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Old 06-14-2019, 12:51 PM
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Excellent article: Sinking In, Oiling Out and Retouching Varnish: Part 1

This very exhaustive article suggests that the practice of oiling out may have significant negative effects on a painting as it ages. Here's the link to the article, which is only the first installment of a five part series:

https://www.naturalpigments.com/arti...ng-out-part-1/

Quote:
About the Author

James N. Robinson studied drawing and painting under Richard Lack, the founder of the Classical Realism movement. Upon graduation he taught in The Atelier’s full time program for 5 years and was a contributor to the Classical Realism Quarterly journal. In 1993 he founded The Art Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was the first atelier-style school in America whose primary focus is teaching children and teens traditional art methods.

Concordantly with the founding of his school, James Robinson began exhaustive research into historic painting practices with the intent to revive those procedures and aid modern representational artists to create archival work.

I hope that the following segments of his study will be published soon, as I feel I need the info that is said to be coming in Part 5.
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Last edited by AnnieA : 06-14-2019 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:37 PM
contumacious contumacious is online now
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Re: Excellent article: Sinking In, Oiling Out and Retouching Varnish: Part 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA
This very exhaustive article suggests that the practice of oiling out may have significant negative effects on a painting as it ages. Here's the link to the article, which is only the first installment of a five part series:

https://www.naturalpigments.com/arti...ng-out-part-1/



I hope that the following segments of his study will be published soon, as I feel I need the info that is said to be coming in Part 5.

Thanks for posting that link. Looking forward to reading it all.
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:10 AM
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Re: Excellent article: Sinking In, Oiling Out and Retouching Varnish: Part 1

I've never used, and never will, any varnish or resin in my mediums: it seems illogical to use a removable ingredient in my paint (by the way, some top-rated brands do include resins in their recipes). But I think oiling out between layers is perfectly fine, if you remove all the excess before painting.

1) Oiling out adds just a tiny amount of oil to the surface. On the other hand:
- different brands, or different colors of the same brands, have different oil content;
- most painters add mediums to their paints;
- hand made paints (like the ones of the old masters) had more oil than machine-mulled paints.

2) In my view, oiling out is strictly related to glazing. If you oil out, you can easily glaze with a rather dense paint; if you don't oil out, you need to put much more oil in the glazing paint. So, in the end, oiling out reduces the total amount of oil.

3)
Quote:
As Frederic Taubes warns: “Yellowing due to storage of a painting in darkness can be improved by exposure for a period of several weeks to a strong light or a mild reflected sunlight. However, if yellowing and darkening of a painting have occurred as a result of improper technique or faulty materials, the discoloration of the painting cannot be remedied.”
The yellowing due to oiling out can certainly be improved by exposure to light.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:52 AM
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Re: Excellent article: Sinking In, Oiling Out and Retouching Varnish: Part 1

I have seen firsthand where not oiling out has had severe negative effects on paintings.
If merely replenishing some lost, sunken in voids, where oil should be anyway, which is there in glossy areas, causes a problem, then all of oil painting causes a problem and should be condemned and stopped since all oil painting itself involves swimming in a sea of oil. It's a bit like an alcoholic telling someone not to even smell that bottle, because doing it could cause you harm.

Last edited by sidbledsoe : 06-15-2019 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:59 AM
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Re: Excellent article: Sinking In, Oiling Out and Retouching Varnish: Part 1

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Originally Posted by sidbledsoe
I have seen firsthand where not oiling out has had severe negative effects on paintings.
If merely replenishing some lost, sunken in voids, where oil should be anyway, which is there in glossy areas, causes a problem, then all of oil painting causes a problem and should be condemned and stopped since all oil painting itself involves swimming in a sea of oil. It's a bit like an alcoholic telling someone not to even smell that bottle, because doing it could cause you harm.

I agree Sid. Maybe one day people will stop this introspective approach to painting. And talk about the paintings themselves.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:02 AM
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Re: Excellent article: Sinking In, Oiling Out and Retouching Varnish: Part 1

In my couch medium I use water-clear sun-bleached oil, mineral spirit acrylic resin and solvent. Such composition has lowest yellowing effect because low yellowish oil is diluted with water-clear acrylic and zero yellowish solvent.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:28 AM
budigart budigart is offline
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Re: Excellent article: Sinking In, Oiling Out and Retouching Varnish: Part 1

Very interesting and educational. Yikes . . . I've done my share of "oiling out."

Does anyone know if it's possible to subscribe to this series of articles? I'd like to read them as they come online. Thanks for the link.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:14 PM
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Re: Excellent article: Sinking In, Oiling Out and Retouching Varnish: Part 1

Very interesting article, thank you!
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:55 PM
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Re: Excellent article: Sinking In, Oiling Out and Retouching Varnish: Part 1

Sid and Raffless, I don't think the author is issuing a blanket statement that oiling out is always detrimental. Instead, he's examined traditional painting processes, with a starting point of over 200 years ago, and assembled evidence about sinking in, oiling out and retouch varnish relating these to particular processes and how they interact with the artist's aims. He will, in Part 5, provide some conclusions - and it's frustrating that we don't have those now - but here's some additional info about what to expect:
Quote:
Oiling Out—Today’s Preferred Method

The simple process of oiling out is often touted as a safe alternative to applying retouch varnish in areas of dried oil paint films which have sunken-in.

And the process is safe and simple. Arthur Pilans Laurie summarizes the procedure in Step 9 of his book, Simple Rules for Painting in Oils:

Quote:
Oiling out will result in darkening. If the picture has become matte in some places, try polishing with a lint-free cloth. If oiling out must be resorted to, use the very minimum of oil, rubbing off all excess with a rag.

Yet, in the same book Laurie wisely states: “The difficulty in laying down rules for painting today is that no two painters paint alike.”

Herein lies the dilemma—oiling out is a process based on artistic intent, and many artists are by nature reactive rather than proactive when it comes to charting a painting’s development.

In this five part series of articles on sinking-in, oiling out and retouching varnishes, I will first review some historic abuses of each process made during the late 17th through 19th centuries.

In Part 2 I’ll examine why those abuses happened.

Next, in Part 3, I’ll follow those trends of abuse up to the present day.

Then, in Part 4, I’ll compare traditional texts which describe different methods of oiling out and the retouch varnishing of pictures.

Finally, in Part 5, I will cross-reference those texts and pair them with artistic intent to determine the best solution for each painting situation.
So it appears what he's saying is:
1) that there are individual variations in painting style and materials that may require different approaches to oiling out, OR perhaps, no oiling out at all; and,
2) that problems develop when the artist doesn't plan effectively for them ahead of time, and apply strategies to avoid those problems.

At least that's how I read it. I'm sorry that I didn't make that clearer in my original post.
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Last edited by AnnieA : 06-16-2019 at 03:04 PM.
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