View Full Version : Drying Oil?

09-08-2002, 07:47 PM
I bought this Grumbacher "Pale Drying Oil"-- it says it contains refined linseed oil and manganese naphthenate. Anyone have any experience with this, or some similar product? I'm still trying to find something to loosen the paint, increase gloss, and help it to dry faster.

09-08-2002, 09:27 PM
This may be of some assistance:


This is a fantastic example of why our new product review system will be helpful for future research projects. :)


09-08-2002, 10:16 PM
Thanks, Scott! I didn't think to search.

09-08-2002, 10:31 PM

There are lots of products out there to help increase flow, dry faster, and add a glossy finish to your paint. Of course, they all have their pros and cons.

Personally, I use synthetic copal medium. Nice flow, increases drying, and increases the gloss in my colors. I haven't reached the point yet where I've made my own, from real copal resin, but it is something I am planning on doing at some point (in my copious spare time - lol). Using Grumbacher at the moment. I know fellow WC'er Larry Seiler (and many others) swear by Garrett's Copal (www.garrettcopal.com).

Luis/Titanium and others here could probably shed some more insights here for you with regard to their experiences with specific products.

Can't wait for that product review system to roll out ... :)


Wayne Gaudon
09-08-2002, 10:40 PM
I have used copal and Black Oil and I like Black Oil .. it too has it's drawbacks .. I don't know of anything that works to perfection .. according to Leopoldo, there is nothing that works to the degree that you don't have to varnish .. least not all the time .. I have some that are good and some that are not so good .. I found with copal I had to add a drop of linseed oil for it to retain a better flow but I think I rework my passages more than I should at times .. think it's the stroke layed stroke stayed theory that will make copal or black oil work for you and again depends on the paints you mix it with .. it's all in the experimentation. Black oil is made with lead but unless you ingest it, it isn't a problem. There is a tread on it here somewhere.

09-09-2002, 12:15 AM
"the stroke layed stroke stayed theory..."

Wayne, could you please expand on this? -tay

09-09-2002, 01:01 AM
I believe what he is referring to is the concept of "economical" strokes, or making each one count.

Larry Seiler expands on this a bit on page 4 of this article:



Wayne Gaudon
09-09-2002, 06:37 AM
Larry does a very good article but the long of short of it is simply this. Once you put a stroke of color down, leave it alone. Do your next stroke and the same. Don't go over your strokes once you have made one.
IE. If painting water, let's say you see red/purple/blue and gold in a particular section. Well, you have to get your values right on the first stroke .. one red, one purple, etc and when you are finished you should see the water section that you wanted to paint. This is used in Alla Prima painting and with thick paint .. if you paint thinly and are layering then obviously you go over your strokes a multitude of times.

Hope this helps.

09-09-2002, 07:59 AM
I've tried a lot of different products, including the copal Larry uses (that worked well for me), but my sinuses are sensitive to so many of the ingredients that I'm having a hard time finding one I can use in the studio.

To help with maintaining gloss, I bought some Fredrix "Oil Priming"-- it's a linseed oil based primer (rather than an acrylic), and it's not the whole answer but it helps a lot. My plain masonite panels, I prime first front and back with acrylic primer, then give a single coat of this stuff on the face-- pre-primed canvas panels I just give a single coat to. The dried primed surface has a bit of sheen to it, and takes paint beautifully. And, when my paintings are dry they have a higher overall gloss level, with far fewer sunken areas. But, of course, this doesn't help with hardness of the paint film or drying time.

I tried the drying oil for the first time yesterday-- it didn't bother me at all-- so I'll be using it consistently for a while. In a couple of weeks I'll post my opinions on how it's working.

09-09-2002, 11:11 AM
the problem you want to be aware of with driers in the oil (napthenate or cobalt or manganese driers) is that an overuse of driers can cause the paint film to crack as it dries. i have not seen this problem with black oil. and it certainly wouldn't be a problem with copal mediums, which are a varnish suspended in a solvent.

copal medium is really really easy to make.

- put a handful of copal chips in a glass jar

- cover with turpentine

- swirl occasionally

- when dissolved, strain the grotty bits out

- thin to desired consistency with more turp and/or linseed oil

i use oil of spike as the solvent in my copal medium because it smells divine!

a good source for oil of spike and copal is www.studioproducts.com
but i get mine from the local herb and incense shop (so cheap!)