PDA

View Full Version : Meduim and COLOR


cobalt fingers
01-05-2002, 11:43 AM
The color that ends up on your finished painting is directly affected by how thick, thin, opaque or transparent the pigment is on the canvas. I find that oil painters using too much meduim is a very common way to get weak color. When you cannot get colors to look like you want sometimes you simply should put the medium up...and I mean put the lid on it and put it out of reach. Try that and see if your colors are not more like what you were after. Oil paintings should not look like watercolors.


Transparent thin passages next to really think opaque bright color make both appear nicer sometimes by the contrast.

cobalt fingers
01-05-2002, 11:49 AM
here's a piece that shows thick/thin and light /dark next to one another--this is only possible to get when NOT using too much meduim.

LarrySeiler
01-05-2002, 12:17 PM
I like your piece very much here, Tim.

Painting more and more alla prima these days, I use only enough medium to get the buttery consistency I want. I use Garrett's copal medium, and am quite happy with it.

However, as an art instructor I am aware of some history behind medium, and know that some masters were known for their extensive use of multiple layers of medium. One can hardly compare work to the the illusion of depth that Rembrandt achieved on his painting, "The Officer." You'd swear standing in front of that painting that you could penetrate your hand right into the piece and not hit surface. The darks are vacant and penetrating. The velvet is so rich and convincing.

Yet...smelling Rembrandt's work (that is, getting so close as to try and figure it out, which he detested people doing), you see many many layers of transparent glazes and application of medium with suspended pigment due to his dragging a clean dry brush against a near dry layer prior to another glaze. Some believe he had as many as 30 layers built up one upon another.

Some feel that pure medium was applied, and some paint painted wet into wet...then allowed to dry before more and more subsequent layers were applied.

The process is no doubt tedious, and takes months and months to accomplish. So, while I have absolutely no doubt what you're saying works for you...I wonder if your comment is accurate enough to apply across the board? Can you clarify at all, or elaborate further?

Larry

lori
01-05-2002, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by lseiler

So, while I have absolutely no doubt what you're saying works for you...I wonder if your comment is accurate enough to apply across the board? Can you clarify at all, or elaborate further?

Larry

i agree with larry. GLAZING is exactly what came to mind after reading your post. of course there are different ways to glaze, but mediums have their uses. and to discount them because you feel that don't they let the color sing, is to make me wonder if you know how to use mediums to their advantage.

i don't mean that offensively, but i do wonder. sure, there is nothing like pure paint, for color...but if you use mediums correctly you can actually enhance the depth of color...larry's rembrandt example is right here so i will use it...there are also many other good examples of this in painting throughout history.

cobalt fingers
01-05-2002, 03:01 PM
I stand by these words. I said it is a common problem. Problems are commom to beginnings and there are more beginners than Rembrants. Varnish over dry passage etc is really not my point. neither is glazing...I'm talking about people who use tons of mediem to stretch their paint and end up with watercolor looking oils. Rembrants work is very thick in places which means he used thick paint in these areas (over and over) w/o medium. Maybe he later glazed or varnished true.

lori
01-05-2002, 03:26 PM
tim...

i believe your original post is nebulous then. i mean, why are you posting all that other stuff with the painting?

the reason i ask is that you specifically have a point, and only one:

don't water down your paints with medium so that the pigment breaks...

(duh)

which you should of just said. its quick, its easy, its to the point.

all the other stuff you wrote is misleading.

by the way, not all the painters on this site are beginners and these posts aren't coming off as you probably mean them to. i have read numerous post by you that are uninvited advice that sound more like pedantical diatribes.

no offense, but you might want to get a feel for this site a little better before you go off on too many more of these tangents.

get to know us, talk WITH us, not at us...you might find a more receptive audience that way.

i invite you to discourse with the rest of us....:)

LarrySeiler
01-05-2002, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by cobalt fingers
I ...I'm talking about people who use tons of mediem to stretch their paint and end up with watercolor looking oils. Rembrants work is very thick in places which means he used thick paint in these areas (over and over) w/o medium. Maybe he later glazed or varnished true.

