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Exotic Paper

Oil Painting Mediums & Additives

 

Most oil painting mediums are some variant of a basic recipe : oil, solvent, and varnish. The basic medium divides these components in thirds - 1/3 oil (usually linseed), 1/3 solvent (turpentine works best), and 1/3 varnish (damar is traditional). Adding more or less of the various components gives the artist many possibilities in viscosity, gloss, and drying time.

 

Oil mediums can make a heavy body color flow with transparency for glaze work but will make the paint more oily and slow to dry.  Impatient artists use a medium that has a drier, alkyd mediums like Galkyd or Liquin will hasten drying, while oily additives like stand oil will take a significant time to dry.

 

Solvents come in two categories : mineral spirits and turpentine. Mineral spirits are petroleum distillates with a relatively low volatility. Though mineral spirits are suitable for cleaning brushes and thinning an oil paint, they are not strong enough to dissolve damar resin and are less compatible with many oil mediums.

 

Turpentine is distilled resin from trees and is more volatile than mineral spirits. It will invade the airspace of a studio quickly and strongly - but is also strong enough to cut damar and is suitable for your oil mediums.

Oil Painting Mediums & Additives

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