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nam26b
01-10-2002, 09:03 AM
Hello all,

I was at the store buying some stuff tonight and I saw 100% pure boiled linseed oil being sold as a furniture finish for $3.00 a quart. I'm wondering if there's some kind of quality difference between it and the artist's stuff I normally buy that couldn't be taken care of by 'washing' the oil. If not, it seems like a pretty good deal. I opened it and took a look, and it had a slightly yellow color (a little lighter than stand oil) and wasn't quite as thick as stand oil.

Let me know what you think,


Nathan

Leopoldo1
01-10-2002, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by nam26b
Let me know what you think,


Nathan

Nathan, boiled linseed oil is boiled linseed oil, bottom line. cold pressed or boiled linseed is always thinner than stand oil. :oL

Michael2
01-10-2002, 11:10 AM
Yes, it seems as once something inexpensive finds its way into an art supply store, the price gets mysteriously jacked up.

I've compared cheap "odorless" mineral spirits sold at the hardware store to the more expensive Turpenoid brand sold at art supply stores. I assure you that the expensive stuff is of higher purity. Turpenoid truly is odorless, unlike the hardware store stuff.

So I assume that the same thing applies to linseed oil.

If you really use a lot of linseed oil in your paintings, and you are really short of money, then I'm sure the hardware store linseed oil will work. But without further research, I would assume that the expensive linseed oil is purer and is better ph balanced, and thus will create a stronger paint film, less likely to yellow, and more archival.

(Maybe someone who knows more will say I am wrong and there is zero difference.)

Of course we are talking about refined linseed oil here. At the art supply stores you can also find cold pressed linseed oil, which is more expensive to manufacture. Whether or not it's "better" is a subject that has been much debated.

snakum
01-10-2002, 12:45 PM
For more years than I care to admit I worked in various manufacturing industries in Management and Engineering, working in electronics, plastics, metals, just about everything. I was often surprised to see 'name-brand' products being set up and run on the same machinery, using the same processes, with the same materials (or only slightly different formulas) as the 'cheap/house' brand of products. The funniest thing I learned is that the two brands of Sears hand tools - in which the Craftsman brand is way more expensive - are the same tool, only the cheaper one is chrome plated because market research shows that chrome tools are perceived as cheaper. The cheap wrench actually costs more to produce than the expensive one.

While I never worked in solvents, I'd be willing to bet the same thing happens there to an extent, as well. Outside of the big companies with there own oil processing labs, I'd be willing to bet there are only so many turps/oil/medium manufacturers in the US or EU and many of the materials we buy roll out of the same back door. Of course, the quality of the raw materials may vary and I couldn't say by how much. But if the cheap linseed oil is 'washed' with the freezing method I read about I'd say it's probably as good as anything else.

To be honest, all this talk about a painting yellowing or cracking in 500 years is kinda funny. I've seen alot of talent on this forum (and everyone's been unbelievably helpful) but outside of a few pros ... do we really think that's an issue? Isn't a bit of overkill for most of us to worry about where our paintings will be in 500 years? ALL mine have wound up in the trash so far :D

Respectfully,

Rev. Minh Thong

vallarta
01-10-2002, 03:55 PM
Talking about archiveness is silly since so much of the stuff shown here should not survive 500 hrs let alone 500 years. (Including mine)!

vallarta

Leopoldo1
01-10-2002, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by vallarta
Talking about archiveness is silly since so much of the stuff shown here should not survive 500 hrs let alone 500 years. (Including mine)!

vallarta

I dont' know about that and maybe you should speak soley instead of lumping yourself with others. I think most of us, including yourself venture creatively by devotion, disclipline, learning and exploring more from one's medium so we can create good art! Isn't that what it is all about? Archiveness is a area of pride with artists and should be included in ones endeavors. :oL

nam26b
01-10-2002, 07:03 PM
I suppose you're right, I am on my third painting right now (if you don't cound a couple of E.T. paintings--early throwaways), and most everything I have done so far has been on drawing paper because I din't wnt to wasate canvas! A lot of it has also been god-awful.

Until I finish with my "practical" degree and can get into an art school, I'll just kep trying to learn as much as possible, and I suppose I can do that just as well with the cheap oil.

Thanks for your comments all.


Nathan

Bendaini
01-11-2002, 06:50 AM
want the cheepest you can find? go to walmart, to the wall paint section, and you will find those tins with linseed oil and terpentine.. i got mine for 2 bucks a can and they are HUGE... i use a lot of oil, specialy if i want a glossy coat on something.... it still would have lasted a long time...

And i have used both the art stuff from the art section and the cheep stuff from the harware section, they end up the same. one might be just slightly yellower then the other, but does that really matter?

snakum
01-11-2002, 08:34 AM
... if Walmart sold Stand Oil and Damar Varnish in those $2.00 buckets I'd really be in business. That's where my initial paint set and all my brushes came from.

You've heard of El Greco? Well ... I'm El Cheapo! :D

Monk Minh Thong

nam26b
01-11-2002, 11:48 AM
Wal-mart is where I found the linseed oil for $3 per quart. I'll buy some when I run out of the windsor-newton stuff for which I paid $7.00 for a couple of ounces.


