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View Full Version : Alkyds revisited


rebob
11-02-2001, 01:11 AM
Recently there was a thread re: alkyd oils. At that time I had no experience with them and had sent off for a sample that W&N was offering.

Well, I got them and decided to do a little experimenting to see how they handled. I usually use a colored ground, so I made up a thin wash of yellow (thinned with turps), painted it on a new canvas and left. A couple of hours later I checked on the dryness of the wash, and it was dry to the touch. Now here is where this got interesting, to me.

I painted on some designs (grafitti, really) with regular W&N and other standard oils, unthinned, right out of the tube. I was surprised that they were all dry to the touch the next AM. So I added more of the same in different colors over the original designs and they too were dry to the touch the morning after that!

Conclusion: paint on a base coat of alkyds and they assist in the drying of anything painted on top.

Any comments?

Bob

paintfool
11-02-2001, 04:39 AM
I've made the same observation Bob! Although i attributed it to the fact that i've been using alkyds for some underpainting of portraiture and went thin on the mid tones and upper layers anyway. Now i'm going to play a bit to see if it is the method i'm using or infact the alkyds aiding in drying time. I can't really make any sense out of it but who am i to argue with your experiments? I'll report back in a day or so. Do you like the way that the alkyds handle? It took me a little getting used to because i tend to like to spend many long hours at a time at the easel and they get a bit sticky after an hour or so but i am getting the hang of them and found many benefits to using then for underpainting. One of course is that you can start to work your mid tones without the worry of verdaccio colors interfering (making mud) and it's easier for me to make corrections in tonal value at an earlier stage. Fun stuff all in all. I've even 'heat set' a bit with a blow dryer. (studio staple for me anyway).
Cheryl

Titanium
11-02-2001, 06:24 AM
PaintFool , ReBob ,

it's just the cobalt drier in the Alkyds.

Alkyd resin can handle a bit more drier
than normal oil paint [ don't what that
does to longevity , because this use of
the drier comes from commercial paint
technology ].

The film is only surface dry , it will still
take 6 months for the binder to "cure".

The drier in the Alkyd will also affect an
oil coat laid thinly over it.

For effective results , try the Rubens'
technique [ or the supposed Rubens'
technique ].
Titanium

sarkana
11-02-2001, 10:27 AM
does painting over a dry layer (alkyd or oil) cause adhesion problems? have you noticed this at all paintfool?

i usually lightly sand any old paintings i am going to paint over for this reason. but i have not used alkyds.

paintfool
11-02-2001, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by sarkana
does painting over a dry layer (alkyd or oil) cause adhesion problems? have you noticed this at all paintfool?
I honestly haven't had any problem so far with adhesion. It almost has a slightly grainy feel when dry. Seems to retain a bit of tooth. Titanium, yeah even though WN claims that you can varnish after two weeks i would still be leary of that.
Cheryl

shawn gibson
11-02-2001, 12:58 PM
Lead is good for this too:) As are earths in general and esp. manganese (umber). This is one practical advantage to doing an underpainting in lead carbonate and earth.

A good example is Rose Madder. It takes around 9 days unmodified when I put it directly on an unpainted surface, and only 3-4 days when over lead.

Wow that almost sounded like I have some experience. Woo hoo. Maybe taking notes is a good thing:)

My own very humble and non-scientific view is: alkyd reportedly is based on cheaper oils, is less than a century old (questionably archival), and seems to make use of a lot of driers (as Titanium notes). None of these is necessary in a world of traditional oils, at least for someone like me who feels 'larger than life' by paying homage to History (not with my head in the ground I hope, cuz that just leaves a bullseye on your you-know-what:))

But maybe I'm just a little too influenced by Words:)

--Though in the beginning was the Word, yet then came man to make the word his own:)

shawn:)

rebob
11-02-2001, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by paintfool
Do you like the way that the alkyds handle? It took me a little getting used to because i tend to like to spend many long hours at a time at the easel and they get a bit sticky after an hour or so but i am getting the hang of them and found many benefits to using then for underpainting. Cheryl [/B]

I noticed that they really give good coverage when thinned with a little turps, perhaps a little too much for some folks taste....kinda like painting a wall with latex if you know what I mean ("One coat covers all")..

I seriously doubt if I would use them on a regular basis, other that perhaps as an undercoat.

Titanium - good comment re the cobalt dryer in alkyds. Can't find anywhere that they contain it. Good information!!

Bob