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Woolfthefirst
01-27-2010, 10:05 AM
First off, I like them, they are beginning to feel comfortable.
Secondly, my favorite brushes are Rhenish Finest Natural Bristle brushes, I'm still looking for Bob Ross style 1" round brush at a reasonable price (I actually tried one that mechanics use to clean parts but just got smudges.)
Thirdly, I use water a drop at a time and, like others, I use a W/M oil for thinning & mixing.
Fourthly, I use canvass pad sheets with two sided Scotch tape along all four edges to hold the sheet to my work board. And if I wear out one side I turn it over and use the other side.
Fifthly, I always use store brand Gesso, and I use Gesso on each piece.
Sixthly, I keep up to four or five pieces in progress so while several are drying I can work on the others.
Seventh, I have not been able to do a whole piece wet on wet, I always need drying time to finish off to my satisfaction.
Eighth, health and safety. I don't know why folks still use traditional oils. In my opinion they cannot be used safely. Bob Ross died early of lymphoma, his second wife ( also a painter) died early of cancer, Susan Schewe had to give up on oils because of strong allergic reactions, I know too many house painters and decorators and industrial workers who died of lymphoma. The fact is the fumes given off by the thinner and turpentine used for traditional oils is absorbed by the skin and lungs and so are the fumes given off by the oil itself. I'm not a doctor but that is enough anecdotal evidence for me.

My Web Site http://www.edwardreinhart.com/

hal_s
01-27-2010, 01:24 PM
You shouldn't use natural bristle brushes with water misible oils if you are going to use water during the painting process. Read other articles on this forum.

Water just doesn't have the same effect on WMOs as real paint thinner, so any technique which involves using lots of thinner won't work the same.o

Traditional oils can certainly be used safely, it depends on how much solvent you are using and how you clean your brushes. A moderately careful fine art painter would be exposed to a lot less solvent than is typical of many blue collar trades.

Oil doesn't give off any "fumes" and whatever oil does give off it would be the same with water miscible oil.

greywolf-art
01-27-2010, 02:47 PM
Hmm I can't see how linseed oil would give off harmful fumes, turps definately and even the low odour thinners but linseed oil as far as I know is completely harmless, and as Hal has pointed out the WMO's also have linseed oil in them.

luckily my own painting style doesn't require the use of thinners very often so I find that I can often use traditional oils alongside my Artisan paints with no problems whatsoever, I just use Artisan linseed oil to dissolve the oil paint residues left on the brush then wash it off with water :)

Woolfthefirst
01-28-2010, 10:01 AM
Thanks guys for the advice. Just to clarify, I am still feeling my way with W/M's. I use mostly W/M linseed oil for thinning, though now and then I may add a drop or two of water. I use water mainly for bursh cleaning. Maby I shouldn't use bristle brushes but I get the best results from them at this time, I do use finer brushes for finer touches after a period of drying. I disagree about traditional oil painting being safe. It is true that linseed oil has no harmful fumes but if you use the thinner or turpentine you do have residues in the paint. The important point is that these materials are - I repeat - are absorbed by the skin and are absorbed by the lungs. Of course my evidence is anectotal but I have a lot of it, enough for me any way. That is why I will never use traditional oils. I'm just a hobbiest, an amature, so since it isn't necessary to expose myself to these toxins I chose not to. But each person has to make his own choice.

hal_s
01-28-2010, 11:24 AM
but if you use the thinner or turpentine you do have residues in the paint. The important point is that these materials are - I repeat - are absorbed by the skin and are absorbed by the lungs. Of course my evidence is anectotal but I have a lot of it, enough for me any way. That is why I will never use traditional oils. I'm just a hobbiest, an amature, so since it isn't necessary to expose myself to these toxins I chose not to. But each person has to make his own choice.

Paint thinner generally doesn't leave any harmful "residue" behind, their purpose is to evaporate and leave nothing behind at all.

If you want to swap anecdotal evidence, Grandma Moses lived to be 101. Pablo Picasso lived to be 91. Asher Durand 90. Hermann Ottomar Herzog 100. Willem de Kooning 92. Edward Willis Redfield 95. If you look though the bios of famous artists, a lot of them lived into their 80s, and they painted in a time when people paid a lot less attention to health risks, and turpentine and lead pigments were commonly used, and until the last few decades, most people died before their 80s.