If wal-mart sold damar and stand oil for $3 a quart, I'd try to get some kind of resale contract. "Artists" like me wouldn't know the difference, and you could make about a 500% mark-up.

Nathan

nam26b
01-11-2002, 11:58 AM
. one might be just slightly yellower then the other, but does that really matter?



Not really, although oil does give off heat when drying. So, I guess for most of my paintings, the only real difference would be if one gives off a lot more heat than the others. I'd hate to ignite whatever landfill they end up in just because I didn't want to shell out a few extra bucks!


Nathan

snakum
01-11-2002, 01:20 PM
"I'd hate to ignite whatever landfill they end up in just because I didn't want to shell out a few extra bucks! "

ROFLMAO! :D

The (Bad) Monk

Einion
01-11-2002, 06:30 PM
I hate to point out the obvious but boiled linseed oil is boiled linseed oil, cold-pressed alkali-processed linseed oil is about as different as it's possible to get and have the same starting point! Think of it as the difference between peanut butter and the original peanuts...

Snakum although you're very right in respect to some aspects of the materials we use - pigments being probably the best example as we are at the mercy of large-scale industrial users for what's available, plain and simple - linseed oil production is carried out in different ways and on different scales for artists' materials and other uses, kinda like the difference between extra-virgin olive oil and the normal stuff.

Einion

lori
01-11-2002, 06:53 PM
the difference in grades of linseed oil rely on the processing of the flax seeds and "other" (weed) seeds. depending on quality, good quality linseed oil has more of a pure content of the flax seed. poor quality linseed oil has other seeds added...something similiar to food "additives" which will change the color slightly causing a "yellower" grade. given that the quanitites of the "other" seeds can't be too high to be LINSEED OIL, i would just assume that the quality that you can get for 3 bucks would work. do those other seeds matter? if you're a purest, sure.

i would also assume that this is also a hot pressed seed, which means that at the end of the process they use solvents to extract what is left. therefore the grade of oil is lower.

the best is cold pressed pure flax seed oil. if you can find that for 3 bucks...GREAT!

so for your 3 bucks you probably got a mixture of flax and weed seeds that was heat extracted. does it matter, probably not for mediums, however, i wouldn't use this to make your own paints.

IMHO.

nam26b
01-11-2002, 08:55 PM
Lori:

I didn't actually buy the cheap stuff, but might when I run out of what I already have.

Realistically, though, I have now tried only 4 paintings, and the results have been pretty bad, so if there's weed seed oil in the mi, I don't think it's going to hurt anything. I posted my latest masterwork (stil unfinished) for reference.


The original drawing, and then the painting (the part I have mostly finished) are below.

nam26b
01-11-2002, 08:56 PM
And the resulting painting:

snakum
01-12-2002, 11:51 AM
You call this a bad painting? You haven't seen my glazed monstrosities. Your 'bad paintings' look better than my best efforts (see below).

Every time I look long and hard at the results of days and nights of my most determined effort ... I have this image running through my head of the scene in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' where Matthew Broderick is horribly honking away at a clarinet and suddenly stops, looks at the camera and says "... never had a lesson ...". :D


Minh Thong
(The upside-down Zen Monk ... who never had a lesson.)

nam26b
01-12-2002, 01:08 PM
That's not any worse than mine, just has different problems.

Your folds would look more real if the raised parts weren't all one color and tone. I bet if you look closer at the raised parts of the cloth you'd notice some highlights and/or shadowed areas.
Also, if you're not happy with some of the shapes, for instance, the shape of the pear, you could do a preparatory drawing where all of the shapes are correct(sometimes takes a while, but is worth it), then transfer it to the canvas.

Do that, and you'd be better off than my painting, which lacks any background or cast shadow, not to mention having an ugly yellow blob making an unexplained appearance on the left side of the painting.


At any rate, you'll be taking lessons soon enough, and after a semester of hardcore practice, you should be much better off.

Good luck, and buy the cheap tubs of weed-seed oil!

Nathan

Bendaini
01-12-2002, 06:01 PM
zen monk... i agree with nam. You only need to add some highlights to the cloth and it will look a lot better.

As for you nam... that yellow in the background is a problom... easily fixed though. Oils are very forgiving. All you need is a line for the table its sitting on, i would even go so far as to suggest some interesting wall treatment... a paper, or curtains to make it more interesting. The white background makes the vase stand out... but too much.

Both of you are talented and i wouldnt be so hard on yourselves... practice and attention to detail are all you need :)

crissy

vallarta
01-16-2002, 04:12 PM
I use boiled lindseed oil from the hardware store....$2.75 per pint....and use it to both oil out and as a glazing medium. It seems to work the best.... and IT DRYS OVERNIGHT.

vallarta

Einion
01-17-2002, 07:06 PM
Hope ya like yellow Vallarta.

Einion

nam26b
01-18-2002, 02:27 AM
Einion,

Wouldn't "washing" the oil reduce or eliminate the yellowing? I'm thinking of trying it.


Nathan

amanda
01-18-2002, 05:29 AM
I'm not that with it when it comes to the technical side of things here - what does it mean to 'wash' the oil and how is the process done???? I've also wondered about cheap linseed oil from hardware stores and I think I will give it a go after reading this forum through.