I don't know many artists myself that use medium for this purpose, that is, to stretch paint...but I would agree with you Tim, if that is what they are doing.

Rembrandt's work is thick. His method was to use buttery thick paint, but then when surfaces were just about dry, he'd drag a brush over the still tacky surface to pull up rough texture. Then he'd glaze a medium of color that would get caught up in the texture, as well as paint wet into wet medium. Not just a few layers then varnished, but many many layers.

Many artists here that are quite realistic in their approaches use a clear medium, and paint wet into wet. Their results are remarkable. Perhaps shortly a few of them will direct attention to some of their work if they should catch your thread here.

I should say that Rembrandt used mediums with his thick paint, as well as wax. It wasn't a "later" glaze or varnish, but as I said many layers of medium. So, I'll have to disagree with you here with exception of perhaps those you say use the stuff wrong.

That takes nothing away from your very fine exceptional work, Tim! You obviously handle your methods masterfully. Kudos...

Shirl, over in Animal forum, posted her first effort using medium to redo an Arabian horse she did. By her own admissions she is new at it...

She applied pure medium and painted paint into it wet into wet. She didn't do too bad for first efforts. -Larry

bruin70
01-07-2002, 12:42 AM
for the BEGINNER, there is a deeper issue about excessive medium than controlling color. it is controlling the flow of pigment onto the canvas.

no medium,,,,,and beginners have to plaster their paint with a trowel, and their brushes get bent out of shape. too much and the paint slides.

beginners make things hard on themselves....{M}

nam26b
01-10-2002, 04:49 AM
Come on guys, some of Tim's posts do seem to come form left field, with two-sentance pieces of obvious advice, but I really don't feel "diatribe" describes any of them.

Most of my messages don't come across completely as I mean them, either, and I really enjoy looking at Tim's paintings. I'm sure Tim's a smart guy and will figure things out, just ease up a little!


Nathan

belladonna
01-23-2002, 04:06 PM
I USUALLY use turps for the washes, and oil mediums and glaze mediums later on. However, you can glaze a painting with no medium at all if you use transparent paint. No problem. I am not saying that you should never use medium. I'm not saying that's what Rembrandt did or didn't do. What I am saying is that you don't have to use one if you don't want to. What hes got here is a different approach for a stunningly beautiful effect. Something to think about.
Originally posted by cobalt fingers

Oil paintings should not look like watercolors.

I have seen oils that look like watercolors and I don't like them much. (I'm not a watercolor fan.) However, I have seen watercolors that look like oils. She was using tube colors with no water, (medium), added. They were good. Really good. If I ever try watercolors I will try them this way. Her colors had full range. This really amazed me. Perhaps one day...

Michael2
01-23-2002, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by cobalt fingers
I find that oil painters using too much medium is a very common way to get weak color.

But I kind of like the way the paints look when you use a lot of medium and they have a sort of translucence about them. As much as I appreciate realism in paintings, we are still trying to clearly demonstrate that these are individually created paintings and not something mass produced. The translucent colors, as far as I know, cannot be duplicated using a printing process... it gives an oil painitng a unique look that says "this is a painting".

Also, I'm trying to justify my use of water miscible oils (Grumbacher Max) which just aren't as opaque as regular oils :)

(But when I talk about using a lot of medium, I mean with linseed oil or alkyd resin... mixing in a lot of turps doesn't get you that translucent glow, turps get you that weak watercolory look that most of us agree that we don't like.)

cobalt fingers
01-24-2002, 09:03 PM
I'm all for advanced, skilled, gifted, experienced and really anyone else using mediums...I only said it's a common problem when students (trying to stretch paint mostly for no reason other than perceived economy) that it is a prob...do as you wish.