PDA

View Full Version : How long does it take Artisan WM oils to dry?


Ken Nielsen
06-22-2010, 02:28 PM
Traditional oils, I have read, require up to 60 years to become thoroughly dry. I have also read that drying of oils is not from evaporation but happens by a chemical change that makes the paints dry.

Including the additions of mediums like stand oil and walnut oil to bring the WM oils into a consistency of traditional oils, I am guessing that, because WM oils themselves tend to dry on the palette approximately twice as fast as traditional oils, that I can expect that paintings will be dry also faster than traditional oils.

Would some of you who understand the drying process better please elaborate to help my understanding of what is meant by 'drying' for WM oils as opposed to traditional oils 'drying' as well as what drying 'times' might be expected.

Thank You,

Ken

DAK723
06-22-2010, 04:19 PM
Oil paint does indeed dry by oxidation and not evaporation. The process is a slow one and does go on for decades - although for all practical purposes, the only drying times the artist is usually concerned with is "dry enough to paint the next layer" and "dry enough to varnish".

While your experience is that the WM oils "touch dry" faster, I wouldn't say that one can make a definitive statement in that regard for all brands. My experience is that there is no noticeable difference. The "touch dry" time depends on many factors - the thickness of the paint layer, the amount of oil, other ingredients in the mediums including driers, temperature, humidity, etc.

As far as dry enough to varnish - I believe most of the WM makers suggest using the same time frame as for traditional oils, 6 to 12 months. Again, this can vary widely depending mainly on the thickness of the paint layers.

Since the WM oils have only been around for 17 years or so, we may have to wait a while to see if the 60 year estimate is the same as well!

From everything I have read regarding WMOs, they should be considered oil paints - not something different - with all the same rules, procedures and timetables as traditional oils.

Don

Ken Nielsen
06-22-2010, 07:22 PM
From everything I have read regarding WMOs, they should be considered oil paints - not something different - with all the same rules, procedures and timetables as traditional oils.

Don

Thank You Don. I think that sounds like very wise and knowledgeable advice. I'll be proceeding in kind, with the same regard for all oils then.

Ken

dcorc
06-23-2010, 08:28 AM
Don's advice here is very good.

My own, admittedly limited, experience with Artisans is that if anything they are a little slower to reach a point where they can be confidently painted over than conventional oils, and if a little water is added to them, markedly slower. I suspect that in the first case, where I was keeping water well away from the paint, that in the context of cool UK conditions, these paints may actually absorb some moisture from atmosphere? Thus, aside from the general consideration that drying-rates are influenced by environmental temperature, I think these paints may show some additional variation dependant on humidity? (I remember a previous post here discussing this with another member who had noted similarly?).

As regards the overall drying, the relevant chemistry isn't any different - the main issue is that is there's any water in the paint-film, this has to evaporate prior to, or together with, the oxidative "drying" process.

Which brands of traditional oils are you comparing their drying rates with, Ken?- the drying rates of traditional oils can themselves vary greatly brand-by-brand, depending on how they are formulated.


Dave

Ken Nielsen
06-23-2010, 03:14 PM
I've been using W&N all the way, from traditional oils to now, the Artisan line of W&N water miscibles.

sidbledsoe
06-23-2010, 10:20 PM
Here is the Winsor Newton page (http://www.winsornewton.com/main.aspx?PageID=279) with info on the drying times.

Ken Nielsen
06-24-2010, 01:42 PM
Here is the Winsor Newton page (http:http://www.winsornewton.com/main.aspx?PageID=279//) with info on the drying times.

Hmm... link leads to message saying "page isn't valid."

I did go to the Winsor & Newton site and searched on drying times for Artisan paints where is gave brief information of drying times (from 2 days for fast drying to 5 days for slow drying) of various colors.

-------------------------------------

"Fast drying (around 2 days)

Prussian Blue, Umbers.

Medium Drying (around 5 days)

Cadmium Hues, Phthalo Blue (red shade) and Phthalo Greens, Siennas, French Ultramarine, Synthetic Iron Oxides, Ochres, Titanium White, Zinc White, Lamp Black, Ivory Black.

Slow drying (more than 5 days)

Cadmiums, Permanent Rose (quinacridone), Permanent Alizarin Crimson."

-------------------------

Another page of the Winsor & Newton site had this to mention: "Artisan paintings should not be varnished until thoroughly dry (at least 6 months)"

So there is some variance even within the context of the Winsor & Newton site itself.

