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Old 04-25-2010, 08:33 AM
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lapaloma lapaloma is offline
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Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

This is my first thread at wet canvas. I would like to share my painting technique without using solvents and discuss your expirience with solvent free oil painting. As my wife is a painter too and we share a studio we both are sensitive to solvents with headache and dizziness. My wife gets nosebleed immediately when using turpentine as solvent.
We got not the results we wanted when we tried water mixable oils because of the paint quality. So we adapt our painting style to our needs.
The painting style is a kind of alla prima painting in parts. We paint a picture part by part mostly in one layer. We found that this works best with opaque and stiff paint, so most paints are Old Holland and some are Blockx. The layer of paint is very thin and the paint is diluted with linseed oil when needful.

Suggestions to this subject are welcome!

Here a short WIP. Feel free to ask for further informations!

Size of the painting is 40" x 40"



The scetch on canvas is relative detailed because i normaly do no corrections after painting a part. Done with a pastel pencil and fixed





The background painted with oil diluted paint






The arm and the hand painted ar one step. This painting session took 7 hours.





The hand as detail view. You can see that the layer is very thin with paints directly from the tube. I bought this canvas for the first time but it is a bit rough and made fine blendings difficult.





The decollete painted. The background is overpainted with oil diluted paint in a cooler tone so the skin color gets warmer.





The upper part of the dress.





The hole dress. The dress was painted with looser brushstroke and a mid size bristle flat. The paint was diluted with linseed oil.





The face painted. This session took also 7 hours.





Detail view of the face. Here you can see the blended paints in the thin layer. I found that OH paints are the best choise for painting in this style.





The finshed painting with hair and finger of the right hand. I did no more layers or corrections at this picture and signed it finally.
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Last edited by lapaloma : 04-25-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:48 AM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

Sehr gut!
I especially like the hand's details
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:30 AM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

Very nice. Good use of highlights and shadows. What colors did you use?
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:56 AM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

Thank you, I used for this:

Skin
Naples Yellow deep (OH)
Cadmium Orange (Harding)
Ultramarine blue light (Blockx)
Magenta (OH)
Cadmium Red Deep (OH)
Burned Umber (OH)

Hair
Ultramarine blue deep (OH)
Burned Umber (OH)

Dress
do not remember :-(
but there was some Vermillion (Rembrandt) and Cobalt Blue (OH)

for this painting I used titan white for flesh colors only to get a pinker pastel like tone. Normaly I use flake white for skin colors too.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:58 AM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

Fantastic work! And thank you for showing your WIP steps. There are many of us who work without solvents, using only pure oil, or other solvent free mediums (Like M. Graham's Walnut Alkyd medium) to add to our paint, if necessary, and then cleaning with soap and water, and perhaps an oil, too.

Again, excellent painting!

Don
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:39 PM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

Lovely painting! Thanks for sharing the process! I also paint mostly solvent-free. I have been using Liquin to thin down some paints, but I've been thinking of giving it up because of the shiny spots it causes where I use it.
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Old 04-25-2010, 03:27 PM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

I tried Liquin too, but had no good experience. It contains petroleum hydrocarbons as most OMS do.
Think Grahams Alkyd Medium is not lean but fat as oil and fast drying?
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Old 04-25-2010, 03:58 PM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

Beautiful work!

I also paint mostly out of the tube, with only occasional linseed or walnut oil to dilute.

-- Linda
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:15 PM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

Hi Linda, saw your beautiful paintings at your website. Did you paint these portraits (...Study of Bouguereau) solvent free? How do you get the underlayers lean? Had ever problems with cracking?
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:13 PM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

beautiful work, very nuanced values....thanks so much for the WIP, and welcome to wet canvass
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:18 PM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

What did you fix the pastel with and how did you do it? Was it a spray can of commercial fixative from one of the major companies or something else?
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:25 AM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

To be honest, my imprimatura layer isn't lean. I do, however, let that layer dry, often for months, before I start painting (I prep a bunch of panels with an imprimatura at a time, and then store them). Hopefully this will allow this layer to set and shrink as much as it's going to, before I start painting. I also paint on panels, which are rigid, and my layers are very thin.

I haven't had any cracking problems, however my paintings are not yet 100's of years old. If I were a conservator of my paintings in 100 years, I think I'd be just as worried about my use of masonite panels (even though the ones I use are listed as archival), as I would about the cracking.

Of course, I would hope that I'll continue to evolve my painting process, so that when I become a famous dead artist, my work will last. I will probably pull out solvents at some point, but just for laying down the imprimatura.

Thanks for the comments, LaPaloma!

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Old 04-26-2010, 06:33 AM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

I use a "no name" product from a german major seller, in UK at:

http://www.greatart.co.uk/GERSTAECKE...-fixatives.htm

It contains shellac and is fixing the pastel pencil "100%". I had not so good results with charcoal. The pencils I use are Faber Castell Pitt and they are also sensitive to kneatable rubbers on canvas.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:42 AM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

Thanks! I will have to try that.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:54 AM
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Re: Oil painting without solvents (WIP)

Beautiful work, Thomas, and I really enjoyed visiting your blog, too.

I paint without solvents and most often without adding anything to the paint. I do my imprimatura by scraping/rubbing paint very thinly with my knife, old brushes, and my gloved hands (I can get even opaque paint to be transparent and very thin)...after that, I usually find it easy enough to use straight paint. (I paint directly, in a couple of layers.)

~!Carey
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