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- How do you thin out oil paint?
I'd like to know how to thin out or liquefy oil paint for the canvas, to achieve a texture that a brush could still support, or perhaps even a spatula. I'm hoping to do this without losing the quality of the colour. Elise
- Simply add a small amount of linseed oil until you get the right consistency. Apply the paint in a thin layer. If it’s too thick it will wrinkle and yellow.
- Yellowing of paintings through age?
How do you keep painting from yellowing as it gets older? Thank you. Josey
- There are several things that cause the yellowing of a painting. Excess oil is one because oil has a natural yellow colour you simply get a glazed effect of yellow. A good tip is to get your painting to dry in a good light. This will keep the paint looking fresher and brighter than one which has been dried in the dark. Keep it in a good light to keep it fresh, but not in direct sunlight. Oil paint which contains filler, such as student and inferior artist’s quality paint, has a false amount of oil - an excess – and will cause yellowing. Poor quality pigments tend to fade in colour rather than go yellow. A good book to get is the Ralph Mayer’s The Artists Handbook of Materials and Techniques. It covers the subject well.
- Lake pigments
I have just bought some of your oil paints and am looking forward to trying them out. Please could you answer some questions regarding colours which you label as lakes? I understand a lake pigment is one which is made by precipitating a dye on a base which is usually insoluble, inorganic and inert such as aluminium hydrate or calcium sulphate. I also understand that such inert materials are sometimes used as fillers in cheaper ranges of paint so please could you explain the differences between lake paints and the cheaper paints. I can see that with the lake paint all the particles are dyed but in the cheaper paints the filler is transparent i.e. not coloured.
Why is it only certain colours are listed as lakes, e.g. phthalocyanine blue and green?
Are these more suitable for dying ?
Are lakes cheaper than their non- lake versions?
Is transparency/opacity affected?
Are handling qualities affected?
Are lakes inferior/superior to none - lakes in any way?
I hope you will be able to find time to respond to my questions. Bill Gibbs
- Thanks for your interesting email. The answer is cheaper paints contain fillers (undyed lake bases). Organic lake pigments have extremely high tint power so they are ideal for dilution. So, in a sense, you already have worked out the answer your own question. There are a vast number of lake pigments, both transparent and opaque versions and with varying degrees of light fastness. We colour makers generally choose the same pigments in terms of suitability, but of course the amount a manufacturer dilutes these is another matter. Can I recommend The Materials and Techniques of Painting by Kurt Wehlte? You will find his book will provide an excellent source of reference for your own curiosity. Please get back to me if you need further help. Good luck with the painting!
- Odourless or ‘safe’ turpentine, I have been a professional artist for over 30 years. Just recently I have been diagnosed with asthma, possibly due to exposure to gum turpentine, mineral turps and mediums with those chemicals in them. Could you suggest a safe alternative to these products? I have been told by some art suppliers to use acrylic paint, but I would much rather use oil paint. I do hope you can help me. Godfrey Blow.
- There is a product called Turpenoid I think is made by an American company called Webber. Try a search in google.
- Alizarin Crimson – is it permanent?
I have recently started using your paints and find them excellent, but I have an issue that I hope you will be able to advise me on. I recently read a book titled "The Artist’s Guide to selecting colours" by the author Michael Wilcox in which he states that the colour Alizarin Crimson PR83 should be avoided by artists, due to the fact that it has failed lightfast tests and will fade at a steady rate. As I have recently bought a fairly large tube of Alizarin Crimson and don’t really want to waste it I was wondering whether you could verify whether this statement is true?>
He recommends an alternative as a violet red - the colour Quinacidone Red PV19 - but I do not see this in your range. Is this the same as the colour Magenta in your range? Robin Shephard
- It is true that Alizarin crimson is not as permanent as many colours. Magenta is more permanent, but not as beautiful. However any colour diluted or filled is not permanent - even if given a high rating by a manufacturer! In the UK we accept the crimson - but the USA frowns upon it!
- How do you use Rabbit Skin Glue to prime a canvas? Andy
- Rabbit Skin Glue is the traditional painting surface that that has been in use for centuries. Simply add water to the granules at a ratio of approximately 13 parts water to one part granules, and allow to stand overnight. This will result in the expansion of the granules. Do not rush this step as it is important that the granules soak to give strength to the mixture. Place the mixture on indirect heat (double boiler - stir constantly). Do not allow mixture to boil as it will embrittle the glue size. The resulting size can be applied hot as there is better penetration of the cotton or linen surface than when it is used cold. Apply two coats and allow dry thoroughly. When storing keep in a refrigerator as this will increase the lifetime of the size.
- Storing Turpentine
I have been painting with acrylic for many years and have just made the transition to using Oils. Could you please tell me how to store Turpentine? Graham
- Please bear in mind that turpentine is a mixture of unsaturated hydrocarbon compound. Turpentine oils absorb oxygen from the air, so it is important to avoid open dippers and almost empty bottles of turpentine - they will spoil by oxidation. Also avoid leaving your turpentine in clear glass container exposed to direct sunlight as this will result in yellowing and cloudiness.
- How do you make Damar Varnish?
- Recipe for Damar solution 1:3 parts.
100 grams damar resin
300 millilitres turpentine, preferably rectified turpentine, but commercial turpentine is fine.
You simply wrap the resin lumps in a white cotton cloth (tied with string) and soak them in turpentine until resin dissolves.
- Drying times of oil paints
Could you tell me the drying times for your oil paints when painted impasto (thickly)?
I would like to find oil paints that can dry in days rather than longer.Thanks so much for your reply in advance. Perhaps you could post this question on your website for others as well. Stu Shepard Canada
- All my paints show the speed of drying on the information section on the side of the tube however metal based paints dry the quickest e.g. iron oxide earth colours and such like. The key thing about mine is that I do not include dryers in the formulation of the paint which therefore has a difference but makes the paint more permanent! Storing your painting in warm air works as heat speeds all chemical reactions, including the take up of oxygen from the air. You can refer to many books like Ralph Mayor’s for the drying speeds of paint, but if you want specifics get back to me. It’s worth noting that, since most people use more white than any thing else, Cremnitz White will dry the quickest. Avoid Titanium White No 1 since it is made with slow drying poppy oil.
- Genuine Yellow Naples – can you mix it?
I am a professional artist from Switzerland and I find your oil colours best of all I ever used. I mixed some colours with your S-U-P-E-R-L-A-T-I-V-E Genuine Yellow Naples: Miraculous effect!.......but I like very much (and use a lot) cadmium based colours (red and yellow) and I suspect these would darken or, in any case, give bad reactions with the lead contained in Genuine Naples Yellow. Please say me "doesn’t matter" even if is a lie...or suggest me something knowing I don’t want to renounce - either cadmiums or Genuine Yellow Naples.
Thank you a lot.
- The good news is yes you can mix the combinations you describe.
Amazed and very pleased to see that you are manufacturing genuine vermillion. Before I buy, could you give me some information on the binder, and its percentage to pigment, and also any other additions.
Many thanks, Leo Holloway
- From your questions I can tell we are on the same wavelength. It is approximately 80% mercuric sulphide, tested by London University as 99.9% pure, which I import from China. It is ground into cold-pressed linseed, which is further refined by giving it the best drying oil I can find. You may also be interested in my genuine Naples Light and Dark (lead antimonate).