Einion
01-19-2002, 06:55 AM
Nathan, you can't stop linseed from yellowing, just slow it. Washing boiled linseed oil? The action of the metal dryers may have changed it enough that this isn't possible or worthwhile, I don't know, sorry.

The main problems with boiled linseed oil, especially bulk stuff that you might find in a hardware store is you just don't know what is in it. The oil is obviously going to be cheap in the first place, then they add what may be dangerously high levels of metal dryers (which are a major source of ageing problems in oil painting apparently). So basically this stuff is highly likely to yellow badly and quickly (poor oil) and to crack (too much dryer).

Einion

flo70
01-19-2002, 11:27 PM
For Those who want to know

You wash linseed oil by putting your oil in a clear bottle or jar with a lid add water half and half with the oil a little salt ( to speed the cleaning method ) Then shake it up, let it stand for about 3 hour
to over night then you will see three layers ( the top layer is oil, the middle layer is mucilage, the bootom layer is water, shake the mixture twice a day for seven days. To separate out the oil pour the mixture into a pan , let the fluids settle into three layers and then freeze the contents of the pan. Once the water Freezes, the mucilage freezes with it and the oil can be poured off. repeat these steps until the oil is clear. Do not pour the Mucilage in your sink or tolet it will clog you pipes that only Roto roter can fix pour it in a old can and put it in the trash. you can find a lot of other really good things to help your painting in ( HOW TO PAINT LIKE THE OLD MASTERS BY JOSEPH SHEPPARD).
Betty
:)

Scott Methvin
01-20-2002, 12:07 AM
I started washing linseed oil after reading the Sheppard book. I don't really think he did much of it himself, though.

If you put a lot of salt in water...it won't freeze. Leave the salt out of it. Use warm water and keep the whole process warm. Do put marbles in to help it mix better. It takes longer than he says, but is worth the effort. It's ready to freeze when the oil is clear.

You can ONLY WASH raw cold pressed linseed oil. The cheap boiled junk in the hardware store is for carpentry, not artwork-don't use it. Same for the crappy turpentine.

Buy from Kremer, it's the best value for the buck. (or Sinopia, their distributor)

Here's an old page a friend made up from my notes and photos. I have made a few changes to the process, but this will get you started. (Don Jusko has lots of other interesting stuff to read, as well. :D )

http://www.mauigateway.com/~donjusko/washlinseed.htm

Leopoldo1
01-20-2002, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by Scott Methvin
I started washing linseed oil after reading the Sheppard book. I don't really think he did much of it himself, though.

Hola, Senior Mesa. I have always respected your work and certainly your direction toward longevity with your knowledge toward the intrique tools for a oil painter, like your process of washing linseed oil. Archival direction can never do you wrong providing you have a footprint that can be left! I always go back to one of my favorite artist, Sargent who used linseed oil only as his medium and regardless of his secrets of past artists, his brush strokes are always breathtaking. If his paint strokes crack occasionly, he still leaves his viewers at pause, looking at his work over and over again throughout the museums of the world. More time should spent in developing one's signature. :oL

Scott Methvin
01-20-2002, 01:14 AM
Hi Leo,

Thanks for the nice words.

I think linseed oil IS the magic in oil painting. It's importance is paramount, in my opinion. Sure, you can make art with lots of different kinds of oils, but linseed is the king.

It is really an interesting substance. Made from pressing the seeds of the same flax plant that we use to make fine linen canvas. That plant should be on someone's logo.

I know everyone is sick of hearing about old master stuff, but they were very smart guys. The smartest ones were those that built paintings that are still holding together for us to see.

Linseed oil can be processed in many ways. You can heat it in a variety of processes (Stand oil, for ex.) You can "blow" air into it. (Blown oil) Process it with different chemicals (Refined oil) You can change the chemical structure (water soluble) and you can mix it with cork and heat press it into linoleum. The Germans like to eat it on their potatoes.

There is hot pressed oil and cold pressed oil. Cold pressed is without steam and does not change the natural properties that we like about linseed oil. The hot press is for getting every last drop out of the mash. More suitable for making linoleum.

Good oil paint is made with raw, cold pressed linseed oil. Flaxseed oil is just linseed that hasn't turned rancid. Unless you're eating it, it doesn't matter.

Linseed oil isn't so very easy to wash clear with water. The reason is that it has some kind of built in time clock for when it will let go of it's "footes" or mucalage. There is no rhyme or reason to this phenomenon. I have seen it drop at different times of the year. You never really know where the oil you have came from or when it was pressed. A real conundrum. Once it drops, then it will get very clear soon after.

I found at least 25 old references to processing linseed oil with water. They have been playing with this idea for over 500 years, and for a good reason.

Yellowing in linseed oil has been a problem from day one. Usually, good exposure to indirect sunlight will keep the yellow away. Washing vastly improves the yellow factor. Sun bleaching the oil is only a temporary solution and wil not last. I have tested actual washed samples in light tight cigar boxes for 8 months and saw no change. That's why I believe in the washing process. It's just plain, clean linseed oil, with no additives or changes to it's chemical structure. And almost water clear, too. Paints great and dries very well. Also perfect for making paint.

I do use a little canada balsam with the oil in my paintings but that helps with adheision to dried layers. It also gives it a little punch in the depth dept.

