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Old 06-03-2005, 11:06 PM
Discworldjunkie Discworldjunkie is offline
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How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

Hi there. This is yet another newbie oil painter complaining about the drying time of oils. Bought a bunch of Grumbacher water oils and some oth their quick dry medium. Well, it has been almost 24 hours and the painting is still wet. I want to work wet on dry like I do with my acrylics but I don't want to have the painting in the works for months just waiting for parts to dry, you know? And as someone wanting to be a freelance fantasy illustrator I have to have faster drying time.

Anyone use Grumbacher's alkyd water mixable medium?

I'd like for the paint to dry in hours not days.

Finally have some gessoed illustration board and will do a few color charts or whatever on it to see if the illustration board dries any faster than canvas panel. That may be the reason fantasy artists use it.

Can't someone MAKE oil paint that dries really fast?? I like the blending time but hate the drying time.

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Old 06-04-2005, 12:08 AM
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rroberts rroberts is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

Hello DiscWorldJunkie

There is a variety of drying mediums available for working with oils. Other members can offer suggestions for water-soluble oils. For 'regular' oils, many members like Liquin. Others, myself included, may use maroger's medium. There are liquid lead driers and cobalt driers. But each of these has its own requirements for usage.

If you paint in thin layers, each layer will dry more quickly than if you go for impastos. Different pigments also exhibit different drying times.

However, nothing is going to make oil completely dry within 24 hours, guaranteed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Discworldjunkie
Can't someone MAKE oil paint that dries really fast??

The answer is no. Furthermore, why should they? It's not in the nature of oils to dry faster than they do. Think of it this way : You can't push a river. That's like asking "why can't they make a tortoise that goes faster?"

Your impatience is unrealistic. Perhaps you should reconsider your needs. Fantasy illustrators have long used pen and ink, gouache, and/or watercolor quite effectively for many decades. Acrylic polymer is of course much faster-drying. And in the past decade, computer illustration has progressed by leaps and bounds.

Just take a look at the work of legendary illustrator Bernie Wrightson's pen and ink Frankenstein illustrations:

http://www.wrightsonsfrankenstein.com/Images.html

Or how about Stephen Player, a watercolor expert who illustrates children's books, including horror stories for teen audiences (click on the face to enter site):
http://www.playergallery.com

Numerous great illustrators have worked in oil and managed to keep up with production deadlines. These include Norman Rockwell, J.C. Leyendecker, and fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta.

I know I don't seem helpful, but I hope this actually is helpful.

cheers!
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Old 06-04-2005, 12:13 AM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Discworldjunkie
Hi there. This is yet another newbie oil painter complaining about the drying time of oils. Bought a bunch of Grumbacher water oils and some oth their quick dry medium. Well, it has been almost 24 hours and the painting is still wet. I want to work wet on dry like I do with my acrylics but I don't want to have the painting in the works for months just waiting for parts to dry, you know? And as someone wanting to be a freelance fantasy illustrator I have to have faster drying time.

Anyone use Grumbacher's alkyd water mixable medium?

I'd like for the paint to dry in hours not days.

Finally have some gessoed illustration board and will do a few color charts or whatever on it to see if the illustration board dries any faster than canvas panel. That may be the reason fantasy artists use it.

Can't someone MAKE oil paint that dries really fast?? I like the blending time but hate the drying time.


I don't often recommend alkyd mediums, but in this case the importance of your drying time seems to be tantamount to almost anything else.

The use of alkyd mediums seems to be appropriate, if that same medium is used throughout the layers of the painting.

Winsor & Newton Liquin dries extremely fast. You might try that to cause your oil painting layers to dry at a speed more appropriate to your way of working. Use Odorless Mineral Spirits to thin it.

It's difficult to find a medium that dries slowly enough that you can push it around effectively for the duration of a normal painting session, but will still dry fast enough to allow you to work on a dried layer the next day.

However, Liquin might just do it.

Bill
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Old 06-04-2005, 12:36 AM
lotusguy lotusguy is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

you want faster drying? Bake it. Just dont take it over 130F. It yellows big time at higher temps.

TTFN,
Dennis
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Old 06-04-2005, 03:35 AM
Discworldjunkie Discworldjunkie is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

It might be that I'll have to learn a better way to paint in oils rather than trying to use the technique I use in acrylic.

I want very much to use oils because after doing some color swatches on spare canvas comparing oils to acrylic I have to say I like the oil colors better. They are more vibrant and 'real'. The acrylic is flat and dull.

Parkinson, a fantasy painter, uses oils and he does a painting and has it dry in two weeks. Not sure how he paints...probably wet into wet.

At any rate, I paint in thin layers because I do not want a painting that is lumpy with what I term brushmarks. This might not be the technical term for it but I don't want to sculpt with the paint. I want to paint like Boris Vallejo. All the fantasy artist's work I have seen is 'flat' as in I don't see canvas weave or lumpy brushmarks, although all I see of this type of art is the reproduction of it on books and such like.