I don't trust the Winsor & Newton site, having worked in corporate environments over most of my life, I discern that the information was provided by different people from different contexts. This is why a site like Wet Canvas can become so meaningful when actual artists with actual experience can chime in based on their experience and be here to answer questions.

sidbledsoe
06-24-2010, 01:58 PM
http://www.winsornewton.com/main.aspx?PageID=200#CB12

weird:confused:

Ken, are you saying that is a conflict? the 12 day drying rate vs 6 months to varnish.
This is the difference in dry to the touch and easily painted over without disturbing the paint layer= 2-12 days
Versus dry to the point where a varnish will not easily bond with the paint layer= 6 months.
The big difference is because you want following paint layers to bond and crosslink with the existing paint film but you don't want varnish to do that at all. Varnish is a protective layer that does several things, evens out the matte surface of the dark colors that may be "sunken". Protects from dirt etc so you may clean it. Can be removed without disturbing the paint film, this is why the 6 month caution is given.

Ken Nielsen
06-24-2010, 02:05 PM
http://www.winsornewton.com/main.aspx?PageID=200#CB12

weird:confused:


Too many 'http's" were inserted into the address on the first go-around.

sidbledsoe
06-24-2010, 02:07 PM
Oh I know what happened now, thanks, I pasted wrong!

Ken Nielsen
06-24-2010, 02:42 PM
Ken, are you saying that is a conflict?

I only seems that there is a 'variance' which becomes clearer with your explanation. W&N is such an established company, you would think that they would explain the meanings applicable to the term 'drying' as they set about to tell customers about drying times.

All I'm saying is that these forums 'fill the bill' when it comes to gaining an understanding as opposed to art company web sites where much is left to question..

Thanks for your reply,

Ken

sidbledsoe
06-24-2010, 05:17 PM
I see what you mean. It can get really involved with some of these oil paint, color theory, mediums, canvas, and other materials questions and has fueled a lot of good discussions that have certainly broadened my knowledge so I agree!

Ken Nielsen
06-24-2010, 06:39 PM
I think Don's assessment above to treat them like traditional oils, is good, which means to me to use all due caution and give them adequate time to dry. I hadn't planned on using varnish, but now I see it has a new purpose for protection that I had never understood before. I thought it just gave the painting a more even surface 'look.' The paintings I have that are 6 months old look fine to me and I have never applied a varnish to any of my work. Did the masters varnish their paintings? Did they comment on the reasons and wherefores? It seems that curators of fine paintings could remove varnish, if it is indeed removable, and apply new to 'freshen up' a painting - if this is the intended use.

DAK723
06-24-2010, 10:57 PM
In my personal experience, the thickness of the paint layer may play the biggest roll in the "touch-drying time", so those 2 to 12 day approximations are just that. Usually my painting are dry in 2 or 3 days, but if I use a knife for painting, it can easily take 2 or 3 weeks (or more) to dry. So if you are painting fairly thickly, it will take longer!

Varnishing, to a certain degree, is an artist's decision. Almost all the "official" recommendations are to definitely varnish - to protect the painting and provide a removable layer. I think most of your potential customers will expect the painting to be varnished.

It does, of course, also provide a final layer that can help equalize the amount of gloss in the finish.

On the other hand, I've read a few comments that point out that while varnishing was very important during times when people burned coal, wood stoves and kerosene lamps, etc. - and there was generally a lot more smoke and "dirt" in the air of your home - in most of today's homes, there will never be a need to clean your paintings by removing the varnish layer. Most of the impressionists, if I remember correctly, did not varnish their painting, although they have been subsequently varnished by the museums that now own them. They liked the more matte finish and did not want the "old-fashioned" glossy look!

All that being said, I think it is a good idea to varnish. It is fairly easy to do and usually gives the painting a more unified finish - and gives the potential customer a "finished" product. It is common practice for artists to put some sort of sticker on the back of the painting indicating whether or not it has been varnished (and often the type of varnish). If you sell a painting before it has been varnished (because it hasn't been 6 months to a year), then it is also common practice to mention this to the buyer and offer to varnish the painting when enough time has elapsed.

Don

Ken Nielsen
06-26-2010, 01:08 AM
In my personal experience...

Don

Priceless information. Very much appreciated excursion into methods, why's and wherefore's plus expanded information on the subject of drying times and varnishing.

Thank You,

Ken