Linseed oil. Yes, I am a big fan. (And lead too!)

Einion
01-20-2002, 02:44 PM
Originally posted by Scott Methvin
I have tested actual washed samples in light tight cigar boxes for 8 months and saw no change.
Ah, that's good to know. It's always good to have quantitative comparisons to go on and this is obviously a great deal superior to unwashed linseed, thanks.

BTW out of curiosity, have you found the proportion of muscilage to be any indication of the quality of the original oil, i.e. less in good oil, more in cheaper oil or whatever?

Einion

Scott Methvin
01-20-2002, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Einion

Ah, that's good to know. It's always good to have quantitative comparisons to go on and this is obviously a great deal superior to unwashed linseed, thanks.

BTW out of curiosity, have you found the proportion of muscilage to be any indication of the quality of the original oil, i.e. less in good oil, more in cheaper oil or whatever?

Einion

There is generally a darker tone to the cheaper kind. But, that's the thing about buying cold pressed oil. You never know what you are going to get. I always buy the cheapest large quantity of cold pressed I can find through Kremer. They sell several kinds, varying in price-dramatically. The cheapest (with deposits) acts and processes just as well as the most expensive type that they sell. $45 for 5 liters vs $125 for 5 liters. So I quit the pricy kind.

Other companies also sell "raw cold pressed" linseed oil in small quantities, like Windsor-Newton, Grumbacher and Holbein. Their prices are just rediculous. The oil they sell looks too light to me to be raw-also.

Sun thickening and or pre-oxidizing the processed oil by leaving the container open for a few weeks is another way to further improve your oil. Depending on your taste.

I have also done extensive testing with charcoal filtering. This absolutely cleans raw cold pressed linseed oil to an amazing extent. It takes a lot of patience and you can "burn out" the charcoal quickly. What finally drips out is a beautiful thing. Clear as water. The charcoal soaks up a great quantity, so you'll waste a good bit in the process. I would say an equal amount of charcoal in volume to oil (ex-1 cup oil and 1 cup powdered charcoal.) You'll also need to get A) benign charcoal and B) a good filtering apparatus. It works on a gravity drip.

I have run out of my good washed oil at times and used this method in a pinch, while waiting for the washing process to run it's course. To speed up the filters, I just had 4 of them going at once.

Studio products-special aged oil worked extremely well with the filters.

flo70
01-20-2002, 04:26 PM
Hi Scott
Thanks a lot I can use that information I I did try his way of doing it and the water froze but not all of the mucilage did not. I'm glad to know not to put the salt in it.
Betty:clap:

amanda
01-20-2002, 06:17 PM
I bought some 'hardware store' linseed oil and the only information on the outside of the bottle is that it's Raw Linseed Oil and that it's for 'ouside use'. Does this sound like the kind that I could 'wash'?

Scott Methvin
01-20-2002, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by amanda
I bought some 'hardware store' linseed oil and the only information on the outside of the bottle is that it's Raw Linseed Oil and that it's for 'ouside use'. Does this sound like the kind that I could 'wash'?

I doubt it will work. It is probably steam or hot pressed. That kind is for wood, not art. Raw, cold pressed is what you want to use.

amanda
01-20-2002, 11:21 PM
Ok, thanks for that Scott, good thing it's el'cheapo stuff huh! I'll keep it for polishing my wood then!!!!:p

Leopoldo1
01-21-2002, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by Scott Methvin
I think linseed oil IS the magic in oil painting. It's importance is paramount, in my opinion. Sure, you can make art with lots of different kinds of oils, but linseed is the king.

Linseed oil. Yes, I am a big fan. (And lead too!)

Very good info on the subject Scott, I always learn something new from you from your postings! :oL

cindyn2art
02-04-2002, 08:06 PM
I'm trying to switch over to oils and it costs a lot of money, any savings are welcome!

vallarta
02-05-2002, 04:01 PM
If your the kind of painter that has sold oils for $20,000 or so...then I think you should "humor yourself" and buy nothing but the best...assuming it is best in the first place...but at least you can afford it.

However, if your new...still painting "lolly pop" trees, pure white waterfalls, abstracts that really are abstract, green grass that is all the same color green...etc then use the lindseed oil from Home Depot or the hardware store.

You only use a bit....in any case and the "turning yellow" won't happen for years....(by then you will be living in another state...you will be dead....you will be forgotten).

I have been using hardware lindseed oil as a medium for years...I get a pint can....add a bit of coball dryer to it...and then pour some into a little continer that I use to feed my "dip"continer on my pallet. I add just enough so that the paint is creamy and then no more.

Or.... I take some in my fingers...rub it over the dried!!!! canvas and oil out and paint with or without "creaming" the paint on my pallet...depending on what I am doing.

Let's be frank. Worrying about LONG TERM EFFECTS for beginning painters is like worring about the color of pillows for the seatee on a house that has not been built or purchased yet. Its an academic discussion at best...a total waste of time at most. The new painter would be better off at the easel than worrying about this kind of thing.

vallarta

snakum
02-05-2002, 04:29 PM
Will my picture turn yellow in 500 years? Will my painting crack in 500 years?