What bothers me about the drying time is: the way I work is to have a 'toon' of the painting, I trace this onto the canvas, I do sketches and sometimes complete drawings too if I am doing a 'scene'. Then I start painting the 'toon' sometimes if I paint over an edge it is not hard to paint the edge again, but if I am doing a portrait and I paint in the background and brush an ear or more with the background it will be harder to paint in the edge wet on wet. If the background dries I can trace the edge of the head back on from the cartoon and continue from there.

I really love oils and want to work with them but I hate the drying time. As for making an oil paint that dries faster is messing with a tortise...well, I think we work very differently with the oil. All I want it for is the beauty of the color and the way it blends, I do not know how other people view oil paint or how they work with it or what effect they want in their paintings. I want realistic, beautiful work with lovely color like Vallejo and the other fantasy artists.

And as for pen and ink and all that, I want to paint not draw. I do drawing to help my painting but don't want that to be my medium nor do I want to do comic books. I think of Vallejo and Frazetta and all them as fine artists and that is what I want to do.

Thank all of you for your responses.


Last edited by Discworldjunkie : 06-04-2005 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 06-04-2005, 05:03 AM
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muz muz is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

Hi discworldjunkie,

I know your problem well. I recently moved from acrylic to oil because of the majestic beauty of the oil paints. Oil paints are also far more forgiving as you can move them around and correct as you go. I paint photo realistically. So it is important that I can layer over dry layers over and over again. It is imperitive that I use a medium such as liquin or galkyd to help with this. I can then literally paint thinly, by dipping my paintbrush lightly in the medium and then picking up some paint and almost do 10 layers over each other in one day. This really is possible when using a fast-drying medium.

To solve the problem with the background, I decided that if I have a large area of background, I do it in acrylic. I glaze my backgrounds and when they are dry, I paint the oil motive over it. It works beautifully and the contrasting look of acrylic to oil is also beautiful. Here is an example. The background of this piece was painted in 15 layers of acrylic on hardboard. one layer pthalo green, one layer carmine red then I scrubbed with a scrubbing brush to give a mottled "attacked" look and did the procedure again and again. When it was dry - which was soon, as I used acrylic - I painted the garlic cloves...





Muz
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Old 06-04-2005, 07:10 AM
dcorc dcorc is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Discworldjunkie
I'd like for the paint to dry in hours not days.....

Can't someone MAKE oil paint that dries really fast?? I like the blending time but hate the drying time.

Try W&N Griffin alkyd paints - they dry faster than traditional oils.

Quote:
At any rate, I paint in thin layers because I do not want a painting that is lumpy with what I term brushmarks. This might not be the technical term for it but I don't want to sculpt with the paint. I want to paint like Boris Vallejo. All the fantasy artist's work I have seen is 'flat' as in I don't see canvas weave or lumpy brushmarks, although all I see of this type of art is the reproduction of it on books and such like.

If you want smooth flat surfaces - don't paint on canvas, paint on gessoed board. (or fill the weave in the canvas with additional coats of a primer applied by knife)

Thin the paint with a little solvent, and/or quick-drying medium (remember fat over lean) - mixing the medium into the paint on the palette, with a palette knife (to ensure even mixing), so that the paint has a creamy, rather than a buttery/pasty consistency.

Use soft brushes, rather than hog bristle.

Remember that illustrators often work larger, and that the illustrations are then photographically reduced for their intended use.

Dave
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Old 06-04-2005, 05:00 PM
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Einion Einion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discworldjunkie
It might be that I'll have to learn a better way to paint in oils rather than trying to use the technique I use in acrylic.
You reckon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Discworldjunkie
I want very much to use oils because after doing some color swatches on spare canvas comparing oils to acrylic I have to say I like the oil colors better. They are more vibrant and 'real'. The acrylic is flat and dull.
If that is your primary reason for changing you're working under a misconception so let me correct it: there is practically no difference in colour from oils to acrylics with paints made using the same pigment if the surface finish is the same.

What you're mostly noticing is likely to be the difference in saturation caused by the satin finish of acrylic paint versus the glossier finish of oils; believe me, oil paint can look plenty "flat and dull" if it dries matt. There are a number of painters (including some members here) whose acrylic work is mistaken for oils, so the 'special glow' or whatever that oil paint is reputed to have is largely subjective and not a real effect.

Alkyds are the obvious first recommendation if you want to use something like oil paint but want fairly consistent faster drying but you might want to also consider Genesis heat-set paints, which I'm surprised nobody has thought to suggest yet. I have no idea how these are to handle (pigment load, brush drag, stickiness etc.) but you can work all you want with them and when you're satisfied you cure it with a heat gun and bingo, you can get back to work immediately if you wanted. Their long-term stability is an unknown quantity but this is less critical for illustration work and if you're not concerned about longevity you should read up on the techniques used by Rockwell and some of his predecessors and contemporaries who painted in regular oils to tight deadlines.

FWIW if you want to look up to someone I'd skip over Boris and Julie and look at Giancola's work which is much better IMO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rroberts
However, nothing is going to make oil completely dry within 24 hours, guaranteed.
You sure about that?