Now, the risks of VoC emitting solvents is known, and the way I was taught to paint, to have a big open jar of mineral spirits the whole time, is probably not the best idea given that there are low-VoC alternative brush claners and you don't need to keep the lid of the jar open when you're not cleaning the brushes. But you are obviously not an expert on the subject, just someone who is really afraid of anything which might be even slightly harmful, and you are spreading a lot of misinformation.

I should add that I'm not opposed to WMOs: if modern science has invented something better, than I say use them! However, I think that right now, regular oils are somewhat more convenient to use because of the greater variety of colors and mediums available.

greywolf-art
01-28-2010, 06:22 PM
I should add that I'm not opposed to WMOs: if modern science has invented something better, than I say use them! However, I think that right now, regular oils are somewhat more convenient to use because of the greater variety of colors and mediums available.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with this, without wanting to get into any argument over this you are (rightly) telling Woolfthefirst not to spread disinformation - then spreading your own brand of disinformation, the truth is that traditional oils are no more convenient than WMO's OR the other way round!

There are plenty of mediums available for WMO's Artisan has: thinners, Linseed oil, safflower oil, stand oil, painting medium, fast drying medium & Impasto medium - more than enough for any painters needs,

For me there is no real added convenience in using traditional oils, I generally use a pallette of no more than 7-8 colours chosen from a wider pallette of no more than a dozen colours, and all those colours are offered by Artisan the only colour that I sometimes like to use that isn't in the artisan range is Ultramarine Violet and there is no problem using this in traditional oils alongside my WMO's !

hal_s
01-28-2010, 07:29 PM
If you are painting Alla Prima, and using a limited number of paint tubes, then WMOs are fine.

I really like Gamblin Portland Greys, and Cadmium Green, and these convenience mixtures aren't available in the Artisan line. With regular oils, you can buy any oil paint from any manufacturer you want and mix them together.

I also like the ability to control the drying time of the paint--I can mix in some Griffin Alkyds to make the paint dry really fast. That's easier than messing around with the Artisan fast drying medium which I don't care for very much. And of course, there's Liquin. But if you're painting Alla Prima, then drying time doesn't matter.

Regular oils are also more conveneint because they are easier to buy. You can go into any art supply store or even a Michaels and find what you want, but if you are restricting yourself only to one niche product, you may not be able to find what you want except by ordering online. (Most art supply stores seem to carry Artisan, but the one's I've been to never seem to have all of the Artisan mediums.)

Hope that explains what I meant by convenient. It's my own opinion of convenience, but I think it's valid.

Woolfthefirst
01-28-2010, 08:30 PM
Yes, we know a lot of painters who were long livers. But I'm thinking of people I know personally and a lot of painters recently deceased or still living who had to give up oils. There is no doubt that the growing popularity of W/M's has something to do with the issue of toxity involved in traditional oil painting. I know some folks who smoked and drank all their lives and lived into their 90's and 100's. But why tempt fate. Any way, it is my choice. And thanks for the interest.

dcorc
01-28-2010, 09:04 PM
Other members here have already addressed the misinformation you are promulgating here. However, since further refutation is required:

Studies of painters, solvents, and incidences of haematopoietic and lymphoreticular malignancies include housepainters and industrial painters, exposed to a far wider range, and far higher concentrations, of solvents, in a far more sustained manner, than is typical of artists using oil paints and following basic rules of good practice about minimising their exposure by minimising handling and good ventilation.

Dave

stapeliad
01-28-2010, 09:19 PM
Eighth, health and safety. I don't know why folks still use traditional oils. In my opinion they cannot be used safely.

This is a highly inaccurate statement. If you are going to list how people passed on and link it to using oils, then you should provide evidence that their ailments were caused from oil-related materials. Plenty of people have experienced the same diseases who never touched paints.

I honestly can't understand why there has to be an issue of "one is better than the other"- it simply is not the case. Everyone has different needs and requirements, and isn't nice that materials are available to cater to everyone?

Clarification:
1. Solvent is toxic. Odorless solvent is also toxic but less dangerous than turps.
2. Solvent use is optional with traditional oils.
3. Knowing how to safely use your materials is important.
4. The oils used in paints are non toxic, and are the same in traditional and WM oils.
5. Some pigments are considered toxic but are not really a risk unless you are spreading them on your sandwhich.
6. We are all exposed to chemicals in every aspect of our lives every day that are more toxic than our painting sessions.
7. Use the materials you like and are comfortable with, and enjoy painting.
8. "It's a dangerous business leaving your house" -Bilbo Baggins

greywolf-art
01-28-2010, 10:06 PM
If you are painting Alla Prima, and using a limited number of paint tubes, then WMOs are fine.