Let's be honest, folks. With very few exceptions ... most of us here at Wet Canvas really needn't concern ourselves with these issues. Leopoldo maybe ... or Raffaele perhaps ... maybe Tim Tyler (though I know you guys dislike him). How many of us really believe that our work will be around for long after we're dead? C'mon guys.

This discussion comes up often and it reminds me of a phone call a guy I know fielded at the Hillindale Golf Club in Durham, NC. Frank picked up the phone and was repeating the callers request "You want to know where the kickpoint is located on the new Ram Mallet putter?!" 'Kickpoint' refers to the place along the shaft of a golf club where it flexes when swung, and it's something only the top tour players would ever be concerned about in their irons, not woods and CERTAINLY NOT PUTTERS! Frank asks "What's you're handicap, may I ask?" after which we hear Frank yell "Ninety-two!?!!!!!!!" and he slams the phone down. This complete hacker was obsessing over something that was absolutely the smallest of concerns for PGA tour pros. All his worry and fuss was taking up valuable time better spent on a practice green with the putter he already owned. It was completely and utterly ridiculous.

In my humble opinion, this is like a painter who frets about every little detail of his materials while neglecting the big picture ... the need to get in there and PAINT! Enjoy and express yourself, try to buy decent quality materials, learn how to use what you have, and don't sweat yellowing and cracking in 500 years. Trust me ... you ain't gonna care! :D

Minh "Soapbox" Thong

nam26b
02-05-2002, 05:29 PM
Been playing the guitar for....gracious....nearly a decade now, and have become quite skilled. With the guitar, as with painting, I started with the cheapest thing that would stay in tune, and invested in a new insturment only when the low quality equipment was actually holding me back. I got my current set of guitars only a couple of years ago, and, unless I'm called to go on tour or something, I won't be getting anything better for quite some time.


When I feel that Future Louvre patrons will be dissappointed at the cracking or yellowing of my work, I'll take pains to avoid it. Until then, if I can find it a wal-mart for 2.99, I'm stocking up.


Nathan

snakum
02-05-2002, 06:26 PM
Agreed ... the guitar analogy was a good one, too. I've been playing since I was a kid and I went thru a succession of cheap crackerbox acoustics, and eventually Japanese electrics before I was good enough to play in (very) small local clubs. Even though I was playing small beach and country music clubs in high school, I didn't spring for a good setup till I was a senior (Gibson RD Artist ... no longer made). One guy I played with's father bought him a Les Paul Custom when we were freshmen. Gorgeous tobacco sunburst, gold hardware, and he was fourteen years old! What a waste.

Minh
(Who once quit his day job to play music professionally ... and almost starved before going back to work the next month :D )

nam26b
02-05-2002, 06:41 PM
Sounds like what motivated me to start playing guitar in the first place. A friend of mine wanted to learn and got a really expensive guitar for christmas. I think it was an Ibanez (I said expensive, not high-quality--never been a fan of Ibanez), along with a nice marshall amp, and promptly learned the first half of about 10 metallica songs. after about a year, and several dozen times hearing the same innane riffs I thought hmmmm, I wonder if I could play, I couldn't be any worse than that.

I turned out to be a fairly quick study. I didn't get a decent guitar for a couple of years, and forced myself to learn things like what key I was in, what the circle of fifths is, how to read music, what the notes on the fretboard are, etc. I suppose that's the "sound basic skills" level. Hopefully I'll get there in painting soon!


Nathan
(who would never quit a day job, and only does gigs that fit into his schedule, but is always open to a good jam session)

lori
02-05-2002, 06:54 PM
okay i'm going to use the analogy of a musical instrament to back up the opposite of what you guys are saying...

years ago this happened:

i play cello. i studied for about 3 years with a student quality instrument...if you know anything about cellos, you'll know that i still spent $2000 for this instrument. anyway, i was working with my classical teacher and was really having a hard time with a certain passage of a bach etude. my teacher gracefully offered to let me try it on her cello...she plays in a philharmonic in SF, and her instrument, while not being the best, was certainly a professional quality instrument. i think she had paid $25,000 for it, still not much in the cello world.

anyway, as soon as i played it on her instrument, i realised just how held back i was by my cello. nothing more! my student instrument resisted my playing, while her beautiful cello sang.

i approached the cellos the same exact way...there was no trick, it only had to do with using quality.

the same thing happens with painting supplies, you'd be surprised how many hold you back when not made well...they make painting harder...

and you'll never know the difference until you compare.

so in all...paint with what ever works for you, what you can afford, etc. but don't doubt that there isn't a difference...there is.

ldallen
02-05-2002, 08:15 PM
Posted by Leo - "Archiveness is a area of pride with artists and should be included in ones endeavors."

Amen!!

G.L. Hoff
02-05-2002, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by lori
you'd be surprised how many hold you back when not made well...they make painting harder...

and you'll never know the difference until you compare.

so in all...paint with what ever works for you, what you can afford, etc. but don't doubt that there isn't a difference...there is.

Lori--

As always, you and I see eye to eye. It's amazing how using poor quality materials, or instruments, or equipment will "look" smart but how often it truly isn't. Using student grade paint with its chalkiness and poor mixing is a case in point and a personal experience I regret, tho it was years ago. Not so sure about linseed oil, since I've never used Walmart oil...I *will* say that hardware store turps is chit. If yr gonna use turps, get gum spirits of turpentine from an art supplier. Hardware store stuff is adulterated and will positively f*** up your varnishes.

