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-   -   Useful Casein Text (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1444125)

Delofasht 03-08-2018 12:10 AM

Useful Casein Text
Cindy Moon McKee wrote up a .pdf of all her notes on Casein and the interactions she has read or tried with it and various mediums. I found it a useful resource file and had it saved on my computer for a couple years now but realize that others may not have been aware.

Here is the link:


Almost everything in there is stuff I personally located while researching Casein as well, but thought it very nice to have it all in one spot. Of particular interest, and one not found in almost any artists resource is the chemical interaction that takes place between oil and Casein over time. The two become more than just mechanically bonded according to studies done in medical and agricultural experiments. This is actually reinforced by the fact that ready made Casein paint available on the market happens to have a tiny bit of oil actually in the binder according to a few online articles.

Well, enjoy the read, I found it quite useful.

Harold Roth 03-09-2018 10:58 AM

Re: Useful Casein Text
This is a wonderful document. I used it to learn how to make casein.

I have tried mixing casein binder with tube oil paints, and they seize up immediately and look like casein paint instead of oils (matte). It was fun to experiment with, but I am not sure about how it would last.

Delofasht 03-10-2018 10:02 PM

Re: Useful Casein Text
Yes, and I have not even got to try all the various mixtures yet. The casein does make the oil paint dry really fast. As to how long the mixture with oil paint will last, it should last at least as long as the Casein. The chemical compatibility between them is good too, they actually will crosslink according to a few resources I had read. That said, there is very little scientific study done on Casein with other mediums compared to Acrylic, Oils, or watercolor even. There are a few blogs and articles about Casein as well that held quite a bit of historical information. It seems like Casein is one of the oldest mediums in the world, having been used since prehistoric times.

Harold Roth 03-11-2018 04:30 PM

Re: Useful Casein Text
You are right--it sure is darn hard to find any research or historical info on casein. Have you used casein + oil paints regularly? Or have you noticed how they last? I am real tempted to play with this combo more. Do you think I could still call it "oil paints"? Or would it have to be "mixed media"?

nadia_gnar 03-12-2018 05:39 PM

Re: Useful Casein Text
Thank you so much for the PDF! I am getting ready to start experimenting with casein paint. I've been comparing so many recipes and suggestions. It's fun but overwhelming. This guide is a very helpful addition to my research.

Trond 03-12-2018 11:37 PM

Re: Useful Casein Text
I have a bottle of the Shiva casein binder, and it sure does contain some oil (it floats to the top if you don't shake the bottle). I'm guessing it's linseed oil. But the paint does dry completely matte as others say, so the main binder is clearly the casein of course.

Delofasht 03-16-2018 06:41 AM

Re: Useful Casein Text

Originally Posted by Harold Roth
You are right--it sure is darn hard to find any research or historical info on casein. Have you used casein + oil paints regularly? Or have you noticed how they last? I am real tempted to play with this combo more. Do you think I could still call it "oil paints"? Or would it have to be "mixed media"?

Cannot say I have used it regularly, the samples I made on paper some years ago are currently in storage. When I get back to get that box from their storage location I will see about how they have done. Last check before storing, the layer looked as good as when I painted the sample (a mixture of ultramarine blue and transparent oxide yellow oil paint). The resulting gray paint was in excellent shape and still flexed fine with the paper, though I did not try folding it through the sample (not trying to break my sample yet). The sample was thinly applied, not a heavy impasto at all, which is recommended to avoid for Casein or oil on a flexible surface such as paper.

I would still call it oil paint, as oil painters add all sorts of mediums to their artwork very frequently. Sometimes they add alkyd, wax, resins, varnish, spirits of various types, chalk, egg, or any number of other additives. So long as it looks like oil when finished, it largely doesnít make too much of a difference. The matte quality of Casein does have a very different look than most oil though. The major thing to remember is that Casein is more brittle and less flexible than oil, so if mixing it in with your oil, do it in the earlier layers and be sure to add less in later layers. Flexible > inflexible.

Nadia_gnar, you are welcome for the link, big thanks go out to Ms McKee for sharing her findings in a nice condensed form for us.

Trond, that was my finding as well. It was when I noticed the oil in the Shiva line of paint that I started researching the compatibility of the mediums.

Harold Roth 03-16-2018 09:36 AM

Re: Useful Casein Text
Thanks, Delofasht! Good point about all the stuff that oil painters add. I have actually been planning on trying the addition of egg to oils after reading about it.

dbclemons 03-16-2018 12:25 PM

Re: Useful Casein Text
Casein emulsifies with oil quite well, and I've used it often. It isn't required when making casein paint, but adding a small amount of oil can help alter the texture of the paint and make it more "buttery" as well as slowing the drying time some and making it easier to blend, aspects of oil. A lighter weight oil, like safflower or poppy works well in general, but if the intent is for undertones of an oil painting, I would recommend mixing linseed for the initial layer.

Reading her text, I would add that care should be taken to avoid the term "drying the oil" when talking about casein emulsion, since casein isn't a dryer. Instead, the oil is held in place by the dry casein as the oil continues to oxidize. This is one of the advantages of using casein emulsion in the beginning with oil, since you're not diluting or weakening it as you might with solvents, but actually thinning the oil and adding a glue.

Delofasht 03-17-2018 12:15 AM

Re: Useful Casein Text
Excellent point David, Casein does indeed have that touch dry feel in minutes and remain curing for up to weeks when mixed with oil. One can even use mostly oil paint and add just enough Casein to that paint to reduce the sheen and glossiness of oil paint. Proportions of Casein to Oil alter the resulting touch dry times and handling qualities. In the above proposed composition, heavily oil, it will remain open and act like oil paint longer but dry with less surface sheen.

Casein may well be the most versatile paint on the planet, able to function like most any other paint, without some of the negatives that are sometimes present in other paints. Itís major failing point is just not being flexible, which restricts it to rigid surfaces, and sometime prone to cracks or chipping.

Alerio 11-16-2018 02:08 PM

Re: Useful Casein Text
Thank you, I would be interested to read but the link doesn't seem to work. Is there another? I have been enjoying painting with casein for about 6 months now, appreciating it for itself and especially the matte finish when it dries. I do know people who use casein for an underpainting, painting over it in oil, but this thread seems to be talking about actually mixing the casein with oil? What does that do to the final appearance?

Delofasht 01-06-2019 01:01 PM

Re: Useful Casein Text
Sadly the link here has died, the authorís website appears to have gone down. If anyone wants to view the copy I have contact me by private message.

I wish I could find an email address for the author to see if there is a newer version.

RedcarUK 06-25-2019 08:26 AM

Re: Useful Casein Text
I have found another site explaining how to make casein.


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