Sunday, October 12, 2014

Oil Painting Mediums part 1

Oil Painting Mediums part 1

Oil paint can be used directly out of the tube as is.  And this is a fine way to paint.  Paint with the paint; clean the brush. The end.  With this method of using no medium, paying attention to oil content of paint may be important to preventing cracking- use most oil laden paint (which is slower drying) on upper layers: "Fat over Lean."

Linseed Oil

Alternatively use straight linseed oil as your medium, using less oil in layers closest to canvas and use more oil in the top layers...again "Fat over Lean."  More Oil (more fat) = More Drying Time!


Turpentine a solvent can be used to thin paint- it dries quickly and is best used for first layers or blocking in a painting; a very lean layer of oil paint.

I previously used pure gum turpentine for thinning and cleaning brushes.  It had a sweet strong odor.  Now I can no longer find this, either in hardware store or art supply store.  Yes, "pure gum turpentine" can still be purchased, but it is different...way different.  It has a foul, dead animal smell that I find terribly offensive.  I don't use it anymore.

Mineral Spirits

Mineral Spirits is a solvent that can be used in place of turpentine.  As with turpentine, paint thinned with mineral spirits makes for a leaner layer than paint right out of the tube.  I have used Gamsol 100% Pure Odorless Mineral Spirits as well as Kleen Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits from my local hardware store.  I do not notice a difference between these two.  Use mineral spirits for thinning oil colors, modifying other painting mediums, and studio clean up.  Less Oil (less fat or lean) = less drying time.

Simplest Oil Paint Medium Technique

  1. With paint thinned with mineral spirits (or turpentine) paint first layer onto gessoed canvas and let dry if desired.
  2. With paint straight from tube or lightly thinned with oil (such as linseed oil) paint next layers and let dry if desired.
  3. With paint thinned only with oil paint final layers .
The above method generally not only maintains a "Fat over Lean" concept but also allows a layered painting technique improving depth and luminosity. 


Link Within

Related Posts with Thumbnails