Regards

nam26b
02-05-2002, 10:30 PM
Lori,


I'm not sure you've quite understood me.

What I'm talking about here is the painting equuivilant of your first 15 cello lessons or so, something you no doubt accomplished just fine with a student quality instrument. Are you saying that you should have bought a $25,000 cello before you took your first lesson? If so, I have a $5,000 guitar to sell you if you'd like to learn....first lesson free!

The exampe you give is in your third year of serious study. Right now, I'm working on oil study #5. When I've seriously studied painting for 3 years instead of 10 weeks, I'm sure I'll be using better materials.


Also, as I said in my post, I got a new insturment when the low-quality one was holding me back. It seems you were unable to tell when your low-quality insturment was holding you back. Had you been able to tell, you'd have had the right instrument at the right time, and done fine.


No amount of quality in your materials can make up for a lack of skill. Until I have the skill, there's no point in wasting high quality materials.



Nathan

lori
02-06-2002, 02:53 AM
Originally posted by nam26b
Lori,


I'm not sure you've quite understood me.

no, i think i understood what you were saying, and in a way, we are in agreement, but where i differ is that when working with superior products, you'll notice a difference regardless of where you are in your learning process.

as far as the linseed oil, that started this whole thread, i replied earlier and felt that the linseed oil wasn't going to be that different because of the processing of it, its not going to be the best, but for this situation...yes, it'll work (expect for mulling your own paints, which doesn't seem to be an issue). it seems though that this thread at a certain point went off into a direction about all materials, and i was answering to that.


No amount of quality in your materials can make up for a lack of skill. Until I have the skill, there's no point in wasting high quality materials.

Nathan

i agree, i didn't realise that you were only on your 5th painting...at this point getting to know the medium is more important then having tubes of old holland paint...however, in a perfect world, where money and painting supplies grow on trees...superior products would definitely help your learning curve. i true believe this and stand by what i said earlier.

but hey 5th painting...what fun, are you frustrated yet? lol...

pax.lori

nam26b
02-06-2002, 03:20 AM
Yeah, Lori, I'd go along with that. It's possible that learning could be a little bit easier with the best materials.

I can get "winton" paint for 2.99 a tube, and the OH stuff can go over $50 a tube. I guess, for me, the 1600% price ratio makes it cost-prohibitive. I doubt there would be even a 100% difference in my learning (that would be twice as fast).

Simlar cost-benefit analyses will probably keep me a loyal wal-mart heat-pressed, weed-seed oil purchaser for at least the next year or so........

After that, who knows.....


As for the frustration, I do enjoy difficult activities. With painting, I get pretty excited when I improve my skills, so that kind of drowns out any frustration. I suppose I'll 'plateau' somewhere and may become frustrated then. Hopefully not, though.




Nathan

ldallen
02-06-2002, 08:58 AM
I understand your wanting to economize with your materials in the learning stages but consider this (been there - done that) - if you find after a few more paintings that you have found your forte you will have wasted a lot of money on the lower quality materials. It's probably better to buy a higher quality - just buy less until you arrive at where you want to go. I wound up literally throwing money in the round file because I didn't know the difference or what to look for in the beginning. My Mom used to use an expression "Penny wise - pound foolish."

nam26b
02-06-2002, 11:21 AM
haha......yep, I've got some materials that I'll never use. So far, I'm glad they're $2.99 tubes of paint and not $50 tubes (or brushes, etc.). I understand your point, but I do have a pretty specific direction I'd like to pursue, so I don't think I'll find my forte (might be cool, though).

For me it's sort of irrelevant anyway because, unless I get a bank loan, I don't have much choice other than to use the winton stuff or similar. I can pick up a brush, tube or two of paint, etc. every payday and keep myself afloat materials-wise.

thanks for taking the time to look and offer your view,


Nathan

ldallen
02-06-2002, 11:27 AM
One more suggestion. Why don't you look into colored pencil? This is new to me, too, and for me can never replace oil, but it is really interesting and some of the results are just OUTSTANDING. It's very inexpensive (the average pencil is $1.24) and some of the work is indistinguishable between pencil and paint. Just for fun, go in and look at some of the work in the colored pencil forum - I was AMAZED!! It can look like anything from pastel to oil paintings.

nam26b
02-06-2002, 11:59 AM
I know......I saw the "coal miner's memorial" (I think) in colored pencil and it was quite impressive. Might be worth a look.

Wayne Gaudon
02-06-2002, 04:24 PM
.. if you can afford to get good materials, then don't waste your time saving a few bucks and working with cheaper materials .. if you can't, then you use what is available and make the best of it.

It's a debate that could last centuries so why waste time trying to inflict one's opinion on the other .. just do what you can and what you want to.

If it's a choice between painting and not painting then I would paint with mud and food coloring to keep painting, so if cheap oil keeps you at the table, then cheap oil it is.