I really like Gamblin Portland Greys, and Cadmium Green, and these convenience mixtures aren't available in the Artisan line. With regular oils, you can buy any oil paint from any manufacturer you want and mix them together.

I also like the ability to control the drying time of the paint--I can mix in some Griffin Alkyds to make the paint dry really fast. That's easier than messing around with the Artisan fast drying medium which I don't care for very much. And of course, there's Liquin. But if you're painting Alla Prima, then drying time doesn't matter.

Regular oils are also more conveneint because they are easier to buy. You can go into any art supply store or even a Michaels and find what you want, but if you are restricting yourself only to one niche product, you may not be able to find what you want except by ordering online. (Most art supply stores seem to carry Artisan, but the one's I've been to never seem to have all of the Artisan mediums.)

Hope that explains what I meant by convenient. It's my own opinion of convenience, but I think it's valid.

Ah well there's the difference, I use a limited pallette because I have no interest in 'convenience' mixes but prefer to mix my colours myself and only use single pigment paints (with the exception of Paynes Grey which I rarely use anyway) this is why my pallette is limited and not because I can't get the colours I want LOL.

I never paint alla prima except in life drawing classes and I use acrylics for that because of their fast drying times, the vast majority of my work is carefully controlled studio work where I take a great deal of time and care over the paintings working in several layers ect.

you also seem to have some kind of misconception that WMO's can't be used with regular oils - they can! I mix traditional oils and WMO's all the time (W&N have confirmed on their site that this is perfectly safe to do) like I said, I like Ultramarine violet which I can only get in artists oils, and its no different to working in Artisan oils and mixes quite happily with them, so your assertion that you can only mix oils from traditional manufacturers has no basis in reality!

If you prefer not to work in WMO's then fine - I have no problem with that, but it is just as misleading to suggest that traditional oils are better than WMO's because they have more convenience colours as it is to claim that WMO's are better because of some percieved wicked toxicness in traditional oil paints (its the solvents such as turps that are harmful and then only to asthmatics like myself, I just find it more convenient to avoid solvents by using artisan paints than with traditional oils)

As stapeliad said, why does there have to be an issue of one being better than the other, I use both types of oil paint simultaneously and see no difference in them, but then I could go into my back yard and dig up some soil and make a good painting with it - its the artist and not the medium that makes the painting work!

P.S. The Artisan quick drying medium can actually be made more fluid with the addition of a little bit of linseed oil and thinners, though I rarely use it because I prefer to keep the natural drying times these days, why rush a painting when a few days will give you time to make adjustments.

greywolf-art
01-28-2010, 10:07 PM
I forgot to say that you can indeed use traditional oils without solvents - I do it all the time, so woolf, assertion that you can't use traditional oils safely is indeed misguided - I just find cleanup more convenient in Artisans :)

hal_s
01-29-2010, 12:26 AM
As stapeliad said, why does there have to be an issue of one being better than the other

Ah, I never used the word "better" in any of my posts, I was very careful to use the word "convenient." And convenience is a personal thing.

Regarding the alleged increasing popularity of WMOs and the ease of using regular oils without solvents, actually it's not easy for the novice painter to figure out how to use no or a limited amount of solvents with oils, as the standard practice is to use mineral spirits or even turpentine (supposedly the worse VoC emitter compared to odorless mineral spirits). At Wet Canvas, people argue over how to use oils without solvents, and give advice which doesn't even make any sense, so the novice would be easily confused by all of it and figure that water sounds really safe. We also live in an age when people are more paranoid about their health than ever before. I guess that people who are afraid to eat a hamburger once in a while because they think the cholesterol will immediately kill them would be afraid to use paint thinner. I have to admit that paint thinner is more hazardous to your health than a hamburger, so if I were afraid to eat a hamburger I'd probably also be afraid of paint thinner.

T.Wayne
01-29-2010, 01:45 AM
I use no solvents except brush cleaner,
just pure oil paint, no linseed oil or any of that junk.
I've never know anyone who uses oil paints and has become sick from using
them.
I for one am a perfect example of what not to do when using oils.
1. I often eat while i paint.
2. Sometimes i will drink while painting.
3. I often smoke while painting.
4. Im sure ive prolly swallowed small amounts of it also.
Ive never come close to getting sick from oil paints
All those flammable stuff well just be careful when using those,
I dont think a cigarette would be hot enough to cause a fire from them but
an flame will.

tjbintz
01-29-2010, 09:54 AM
Well, since this thread is about beginners thoughts; and I'm a beginner I'd like to throw in one thing I discovered and I'm sure others that have painted for awhile know:

If I want to glaze using W&N Stand Oil, I apply the oil onto the surface of the canvas instead of mixing it into the paint. I found that by mixing the Stand Oil in with the paint then storing the paints for another session; the paint is so gummy I can't use it; and that's after a day or two.

