View Full Version : Can you use Liquin with water soluble oils?

03-18-2007, 05:21 AM
I got as a commission a portrait of a stallion. Very very expensive stallion at that, the apple of the ownerīs eye... I am going to do an oil painting of him. I use water soluble oils and also have a bottle of Liquin which I heard is good for glazing + thinning oil paint so I can make details better. (I prefer painting with thin layers). Iīll be using Ampersand board for this because of the smooth surface.

But can you use Liquin with water soluble oils? Or do I need to go and buy a set of traditional oils instead? This is not a question about drying time, but of getting very thin layers of paint for glazing and details. I have preferred wso because of no need to use turps. But if you try to thin wso with too much water... well, you know it doesnīt work well. I have water mixable oil painting medium but I donīt want to use too much of oils either.

If you can use Liquin with wso, are you to use only Liquin through the whole painting process? No water or oils used at all if Liquin is used?

Experiences, anyone?

Leena :)

03-18-2007, 06:19 AM

Water-miscible oil paints can be mixed with any normal oil paint medium (can even be thinned with spirits or turps) but they'll become less and less tolerant of water the more that is added. If you make a glaze of Liquin and paint you'll probably find that it won't mix with water at all any more, but with just a little dab added to a blob of paint you may not notice too much change.


03-18-2007, 07:37 AM
Thank you! I have been sitting here, looking at my drawing on the board and wanting to start already. Just didnīt have the courage before I got my answer because I did not want to spoil anything.

Never guessed Iīd get an answer this quick! Thanks again!

Leena :)

03-18-2007, 01:51 PM
Hi ! Water soluble oil are made to be used with water. I don't understand why you want to use Liquin...If you mix them with Liquin, you'll have to use turpentine or petroleum... You'd better use a Fast drying medium for water soluble oil...Or use Liquin with Alkyds...

03-18-2007, 02:31 PM
Hi :)

I use water soluble oils because I donīt need to use turps in the painting process itself.

I started the painting already and really like the way Liquin made it possible for me to paint thin washes on the sky. As I said: I am not interested in shortening the drying time (though it is a bonus when painting with thin color washes). I want a medium that allows me to do real thin layers of color and makes the paint as liquid as possible to use with very small brushes also. I had a bottle of Liquin, read what people said about it and got interested in trying it.

I do clean the brushes after I finish, and use odorless turpentine for that. I noticed that when I washed my brushes with only soap and water, not all the paint left the brushes, no matter how many times I washed them. The time I need to have the turp bottle open when washing the brushes is really short so that is not a problem.

So lets see how this painting proceeds. So far there are such thin washes of color the photos donīt look like much. If this works, I might post pics of my work here.

Leena :)

03-19-2007, 12:02 AM
Hi Leena! I've been using WS oils and liquin for several years now. In fact, I only use liquin and never mix water in my paint. I've found this to be my favorite method that works for me and my style. I know there are many painters out there that can't understand why anyone would use WS oils and not mix water with them. However, it really depends on ones painting style and just taking the time to work with this method. If your style is painting in glazes and thin washes, you'll find that liquin is perfect for that, and detail work. I especially like the fact that I can come back the next morning and it will be dry to the touch and ready for another layer without mushing the colors. I just don't like the water in my paint and I don't like adding extra oil to my paint, therefore, WS oils and liquin are perfect for ME, but not for everyone.

It won't take long for you to decide whether you can work with the liquin. Good luck with your new endeavor. :D

03-19-2007, 08:17 PM
From painting.about.com (http://painting.about.com/cs/oils/a/oilswatersol.htm):

You can get by with adding other paints and additives, but it's best to try it out first before you put it on a painting. The "allowable" ratio is about 25 per cent. Better to go under. I have mixed stuff for oil, acrylic, and watercolor with them with no ill affects. Classico Acqua states in their brochures that you can mix any thing with theirs. If you mix regular oils or their additives with them and go beyond the 25 per cent you lose the water-mixable qualities and they are then regular oils.

Grumbacher's Max Mediums are a range of non-toxic mediums formulated especially for water-thinnable Max Oil paints. I assume you could use them with any brand of water-miscible paints, but you might check with the particular manufacturer to see if they already offer their own product.

Holbein offers water-mixable linseed oil as part of the DUO Aqua line of paints.

While I have not read it, there may be very useful information in Painting With Water Soluble Oils (http://www.amazon.com/Painting-Water-Soluble-Oils-Sean/dp/1581800339) by Sean Dye.


03-20-2007, 01:38 PM
I've been using WSOs for about 2 years now. I've not tried liquin, but I have used W/N's fast dry medium for WSOs, and Grumbachers drying medium as well. W/N's is thick, Grum's is watery. I find W/N's dries faster.

My understanding is you can use any oil medium, or paint, but you do loose the ability to use water.

I've used VanGogh's, W/N, Max 2 and Max, and Holbeins paints. For what it's worth, the VanG's have a very buttery feel to them, they come out very creamy. Max white is so thick I have problems squeezing the tube to get it to come out, and the colors very in consistancy, some are thick and some are nice and creamy. W/N are nice, but on the thick side. I've only just started using the Aqua Duos, but the two or three tubes I've used are nice to work with, but expensive, more than the others.


03-21-2007, 10:18 AM
Thank you all for your input on the matter :)

I also have that oil you can mix with water to paint. Sure it makes the paint more flowing, but also oily. Yes, I know, why paint with oil paints if you donīt want them to be oily...
I donīt care if the wso are water soluble after mixing with Liquin as the word "water" is not the main issue. I want to paint with oils, but not use turps while I paint. So water soluble oils have been my choice.

When I opened my bottle of Liquin, I first smelled it. It did not cause any adverse effects and so I decided to paint with it. And I have to say I love it. I have not been feeling quite comfortable with oils because I like thin color washes and the oils just were too thick for me to do that. Or too oily if I wanted a really thin layer of color. Still I tried and wondered why is it so hard for me to learn to paint with them. I also used acrylics, but did not like their short drying time.

And now, when I have painted with Liquin I cannot wait to get home after work to get to my painting.

With Liquin the color almost feels like painting with watercolors. Now I just love painting with oils.

I think Iīll soon be posting a pic of what I have done so far with my painting.

Leena :)

P.S. Susan: went to see your website, lovely paintings!

03-21-2007, 10:47 AM
Actually, you do not need any solvent to paint satisfactorily with oils. I would assume that includes WS oils as well.

03-21-2007, 10:53 AM
Yes, that is true - I have seen beautiful work done with paint "straight from the tube". Still, doesnīt fit my painting style.

Leena :)

03-21-2007, 03:07 PM

I think the ability to do what you've suggested would depend on the tube of paint. I've got one tube of white that is so thick I almost can't get it to come out of the tube. I hate using it. I have to mix a medium with it just to thin it enough to use it. If what comes out of the tube is a nice creamy butter texture, then I can use it with out adding a medium. If it is so stiff you have problems picking it up on your brush, then you either have to use a knife, or add a medium. I don't mind using a knife, but I like to save the nice textures created by using a knife towards the end of the painting. Just my personal preferences.

PS: What brand do you use that you can paint with out thinning or adding a medium?

mad mike
03-21-2007, 06:26 PM
I had the same problem with my "standard" Grumbacher's Flake White. Kind of like trying to spread cold butter on soft bread. . .

I posted a question about what to use to improve the situation, just oil, a multi-part medium, or whatever, and it was suggested that I try a new white, instead.

I just received my first order of "possible new whites," all 40ml (or so) tubes. And I'm happy to say that all three of my "test-tubes" (:eek: ) fill the bill. None of the following seemed to require any adjustment to the consistency for painting:

W&N Titanium White, Old Holland Cremnitz, and one of Williamsburg Flake White.

Others were suggested, I'll probably try a few more before deciding which to order in large tubes.

Mike S.

03-21-2007, 08:24 PM
Congrats Leena! Sounds like you've found the right mix for you and your style of painting. I too, like using liquin and have never experienced any negative effects on my paintings or my health from using it. I have paintings from many years ago that look just as nice as the day I finished with no cracking or fading whatsoever. Thankfully, my ability has improved since those paintings. I truly believe it's use has different effects for different painting styles.

I can't wait to see your finished piece. Also, I really like your website and your paintings are wonderful.

03-21-2007, 10:39 PM
I'm glad it worked out for you!

However, in the future you might want to give Grumbacher Max's QuickDry liquid a try. It is similar to Liquin in consistency, but you won't lose the water-mixability with it. It is a little more amber than Liquin, but it doesn't seems to affect the color when mixed. It dries a little glossy and overnight.

For faster drying, Winsor & Newton Fast Drying Medium sets up like a gelled medium, allowing you to do several glazes in a day. However, it is quite thick, though I found it can be diluted with a little ws linseed oil, which makes it work more like Liquin or Quickdry. It is posible to dilute it with water, but it doesn't blend very well.


mad mike
03-22-2007, 01:57 PM
Oops! :o

Just realized how "off-topic" my previous post was! I was posting in reply to a question by Donald_Smith, and I probably should have just PM'd my comments.

Mike S.

09-15-2014, 11:56 AM
I use Lukas Berlin WMO the same as conventional oils. Why - the price.
Every 37mm tube is $3.49.