If you can afford the good stuff and let's say perhaps you get your 15 minuites and fall into a lapse of genious and create a masterpiece and then some years later you watch it fall apart before your very eyes with the knowledge that you saved $5.00 wow!
.. could be the only piece of any value you will ever do, but hey, you could never do any so why even think about it.

alva
06-12-2002, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by Scott Methvin


I have also done extensive testing with charcoal filtering. This absolutely cleans raw cold pressed linseed oil to an amazing extent. It takes a lot of patience and you can "burn out" the charcoal quickly. What finally drips out is a beautiful thing. Clear as water. The charcoal soaks up a great quantity, so you'll waste a good bit in the process. I would say an equal amount of charcoal in volume to oil (ex-1 cup oil and 1 cup powdered charcoal.) You'll also need to get A) benign charcoal and B) a good filtering apparatus. It works on a gravity drip.

I have run out of my good washed oil at times and used this method in a pinch, while waiting for the washing process to run it's course. To speed up the filters, I just had 4 of them going at once.


Very interesting Scott, could you expound a little more on this? What filtering system do you use? Would something like a water filtration system (Big Berkey for example) work? I really like the idea of having crystal-clear oil...regards, alva

Scott Methvin
06-12-2002, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by alva

Very interesting Scott, could you expound a little more on this? What filtering system do you use? Would something like a water filtration system (Big Berkey for example) work? I really like the idea of having crystal-clear oil...regards, alva

Hi Alva,

I have been doing more research in this area. First you need good charcoal. Where do you get that? Not easy to find, because the charcoal in the grocery store has been treated with chemicals.

I found a big bag of artist's charcoal in lumps at Pearl's. It worked very well for me, but you have to pulverise it into powder yourself. Do this with a hammer and several plastic bags. Then you can screen it. I also aquired some beechwood charcoal recently from Kremer. About $15 a kilo. It seems to be made for gunpowder and looks just like black powder. The grains are very uniform. It seems the finer the charcoal, the better it works on the oil.

Basically, you are soaking the charcoal in oil and hoping the grains soak up the aqueous (mucalige) part. This is the part that makes it yellow. Then the rest of the good part of the oil should drip through. What comes out is usually greenish colored. Due to having fine charcoal powder in it. Best to get it to this stage and then filter out the remaining tint with a new clean filter that has no charcoal.

It will get as clear as water, with dillegence. Easily clearer than Canadian balsam. Very watery thin and fast drying. perfect for making paint and medium.

My filter is a large plastic ketchup/mustard squeeze bottle with the pointed end. They sell them at "the Container store." I cut the bottom off stuff cotton balls and then 3 Kleenex-Viva brand paper towels on top of that (love those kind of paper towels!). hen fill half of remaining area with charcoal. Set on a bottle with spout pointing into bottle. Pour oil into filter and drip away. Takes about 24 hours. It will soak up and steal half the volume of your oil, so have enough to make it worthwhile.

Here's the most important thing about processing oil. Whether it's for washing with water or filtering with charcoal. You have to have oil that hasn't been processed in any way before you get it.
Aged is the best. It has to start out raw and cold pressed.

This is not so easy to assertain from suppliers. Most just outright lie about what they sell. I can tell by washing if it does not separate, it's not raw cold pressed. I have gotten some like this even from Kremer. They sell Argentine cold pressed, which because of the price should be the real McCoy. Also StudioProducts sells a "special aged oil" that works very well. I can vouch for both. Old Holland windmill cold pressed is only 25% coldpressed. the guy that owns it told me in person. I wouldn't waste my time with anything else, but the two I mentioned before.

Wash it at least 3 cycles and then charcoal filter for best results.

I am presently experimenting with hydrogen peroxide right now. I have a quantity of 30-40% strength that has been interesting so far. The garden variety at the groceria-drug store, is 3%, with additives. 35% is very strong and will not freeze. It will burn skin.
I'll let ya'll know how it works as I go. I will have to see how the oil is affected chemically as well, of course. This will take several months, I'm sure.

Super clear, perfect oil is just my little fetish. There really isn't that much yellowing that affects oil paintings to stampede artists into going to the lengths that I sometimes go to. I just enjoy playing chemist and having experiments going all the time. It is very cool when it all works out though!

I have had at least 15-20 oil painters email me in private asking specific questions, etc. I know there is an interest out there. It won't make you a better painter. It costs money, and takes time away from the easel.

I have perfect white lead paint from all the effort and that's why I do it. To me lead white is the key to everything.

Adieu.

(ps, I'm sure the water filters WILL work. Water filters are nothing more than the filter I described above with silver added as an anti- bacterial agent. Expensive way to do it, but should work fine. Depending on the size, you should get good results, without the hassle. Coffee filter paper will NOT work.)

alva
06-12-2002, 01:06 PM
Thanks Scott, let us know how your experiments work out- very interesting! I have called some aquarium stores and am able to get charcoal reasonably. I have washed oil before and have had good results, but this charcoal filtering sounds really neat (and fun!). Funny you should mention hydrogen peroxide, as I have been fooling with that as well, I am able to get it thru a health food guy I know. Anyway, crysal clear oil- that is a trip! regards, alva

Scott Methvin
06-12-2002, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by alva
I have called some aquarium stores and am able to get charcoal reasonably. I have washed oil before and have had good results, but this charcoal filtering sounds really neat (and fun!). Funny you should mention hydrogen peroxide, as I have been fooling with that as well, I am able to get it thru a health food guy I know. Anyway, crysal clear oil- that is a trip! regards, alva

Aquarium stores...good idea! Never thought of that. Clean enough for the fish, clean enough for the oil.