Einion
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Old 06-04-2005, 07:32 PM
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kasunart kasunart is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

I thought I'd throw this out there, someone can elaborate who knows why this is the case. I switched at some point from painting on storebought ready-primed canvas to making my own, and realized how much faster my oils dried. Turns out the real gesso you buy and apply on your own does a much better job of absorbing the wetness of oils.
Here's a painting I did pretty fast http://www.kasunstudio.com/oldies/pages/2.htm and it is very flat as well. I recall painting my underpainting and it feeling dry within the hour. Of course, the glazes afterwards dry pretty fast as well, so all in all I finished this within a week or so.
Now I paint differently, abstracts with much variety in paint handling and impasto, and use Liquin Impasto along with my usual linseed/turp mix, and my paints dry to the touch within a day.
HTH,
S
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Old 06-04-2005, 10:13 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

Want some specifics?

Go to this site: http://www.studioproducts.com/store/...ategory_Code=2

This is a suppier of many oil painting mediums. Buy a bottle of their "Spray Medium".
Its use is primarily for painting portraits, but it certainly can be used for other subjects, as well. This provides a means of painting many thin layers, and dries overnight for me.

Its ingredients are proprietary, but is basically composed of a couple of linseed oils, a couple of resins, all in a white spirit solvent.

Bill
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Old 06-04-2005, 11:55 PM
Discworldjunkie Discworldjunkie is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

Thank You all for the information. This is all really cool and now I have a lot more data to work with.

As for Muz's technique: I have a painting that is in very good condition after about a year or so that I had painted some oil over a completed acrylic painting. It is on canvas panel. I did not have a lot of oils then just one or two tubes but the point is the painting is still in new condition. It has been stored stacked on top of a bookcase between other canvas panels as well as on an easel...so my reason for stating all this is: can't I just paint a layer of oils over a fairly completed acrylic painting on panel to get a finished painting in a quicker time? Then the oil could dry for a few days and it wouldn't be frustrating because the oil would be the final paint layer. The reason, again, for wanting this layer of oil or painting in oils to begin with is to have a blended, more professional look. The thin layers I paint in do not allow me to blend acrylic paint so my paintings have a craggy, chalky, stiff look to them. The same thin layer of oil stays workable much much longer.

Or I am just being too impatient. There has to be a better way to work with oils.

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Old 06-05-2005, 12:02 AM
Discworldjunkie Discworldjunkie is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Einion
FWIW if you want to look up to someone I'd skip over Boris and Julie and look at Giancola's work which is much better IMO.


That is Donato right? http://www.donatoart.com
I like his work a lot too. Looks like Old Master works. Though his 'step by steps' are not very helpful. One minute that snow dragon is green sky then blue then greenyyellow...not sure how I am supposed to learn from that but it was cool nontheless.

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Old 06-05-2005, 04:55 AM
DCsculpt DCsculpt is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

At the risk of being ruthlessly flamed... There is a synthetic oil paint called Genesis Oil Colors that cures imediatly at 265oF. You must use propriatary mediums but can thin with 91% rubbing alcohol and clean-up with soap and water. It will not dry until heat cured. Seems to me like a perfect fit for your needs. I've been using it for a couple years and have learned how to use it successfully. In my experience it works best on stretched canvas and I use a Colman propane camping heater to cure the paint. It works great for me but do a search to hear more opinions and experience.

Peace, Dave
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Old 06-05-2005, 05:17 AM
dcorc dcorc is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

Hi DCsculpt

Don't worry, no flaming allowed!

Einion also mentioned Genesis paints above - I don't have any experience of these personally - one technical point though - those are thermoplastic paints, rather than oil paints - the reason I point this out is so that people are clear that they won't mix with oils (unlike alkyd paints, or water-soluble oilpaints, both of which can be used together with conventional oilpaints). There have been various threads here in the past discussing them, if you'd like to do a search.

Dave
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:16 AM
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Baroque01 Baroque01 is offline
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Re: How can I make my oil paints dry faster?

My experience with water-based oils, like the ones you are using, is that they take FOREVER to dry. The reason for this is that the water from the paint has to evaporate before the oil paint itself can oxidize. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong here.
I would recommend thinning the paint with a bit of oderless mineral spirits or simply add a bit of alkyd medium to your paint. The alkyd will definetly get your painting dry in under 24 hours. As for not wanting to draw, you are taking the wrong approach, my friend. Frazetta, Parkinson, Donato, you name it, they ALL learned how to draw before they picked up a brush.
After giving it some more thought, I think the solution to your problem lies in your painting methods. Instead of painting in multiple layers, which you are probably accustomed to coming from acrylics, paint wet into wet (all in one layer). I'm pretty sure that's how Boris works and I'd be willing to bet that is how Parkinson works as well. I also want to make a point that there are several fantasy artists out there who use acrylics and get results that rival the look of oils. The Brothers Hildebrandt are two that come to mind.
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