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Old 11-22-2019, 07:56 AM
b123 b123 is offline
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How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

Want some valuable tips on how to save money on paint? and how to cut down on all that weight you have to carry when painting plein air? Then read on …

When I go out plein air painting, I don’t carry paint tubes with me – they are far too heavy. Instead, I put out plenty of paint on my palette. It saves weight and it helps me concentrate on my painting instead of wasting time continually squeezing out paint. But what to do with all that paint at the end of the day?



This is my freezer. It is by far the simplest way to stop your oil paints from drying out. Just put your palette in the freezer! The cold temperature will slow down the rate of oxidation and evaporation, and so preserve your paint. See method #5 for a variation on this tip.

This method is even more convenient if you have a pochade box or plein air easel that will fit in the freezer compartment. Then you don’t have to mess around with trying to remove a palette from your box.

I am using a Daytripper easel and it just fits in a standard fridge.

Note that the freezing point of linseed oil (the main oil in most oil paints) is -20°C (-4°F). Most people set their freezers at -18C (0°F) , so oil paint will not freeze in most home freezers.

Pros:
This is the fastest and most convenient method

Cons:
The owner of the kitchen might shout at you 🙂

For more tips on making your paints last longer, see my blog.
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Old 12-30-2019, 06:11 PM
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Re: How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

Or, just submerge the palette under water.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:01 AM
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Ted Bunker Ted Bunker is online now
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Re: How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

I keep my dispensed oil paints in a Mijello-type airtight pallete. It easily fits in almost any refrig. or freezer if I'm not going to use it for a few days. I put it in a ziplock freezer bag witl all the air squeezed out and a few rubber bands. The bag helps keeping it from being accidently opening when jostled. My deep-freezer is even better, my pet glacier...but you have to be careful, plastic gers very brittle when it gets that cold. Don't drop it ot let it fall out onto the basement floor...grrrrr.

For day to day, I just close the palette and rinse then wrap my brushes. I mix paint on a separate glass surface that I scrape if it gets too crusty. Or I use paper palette ....or even a clean paper plate.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:26 PM
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AndyRichardson AndyRichardson is offline
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Re: How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

Wish Mijello would make a thinner airtight palette that omits the wells, so oil painters can smear the oils down and flood the palette with water and not worry about it leaking. The thinner it is, the less water weight to carry around.
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Old 01-04-2020, 07:33 AM
Agnes50 Agnes50 is offline
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Re: How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

Has anyone tried using water to preserve water mixable oils -- I suppose they might be affected differently than regular oils?
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Old 01-04-2020, 03:56 PM
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Re: How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

The paint dissolves in the water.
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:53 AM
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Re: How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

I saw this one, the well trays are removable, it's "airtight", but might not be watertight.

https://www.amazon.com/Falling-Art-S...RK317P4KW2DMVX

A number of companies market "airtight" palettes of differing designs. Some with removable trays. The small amount of air inside atleast slows-down the curing of oil paints. It's a paradox when painting en plein air with oils. We want the canvas to dry quickly for safe travel, yet we want the palette to remain "wet" for tomorrow.

The problem with using an aromatic like oil of cloves on a cotton ball is it attacks some plastics. Lavender Spike oil might work.
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Last edited by Ted Bunker : 01-08-2020 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:28 AM
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Re: How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

I like the masterson box’s they have an airtight lid, I use the smaller one. I take out all of the stuff inside and cut a sheet of acrylic to fit. It was made for acrylic paint, but I’ve used one for oils for years and it slides into the freezer real nice, and it fits into my French easel, or tote.
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Old 01-26-2020, 01:22 AM
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Re: How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

Nice find, Ted! I've resorted to using two plastic CD cases to smear my paint on after a session, and then I put them, plus water, in a special watertight plastic bag from REI. That palette looks a bit more elegant than my scheme. If I painted more frequently, I likely could just stuff the cases in the freezer, as per b123's suggestion (not in water!).
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:52 AM
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Re: How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

I like your suggestion of a CD case. They're small and thin for when you just are using a little paint. I'll bet one or two fit nicely in a quart freezer ziploc bag too, air- and accident-tight. There's not that much air inside a well-squeezed bag, I wonder if you even need the water if it's just for a day's painting, or for overnight?

A little piece of freezer paper, waxed paper or plastic wrap would separate the paints on either lid from the other lid. It's just linseed oil.
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Last edited by Ted Bunker : 02-01-2020 at 03:02 AM.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:25 PM
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Re: How to preserve your oils paints after a plein air painting session

Yeah Ted. No problem about paint drying overnight(or even 3). The oil vapor pressure should inhibit paint oxidation pretty well. I often don't paint for weeks at a time, so that's why I block the air with water. Ziplocks won't be watertight. I tried that.
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