mediums. Yet you indicate you don't have "just one"
you use all the time.

The Winsor & Newton Painting Medium, says it dries to
a "flexible film with a minimal tendency to yellow."
It also says to thin with mineral spirits. How much
should medium be thinned for what, specific applications?

The Liquin says it is non-yellowing and speeds drying time.

The Win-Gel comes in a tube. Said to increase gloss. What
if you use it only in one section of a painting; will that part
appear to have a glossy finish while the rest does not? Said
to thin with "rectified turpentine" - whatever that is!

Posting these questions leads me to what, perhaps, I should
have asked in the beginning? What is the best book
recommended that "might" hold such practical - beginning -
questions with understandable answers?

Or is there another message board for such basic questions
so that I would not waste the time of the members of this
board who deal with more advanced subjects? I do apologize.

Jess, the earnest seeker. :c)

Verdaccio
09-03-2001, 06:06 PM
Jess,

I painted with just Liquin for several years. I know a very successful professional artist who still does. Mediums are fairly important to painting - if you use them for the right reasons. A medium can be used to improve flow, brushability, transparency/glazing, speed or slow drying time, add gloss or remove gloss, etc. I use Liquin for my underpaintings these days and two mixed mediums for my color and finish stages. At times I mix a drop of stand oil into my paint piles as well. Some people, however, paint with no medium at all and do it very well.

If I were to recommend a book, it would have to be Ralph Mayer's The Painter's Craft. Also, keep reading here as you will learn a lot. :)

sarkana
09-05-2001, 01:36 AM
i tend to use the venetian-turp-based medium most of the time, but i'm a slut when it comes to mediums--i'm always trying new things. your choice of medium depends very much on how you paint. win gel might totally rock your world if you are an impasto painter. i know people who can't paint without galkyd. i'm not so into either of those since i really don't like the "feel" (or the smell) of alkyd resin. but many other successful artists make great use of them.

i definitely second the recommendation of the mayer book in the past post, its excellent. his other book "the artists handbook" is like my bible (i keep it on the bedstand). i also recommend "formulas for painters" by robert massey which is like a cookbook for painting mediums. most of the stuff in the book is pretty labor intensive, but even if you don't want to fabricate your own mediums it will give you a sense of what various materials can do.

i'm pretty much a confirmed do-it-yourself-er but its surely not the best or only way. but with art materials, knowledge is power.

Raffaele
09-05-2001, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by sarkana

glazes are a little paint added to a lot of medium ...

Ouch!! Not from where I sit ... I would strongly advise not following this practice

paintfool
09-05-2001, 01:02 PM
Like Michael, i use liquin for my underpaintings and sometimes stand oil for my top layers. I use the liquin because it's just so easy to put a pile of it on the palette and dip the brush into it when you need it. The stand oil gives a nice buttery flow to the paint and is good if you do not want a heavy impasto effect. There are a lot of times when i do not use mediums. When doing a 'standard' landscape i do not find the need for it. For more precision work such as still lifes i want a more discernable edge and less texture. Those are my personal reasons but there are as many opinions and ways to use mediums as there are artists. You have come to the right place with your questions, as this forum is designed to be user friendly to everyone, from the beginner to the most accomplished artists. All questions are welcomed. There is so much to learn about oil painting and believe me, no matter how long you've been involved with oils there is always more! :) Happy painting and have fun.

waves
09-06-2001, 11:47 AM
Hi Jess and all!!! Jess, you have received some good advice so far, I would like to put my 2 cents in. Because of the confusion of what to use and how, I usually recommend the following.
There are countless ways to acheive many techniques. Different mediums, paints, supports,brushes or knives and methods. The question is not what is the best way.... but rather what is the best way for what YOU want to accomplish and what style of painting you do. I usually recommend that you find an artist that paints in the style or subject matter that interests you. Investigate what methods they use and start from there. This could save you a lot of frustration. For instance. If the style of painting you wish to accomplish involves layering or glazing then you may not want to use a medium used for wet on wet. Once you have a starting point you will start to discover what you want the paint to do. You can then manipulate your materials to suit your style of painting. For many this is an on going process that can last a life time. For me I have found materials that I pretty much stick with. My choices work well for my type of painting but would certainly frustrate the *&%$ out of artists that work in different techniques. Anyway there have been numerous threads dealing with these subjects and you might want to use the search function in this forum to gather some more info. There is even a few on the best art books that people recommend. Hit the search command and type in "mediums" or "books". Be prepared, you may be reading for weeks!.

Hope this helps................Bill