T.Wayne
01-29-2010, 04:07 PM
Well, since this thread is about beginners thoughts; and I'm a beginner I'd like to throw in one thing I discovered and I'm sure others that have painted for awhile know:

If I want to glaze using W&N Stand Oil, I apply the oil onto the surface of the canvas instead of mixing it into the paint. I found that by mixing the Stand Oil in with the paint then storing the paints for another session; the paint is so gummy I can't use it; and that's after a day or two.

are you usin water mixable oil paint?

tjbintz
01-29-2010, 08:59 PM
Yes, they are W&N water miscible oils; and I have both the W&N Water Mixable Linseed Oil and their Water Mixable Stand Oil.

Stand oil is for glazing and small detail; whereas their Linseed Oil is for gloss and transparency.

The stand oil seems to dry faster than the linseed oil. On my last painting, I overdid the linseed oil and it took a month before it dried.

I found if I don't use the linseed oil throughout the painting, I have patchy matte and glossy areas.

I'd like to use revarnish to even out the gloss, but I read somewhere that you're not supposed to revarnish over W&N water miscible oil paints.

Grandma with a brush
01-29-2010, 09:03 PM
I am a new member and don't really know how this works. But this is my first post. I think.

dspinks
01-30-2010, 01:16 AM
Sure, you can varnish your wmo paintings (ie. after 6+ mos of drying) just like with traditional oil paintings.

RE natural hog bristle brushes - Submersing and rinsing in water during the painting session makes them "mushy" because capillary action pulls the water into the bristles and softens them. If the only water they get is the little bit added to thin the wmo's, the "mushy" effect is minimal, if any. The effect disappears when the brushes dry out. I don't like that effect, so I use Artisan thinner (which doesn't contain water) to clean my brushes between color changes and soap and water to clean them at the end of the day.

So, for those who do not like the "mushy-floppies," certainly it doesn't make sense to use natural hog bristle brushes. But since you like how your brushes behave even when wet, there is no reason why you shouldn't use them with your wmo's.

greywolf-art
01-30-2010, 09:07 AM
Yes, they are W&N water miscible oils; and I have both the W&N Water Mixable Linseed Oil and their Water Mixable Stand Oil.

Stand oil is for glazing and small detail; whereas their Linseed Oil is for gloss and transparency.

The stand oil seems to dry faster than the linseed oil. On my last painting, I overdid the linseed oil and it took a month before it dried.

I found if I don't use the linseed oil throughout the painting, I have patchy matte and glossy areas.

I'd like to use revarnish to even out the gloss, but I read somewhere that you're not supposed to revarnish over W&N water miscible oil paints.

I suspect part of your problem is overuse of mediums - you are only supposed to add very small amounts of medium to your paint and if you put in too much then you will create all kinds of problems.

I've never used the stand oil so can't comment on that but linseed oil definately should only be added in tiny amounts!

I don't know who told you that you can't varnish WMO's - they can be varnished just like standard oils - with the same limitations!

tjbintz
01-30-2010, 12:13 PM
Sorry for any confusion regarding varnishing. I was referring to the retouch varnish used as a temporary varnish. I had read somewhere that you shouldn't use retouch varnish over W&N wmoils. I'll have to query W&N on that one. I wanted to show some paintings I'd done prior to the 6+ month drying time; and thought for a consistent gloss, the retouch varnish would work.

As a beginning oil painter, I definitely learned my lesson on excessive medium usage. It's still a huge learning curve for me; I'm at the stage on my new piece where I'm going lean on lean and not using any mediums at all.