Funny how health food stores seem to get involved with art supplies.

Flaxseed oil, walnut oil, aromatheropy lavendar oil, now H2O2.

They tell me people add 12 drops of the stong stuff I have, to one gallon of drinking water. It will make you live forever and bleach your urine water clear!:)

Have fun with your science projects. (My wife is forever rolling her eyes and shaking her head. She does put up with gesso in the refrigerator and Ugly dog soap over the sink. I keep my super-secret miracle experiments hidden in the studio, next to the lead to gold one.

alva
06-12-2002, 01:21 PM
One other option I thought of might be cellulose, you can get it thru swimming pools supply stores, it is reasonably priced as well, but don't know if it would work...alva

alva
06-12-2002, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by Scott Methvin



Super clear, perfect oil is just my little fetish. There really isn't that much yellowing that affects oil paintings to stampede artists into going to the lengths that I sometimes go to. I
Perhaps though, painters would stampede for this perfect oil if someone made and supplied it for them...definitely food for thought, I know I would definitely buy some if I saw it on the art store shelf, especially since it would sit near a slew of yellow oils always overpriced...regards, alva

alva
06-13-2002, 07:36 AM
I also wanted to mention in reference to the 'hardware brand' linseed oils available, that they usually have 2 kinds available...one is the afore mentioned 'boiled', the other 'raw'. I have washed this 'raw' oil and been able to remove much of the mucilage, thus obtaining an improved product for painting. The 'boiled' oil is probably a lightly heated oil with dryers/chemicals added, there most likely are additional chemicals added to the 'raw' version as well, however it is possible to remove a major amount of the mucilage, so I would choose the 'raw hardware' over the 'boiled'. Additionally, I have cooked this raw oil and obtained a heavy bodied 'stand' oil. It should be noted that oils that are obtained through means of solvents will contain a larger 'fat' content than cold-pressed. regards, alva

alva
06-13-2002, 08:22 AM
...a short intro of linseed oil can be found at violinvarnish.com/linseed.htm ...quick and worth reading. alva

Verdaccio
06-14-2002, 04:57 PM
The boiled linseed oil from your hardware store will have large, that is large, quantities of driers such as cobolt drier added to it. Hope you like the crackle effect...

Beginner or not, this oil is made for furniture, not painting. YOu can use it for painting, but it will not handle, mix, or dry the same way. It is better for all - even the beginner - to use an artists grade linseed oil.

alva
06-14-2002, 06:19 PM
In under 2 days, I have just washed and carbon filtered HARDWARE BRAND RAW (not boiled) LINSEED OIL- $3.00 a quart. It is VERY CLEAR! The mucilage separated with water washing and the carbon finished the job. I will post further results very soon. regards, alva

alva
06-14-2002, 11:47 PM
Ferric Chloride- removes phosphates from water, mucilage is organic and inorganic phosphates...when used in aquariums, it creates a sludge called floc.....I wonder if it would have any use, or already has found use in clarifying linseed oils? just wondering...alva

donjusko
08-26-2004, 05:58 AM
Hi Scott, Alva.
Alva, how did the Ferric Chloride work? Inquiring minds want to know.
Scott, you were talking about charcoal and something interesting came up a few weeks ago.
An artist from the old country gave me this tip from way back.
He put the handles of his used up brushes cut to length in one of those Altoid? candy metal boxes, closed the lid and put it on his gas stove. He said sometime fire would flash out but that's Ok. He ended up with great charcoal sticks, his favorite media. Any coverred metal box will do.

martha gamblin
08-26-2004, 06:39 PM
Hello. I do not recommend you go cheap on binder. Boiled linseed oil is not a good addition to the oil painting process. Use refined linseed oil. Or use cold pressed linseed oil if you prefer to add "gallery tone." Best, Martha
martha@gamblincolors.com

Papercut
10-03-2009, 12:02 PM
Necro!

I want an update on the charcoal filtering. Cleansed CP Linseed seems to be a hot topic these days.

Cheers

Artwayze
10-04-2009, 08:33 AM
I buy raw linseed oil in bulk (2 litres at a time) from a wholesaler. (I use it mostly in my woodwork shop)

I put it in 1 litre bottles and then add some fine sand. Then I shake the bottles well, put them on a shelf and forget them for a few weeks.

The sand sinks to the bottom and 'polishes' the oil. Then I decant into smaller bottles. Voilą. A little genuine turps added and there is my stand-oil.

I haven't noticed that liquin etc is any better for the job.

Incidentally Verdaccio... You are correct about furniture. Some woodworkers use BLO, but personally I wouldn't allow it anywhere near my cabinetry! Boiled linseed is fit only for keeping rust at bay on ships' wire rigging!

HTH

Regards
John

rroberts
10-05-2009, 01:18 PM
Incidentally Verdaccio... You are correct about furniture...

Has anyone else noticed that this thread is 8 years old?

dcorc
10-05-2009, 03:20 PM
Has anyone else noticed that this thread is 8 years old?

Yes :)

Which seems quite a good point to close it.


Dave