View Full Version : Linseed oil & turpentine???

Albert L.
03-02-2002, 07:00 PM
Hello!!! Sorry, but I have a newbie question... :rolleyes:

Is it a must that you use both (linseed oil & turpentine) or is it okay when I use only linseed oil? :)

What will happen with an oil painting in the future when I used only linseed oil?

What are the pros and cons? :confused:

Can anyone help me with this question??? :rolleyes:

- Albert L. :)

03-03-2002, 01:57 AM

Have you tried a search for the topic "linseed oil" or "mediums"? There's a TON of information on WC already, and I can think of a couple of recent relevant threads. Just use the search button . It's on the navigation bar just below the row of pull-down menus near the top of the page, second from the right.

Sorry I have no actual advice..........


Albert L.
03-03-2002, 03:12 AM
Thanks for the tip Nathan. I have tried the search already but I wasn't completely happy with the result... I will try it again. :)

- alb :D

03-03-2002, 10:32 AM
Hi Albert!

Have a look at www.winsornewton.com there is a lot a information. Hope this can help!

I'm learning by reading, reading and making a lot of mistakes !! ahah!! And a lot of researchs!

Bye Danusha!:)

Albert L.
03-03-2002, 10:37 AM
Thank you very much for the link danusha. :D That's really an interesting site.

I am also learning by reading and I also make a lot of mistakes and try out this and that... :)

03-03-2002, 12:53 PM
Hi Albert. I used to use turps and lindseed oil to mix my paints.
As a result there isn't the nice gloss that I wanted. The turps seem to dull the look. I would go with just the lindseed or use
the paints right from the tube as most brands have lindseed right in their oils.

Happy Painting! Hope this makes sense I just got up...lol :D

Albert L.
03-03-2002, 05:29 PM
Thanks for your tips Sadgylee. :p I have read today that when you only use linseed oil the colours will get yellow... :(

Wayne Gaudon
03-04-2002, 01:08 PM
Add turps will not elivate the problem of oil paint turning yellow ..

If memory serves me correctly, from what I have read, oil paints do yellow over time .. it cannot be avoided .. however the degree of yellow and the time involved is another question .. it should not happen in your lifetime .. I seem to remember something like 200 years .. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong on this.

Albert L.
03-04-2002, 02:43 PM
Thank you for the information Wayne. :)

Luis Guerreiro
03-11-2002, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by Albert L.
Hello!!! Sorry, but I have a newbie question... :rolleyes:
Is it a must that you use both (linseed oil & turpentine) or is it okay when I use only linseed oil? :)
What will happen with an oil painting in the future when I used only linseed oil?
What are the pros and cons? :confused:
Can anyone help me with this question??? :rolleyes:
- Albert L. :)

Hi Albert,
There is in fact an absolute mountain of information and recipes for oil painting mediums here at Wetcanvas. It's always a good idea to research, which is part of your role as an oil painter. To paint in oils without knowing your materials is a bit like plunging into the ocean without knowing how to swimm. ;)
However and a starting point, I'd like to say that there are several different types of linseed oil, which produce diferent oil painting finishes, because they have different properties which impart different results when applied to oil painting.
To make it simple for now, try a simple painting medium which dries quickly (about 24 hours to get tacky but dry enough to carry on). Make a base medium like this:

RATIO: 1:1:1
1 Part of Linseed STAND OIL ( 1fl. Oz)
1 Part of Canada Balsam (1fl. Oz)
1 Part of Pure Gum Turpentine (1fl. Oz)

Firstly, mix the oil with Canada Balsam, mix well, then add turpentine. Shake in a bottle or a small glass flask really well.
If you wish, split then the above base medium by another 2 flasks, flask 1 would have just 20% base medium and top up with just turps. Flask 2 would be 50% base medium and top up the rest with turps. Medium 3 is your base. It just helps to keep your fat-over-lean rule nice and clean. Use flask 1 for the first layers, flask 2 to develop the picture and the pure base for the topmost layers. If you are doing a painting in just 1 session, or a sketch/study on paper, then use the base medium at the original ratio of 1:1:1.
This is a good medium because:
A) Canada Balsam imparts lustre and improves drying rate immensely;
B) Stand Oil is the less yellowing oil normally available and imparts a nice gloss finish. It tends to level the paint film to an enamel-like finish;
C) Turpentine thins the mix just enough to allow easy brushwork.
It is a general purpose medium, for painting but also highly effective for glazing, etc. When mixing your colours on the palette, pour a few drops into the mixes, you can then dip the tip of your brush into the medium just before picking paint. Or you can brush the medium onto the canvas on its own and then apply the paint. It's incredibly versatile.
Have fun! :D
Luis :)

Albert L.
03-12-2002, 03:12 AM
Thank you Luis for your great tips. :D I will take your advice and try that...

- Albert :)

03-13-2002, 02:36 AM
What a great thread.

I was wondering about using turps in paintings as well. I use oil and save the turps for cleaning up. Nothing has gone wrong so far. sides... i really like that nice glossy sheen on an oil with linseed oil on it, and will even go to the trouble of oiling it when its dryed out.

Don't worry too much about the yellowing. it takes forever and will happen no matter what you do. They do have ways of cleaning it and i am sure whoever buys it by then will do it :)

raison d etre
03-14-2002, 05:11 PM
I mixed up glaze I wanted to lay over an area that needed it,only to have it pool up like water over oil? I used stand oil, and turps and just a dap of paint. Good WN "Light Red"

This is my first real glaze application. I made another with Vandyke brown, to tone down some ground and the same thing happened. What am I doing Wrong.

Help....Save My painting...


03-14-2002, 09:11 PM
I use a pretty simple mixture -- one part turpentine and two parts linseed oil.

Scott Methvin
03-15-2002, 02:48 AM
First of all, remember that turpentine is a solvent.
Linseed oil is a binder.

To make paint, you need a good binder. To disolve paint, and weaken the binder, you need a good solvent.

There are several reasons to use turpentine while you paint. Many artists start out with very thin, weakly binded layers of "washes" to get their shapes blocked in. This is what most plein aire painters do. The turpentine dries very quickly and allows them to put regularly binded paint on top of that.

Turpentine also allows for easier sliperier brush strokes.

It is a solvent, so it is excellent for erasing things you aren't happy you painted. This can be done in a number of creative ways as well.

Turpentine can be a confusing word. Venetian turpentine is basically larch tree sap. Saltzburg turpentine is white fir tree sap. Pine tree sap that has the rosin removed is what we used to call "spirits of turpentine" and now it is just plain turpentine.

Turpentine evaporates quickly. Use too much in mixture with tube colors and you'll get a very thin weak paint film. Use it sparingly.