I'm having to scumble more to move the paint around, but I'm discovering I can rework areas after a day a lot easier than if I had added medium.

greywolf-art
01-30-2010, 05:17 PM
you could rub a very fine layer of linseed on the dried surface before painting to help the paint glide on a bit smoother, this would reduce the amount of scumbling you need to do :)

I've found this to be better than adding mediums to my paint TBH, I only add medium if I'm after fine detail now :)

Woolfthefirst
01-31-2010, 11:30 PM
This has all been interesting, nothing like a vigorous discussion. Of course those of us new to the craft are feeling our way. I've done five pieces now with W/M's and have been struggling for a week with three others. I went to the FAQ ( I hope that is right) section and read the reviews there. Three dealt with W/M's and I just got two from the library. I am reading Brushstrokes by Mark Christopher Weber. He covers just about everything including some stern warnings about the toxicity of not only solvents but even paint. I don't know if Mark likes hamburgers or not but I sure do - with the works.

greywolf-art
02-01-2010, 08:07 AM
That's fine woolf, we all have to learn somewhere, the toxicity issue is a complicated one, but with a little care is also an easily managed problem, just keep the paint away from your mouth and you will be fine:)

my point was that the oil itself is not poisonous its the solvents that give off toxic fumes, and of course some of the pigments can be toxic if you ingest them, but the linseed oil is no more harmful that cooking oil!

karenlee
02-01-2010, 11:30 PM
I thought linseed oil was ths same thing as flax seed oil in the grocery/health food store. Is that right??

dcorc
02-01-2010, 11:37 PM
In terms of its origin, yes. In terms of what has been subsequently done to it, not necessarily (in the sense that health food store oil needs more preparation before it is suitable for use in painting).

Linseed oil, though, is certainly non-toxic (providing it hasn't had solvents or driers added to it).

trapper36
02-08-2010, 11:11 PM
tjbintz:
Wow, can't you use smaller words?
LOL

Sorry, it should have been dircted to post #9 by dcorc.

hal_s
02-09-2010, 01:23 AM
I thought linseed oil was ths same thing as flax seed oil in the grocery/health food store. Is that right??
Linseed and flax oil are different names for oil from the exact same plant. And disagreeing with the poster above, you should be able to paint with flax oil from a food store just fine.

It's different with safflower oil because supermarket safflower oil is made from a variety of safflower which doesn't dry as quickly as the variety used to make painting oil. Fast drying oils are not desirable as a food oil, because drying is the same thing as going rancid.

dcorc
02-09-2010, 06:39 AM
Linseed and flax oil are different names for oil from the exact same plant. And disagreeing with the poster above, you should be able to paint with flax oil from a food store just fine.

Providing you don't mind a likelihood of increased yellowing of your painting, as the food-grade flax oil will have had less treatment to remove protein, glycoprotein, and mucopolysaccharide components (usually collectively described as "mucilage") from the oil (and I'll also apologise, in passing, to trapper36, for using more long words :p ).

Dave

LJart
02-09-2010, 07:38 AM
tjbintz,

Sorry for any confusion regarding varnishing. I was referring to the retouch varnish used as a temporary varnish. I had read somewhere that you shouldn't use retouch varnish over W&N wmoils. I'll have to query W&N on that one. I wanted to show some paintings I'd done prior to the 6+ month drying time; and thought for a consistent gloss, the retouch varnish would work.

I had the same query over the whole retouch varnish with WMO's, so I started this thread a while ago to get some other opinions of it: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=593655
(this is in this forum on the second page!) I also emailed W&N about it, theres a copy of that email somewhere in that thread.

Since then I have used a traditional retouch varnish on a WMO painting that had been drying for about 4 months, and had/have had so far no problems with it. I have since then also read of people who use the final varnish intended for WMO's but diluted down quite sucessfully, (as thats all normal retouch is really I think, final varnish diluted down with turps) although actually now I come to think of it I can't think exactly what they diluted it with, i think it was water but worth double checking! hope that helps!

LJ

tjbintz
02-09-2010, 10:53 AM
Thanks LJ; I did see in that thread where: W&N Retouching varnish was not designed to be used with Artisan and we have not tested for this, so it would not be something we can recommend or condemn.

If you did decide to try it, I would suggest that you use on a trial piece of work.

Also the Artisan acrylic varnishes have not been tested over the retouching varnish, so I would suggest that the painting is not varnished for at least 6 months (our usual advice) even with Artisan varnishes as there is a possibility of moving the paint underneath slightly if the painting is not completely dry. If after at least 2 months retouching varnish is used, then once dry a conventional removable solvent varnish such as Artistsí Gloss or Matt, or ConservArt Gloss, would be my recommendation.

This really makes me wonder why W&N didn't perform all these trials rather than stating "we have not tested this"?????

Most of you that are beginners, such as myself, probably see glossy and dull surfaces on the canvas; due to oils sinking into the canvas and/or overuse of mediums, particularly linseed oil.

My question is, when you do the final varnish, will the varnish become dull as well in those areas, or will the varnish lay down as an even coat of gloss? If not, does that mean you need to oil out the canvas until you achieve an even gloss; then wait and varnish over the surface when dry?