View Full Version : Lean Color?

12-19-2001, 08:59 PM
I was reading.... "Lean colors or lean mixtures, shoud only be used in the initial stages of a paintng." What do they mean, LEAN?

12-20-2001, 06:58 PM
They mean the colors used should be of low oil content, and you should not add any oil or medium while painting in the first layers. Each pigment has an optimum oil content for its usability, some require more oil than others. The traditional layered approach calls for painting fat (more oil) over lean (less oil). Meaning succeeding layers should contain more and more oil. This assures that later layers will not dry more rapidly than early ones; if they do then cracking will result. A situation to be avoided.

12-20-2001, 08:35 PM
I've heard that term many times ... "fat over lean" and I thought I understood, but maybe not.

I think I was thinking that lean was talking about more turp... but then again I guess it might be almost the same thing because the more turp, the less oil.

David? How does one use less oil with the beginning layers? Is it by using turp? It would seem to me that if you used lots of turp with any color, that color would dry really fast and you don't want that? Right?

I'm I still confused.

12-21-2001, 04:35 AM
You are right illis.
The color out of the tube has a certain amount of oil; some have more than others. You make the color leaner by adding turp; you make it fatter by adding oil.

12-21-2001, 05:21 PM
Henrik is correct. However, using lots of turps for thinning should only be done in the first wash-in layer. As you progress, turps should be replaced by painting medium for thinning the paint. Turps will not only make the paint more lean, but also destroy the paints adhesion, binding and working qualities. Some folks who mix their own painting media, will make several versions with more or less turps. Then will switch to each succeedingly more oily one as they progress with the paint layers. If you do alot of painting this could save you time and the annoyance of having to remember this important factor. However, once you get in the habit of following this rule, it becomes second nature. If you are painting alla prima, then it is a fairly moot point.

01-03-2002, 07:30 AM
my experience is "stay away from thinners" anywhere in the painting process....beginning included...they can lead to lots of problems with getting the paint to adhere to the support.:cool: