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maybefoolish
08-05-2002, 01:27 AM
I'm hoping someone will know about the "fatness" of alkyd. I try to make sure that my oil paintings adhere to the idea of painting fat over lean, but am confused by some of the newer alkyd products. If alkyd is leaner than most oil paint then it would be fine to use in a ground replacing acrylic gesso. but if it's fatter it wouldn't.

If, on the other hand it's leaner, and i suspect this is the case, then it would not be a very good choice for a final varnish. i also wonder if it can be removed later as Damar varnish can.

does anyone know?

CarlyHardy
08-05-2002, 07:42 AM
Maybefoolish...I think you'll get more help on this topic in the oils forum. Will move your thread to that location! Thanks for posting...sorry that I can't give you an answer.
carly

sarkana
08-05-2002, 09:30 AM
i actually became a little confused myself pondering your question. alkyd is in fact "leaner" than oil paint, but only by virtue of drying faster than regular oil paint. in most formulas, you use alkyd paints just as you would oil paints. thinning with a little solvent would make it a fine choice for a ground.

alkyd picture varnishes are not exactly the same as alkyd paints. they are a more concentrated alkyd resin. alkyd varnishes are fine for archival picture varnishes, and can be removed with solvents far milder than turpentine.

but don't trust me. i'm not really very enamoured with alkyds. but robert gamblin is and all gamblin varnishes and mediums are made with alkyd resins. peruse gamlin's excellent site at: http://www.gamblincolors.com/materials/pmvs.html

maybefoolish
08-06-2002, 12:08 AM
Thank you for your help CHClements and Sarkana.

I still don't have an answer but I'm working my way through all that information at the Gambelin site. It's a good resource and i thank you for it.

One problem with Gambelin is that they sell the stuff so of course they're not going to tell us what's wrong with it unless they have another product to fix the problem. I'd like to find an outside source with nothing to gain for information if that's possible. Still the site is very interesting. Thanks again.

I know i'm cynical.

Will H-G
08-06-2002, 10:50 AM
Hi

If you look at some of the information on the Winsor and Newton web site you will find that they endorse the use of alkyd colours (Griffin) for under-painting but not for use over the much slower drying oils.

W&N have put on line a 92 page Oil painting book as a PDF file.
The Oil Colour Book (http://www.winsornewton.com/Main/Sitesections/library/pcusers.htm) 1.53Mb
You may find it worth a look through.

artbabe21
08-06-2002, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by Will H-G
on the Winsor and Newton web site you will find that they endorse the use of alkyd colours (Griffin) for under-painting but not for use over the much slower drying oils.

Will w/o going through a lot of reading which I don't have the time for right now. Can you explain this better. I don't use the alkyd OVER regular oils but I use alkyd white to mix with my regular oils for a faster dry when I travel! I have always understood this to be fine. I don't think this is what you are referring to? You mean as a varnish?

Cathleen~

maybefoolish
08-06-2002, 12:39 PM
It is important not to have faster "drying" paint on top of slower "drying" paint as it causes cracking and unstable paint surfaces. Ususally this is referred to as the "fat over lean" idea.
Each layer of oil paint should be more oily than the earlier one, rather than less oily. (This is compounded by the fact that different pigments absorb oil at different rates and dry at differeent rates. But that is another problem.) Acrylic gesso is okay as the first layer as it sets up pretty quickly.
The question comes from trying to figure out where the alkyds fit in the line of oiliness or quick dryingness. Since they dry quicker it would seem that they would be okay for a ground and or early layer but not so much for the later work and probably not for a final varnish.
However, Gambelin, and I think, Golden both make an alkyd varnish which some shops think is just fine.
My logic makes me not so sure.
So, who knows?

maybefoolish
08-06-2002, 12:42 PM
I think i didn't explain varnish very well. I mean by this a final varnish applied to the finished painting well after it is dry, say six months to a year. I normally use damar varnish, tried and true but wonder about new products at the same time.

I don't mean retouch varnish, used during the painting process. Alkyd here would seem to be of less use and more risky to my way of thinking.

Noble
08-06-2002, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by artbabe21


Will w/o going through a lot of reading which I don't have the time for right now. Can you explain this better. I don't use the alkyd OVER regular oils but I use alkyd white to mix with my regular oils for a faster dry when I travel! I have always understood this to be fine. I don't think this is what you are referring to? You mean as a varnish?

Cathleen~
Alkyds work well with other alkyds and I know of people who have mixed alkyds and oils together as you described and they have held up well during the "formative years" which if there was a problem, it would have most likely appeared during that time. Most paint films go bad rather quickly, if not, it is more than likely going to last. Mayer says this also.

What you are doing in essence is adding some "fast drying medium" (it just happens to be an opaque white medium lol) to your paint. Anyway, as a plein aire medium I would think alkyds would be excellent used alone, they dry uniformly throughout and quite fast.

BTW, I've read that if you want them to dry even faster, use turps instead of OMS. (Odorless mineral spirits)

artbabe21
08-06-2002, 01:21 PM
Thanks Noble, I think I misunderstood Wills post. I agree that alkyds would be very good for plein aire. I just find that using the alkyd white when 'paint traveling' they do dry much quicker so I have sort of gotten into that habit. But that is taking, "can be mixed with regular oils" to the extreme. I paint thinly enough that I have found no problems.

Cathleen~

maybefoolish
08-10-2002, 01:51 AM
Thanks for the recommendation of the WinsorNewton Oil book on line. It took a bit of manoeuvering to get it as i'm on a Mac, but it was worth the trouble. Lots of good stuff in there.

I think i'll be staying with the damar varnish for the time being.

BlackX
01-25-2006, 12:57 AM
Yeah, I know this is way late for when this was originally posted but...

I've gotten back into oil painting, and subesquently testing alkyd variants, after years of primarily pastel usage. I've seen conflicting viewpoints of oil over alkyd or alkyd over oil from WetCanvas posts, manufacturers sites, and other web sites. My assumption at this point is that there is a conflict between alkyd being more flexible and alkyd being faster drying. Am I missing something obvious? Each seems to conflict with the other as to which should be used under the other (or, if using primarily alkyd paint or a medium like Liquin, which direction one should use more or less alkyd/Liquin). Is there any sort of conservation consensus?

stagfoot
01-25-2006, 03:04 PM
My assumption at this point is that there is a conflict between alkyd being more flexible and alkyd being faster drying. Am I missing something obvious? Each seems to conflict with the other as to which should be used under the other (or, if using primarily alkyd paint or a medium like Liquin, which direction one should use more or less alkyd/Liquin). Is there any sort of conservation consensus?

Alkyd paints can be leaner or fatter than oil paints according to which alkyd and oil paints you are comparing them to.
So you maybe able to use some alkyd paints in lower layers, but you must remember that alkyd like oil is 'fat'.
This means that you must use more of which ever medium you are using in the upper layers of a painting, wether this is alkyd or oil, the same rule applies.
Some manufactures and conservators recommend you stick to one type of medium (alkyd or oil) in a painting.
In my view, you don't want to use an oil medium under an alkyd, because not only does the alkyd one dry faster, but it will also reach it's most brittle point sooner than the oil one.
Although alkyd aged films are more flexible than aged oil films, it takes much longer for the oil than the alkyd to get there.
So until the oil gets as brittle (and then more so) the alkyd would be braking the 'fat over lean' rule.
Because you don't want to trap undried paint under later layers, Winsor & Newton recommend you use fast drying oil colours only (or alkyd paints) in the underlayers when using their alkyd mediums.

Moosehead
01-25-2006, 06:25 PM
Although fat over lean is often thought of as slow drying over fast drying, as I understand it, it's really about flexible over less flexible. There seems to be debate on this issue with respect to alkyd resin mediums (such as Liquin) but the manufacturer's seem to say treat alkyd resin mediums as "fat". So more Liquin (or galkyd etc) in the upper layers.

As for the Alkyd paints, I'm not certain. I've used them, and they are supposed to be compatible with traditional oil paints and mediums, but I've stayed away from using them with traditional paints. What I have done in layered painting with just alkyds is use more solvent in the lower layers and more linseed oil in the upper layers-they still dry fairly quickly, and I know I'm going a fat over lean this way.