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 Traditional oils versus Water Solubles

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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:20 am

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to tour the studios of two very good local artists.
One worked in acrylics, the other in traditional oils. Both do BIG paintings.

The traditional oil painter had big open studio room, in her house, not far from the living room and kitchen.
She had 2 or 3 paintings on the go, big canvases, still wet, so she was working on them in between greeting visitors and trying to sell her work Basketball

She paints with a palette knife, and applies the paint in medium to thick strokes, pretty much straight from the tube, with a minimum of colour mixing. Yet with 2 wet canvases on easels, and two separate palettes with gobs of paint on them, there was NO odor at all. When she told me that she painted with oils (not water mixables) I had a hard time believing. I had to ask her again.

The point of this posting is that now I am wondering if I should be switching to traditional oils. It seems as if she can work in her house, and deal with little or no odor from paint and solvents.

Would anyone care to comment on this? I know that WMs have the advantage of quickly cleaned brushes, but what else? Somehow less toxic maybe?
Have I jumped into WMOs without needing to?


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Crystal1



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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:35 pm

Last Thursday I started classes with my new teacher. Her class also uses traditional oils with no mediums. Like you, I commented on the lack of odor. They clean their brushes in cooking oil, and then with a cleaning agent called Awsome (I've bought it before in a large bottle at the Dollar Store). I'm considering using up my WMO and starting back with my bag of old regular oil paint. If you want to wait a few weeks, I'll be able to give you more information. One thing I noticed is that they're using Grumbacher Oil paint, which is a professional oil, that is much looser than Winsor Newton and some others.
Dayle
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:37 pm

It is interesting to see that they use cooking oil to clean their brushes. I've heard of Awsome even for WSO's but have never tried it myself.

My biggest problems when I was using traditional oils was the linseed oils and turpenoid. I still have problems with the linseed oils in the WS oils also, and that is why I use walnut oil instead for making the paints more fluid.

Dayle, are you using your WS Oils in the class? I'll be interested in seeing how your class progresses.

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dbclemons



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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:44 pm

watermixableguy wrote:
...I know that WMs have the advantage of quickly cleaned brushes, but what else? Somehow less toxic maybe? Have I jumped into WMOs without needing to?

What else do they need to do? Their point is to behave just like regular oil paint. Some brands do and others are more problematic. It's not the paint that's the issue but the required solvent. From the description you gave of the artist using a palette knife, the solvent is not an issue at all. She could use water-miscible oils also if she wished. The biggest disadvantage of wmo paints, in my opinion, is that there are not as many color choices compared to what's available in regular oil paint. Fortunately, you can mix them together.

If these paints do everything you expect them to do AND they clean up more easily you'll have to decide for yourself if that is enough of a reason to use them. It is for me. Aside form the health concerns, water is less expensive than turpentine or spirits.

Wmo paints, by the way, would not be less toxic than regular oils if they use the same pigment.
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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:27 am

Good comments, David.

I was so surprised by the lack of odor at her studio that I initially assumed she was using acrylics. More so than water mixables. She had baskets of big paint tubes, which reminded me of acrylic tubes.
It's been many many years since I worked with traditional oils, and at that time, you could smell the paint and solvents very distinctly. Plus, the sink and surrounding cleaning areas smelled too. And rags covered in turpentine, etc. Not pretty. With WMO, we just wash with soap and water.

My dilemma has to do with availability of paints. Plus, as you say, choice of colours. I order all my paints from thousands of miles away, likewise the thinner and medium. It's about 50% cheaper for me to order from another province and have things shipped to me, than to buy locally.
But not all WMO brands are available in Canada. The "better" (professional quality, supposedly) brands, such as Holbein and Kobra, I need to buy from US, and are very expensive to import here.

Food for thought though, and I appreciate your feedback.

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Crystal1



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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:42 am

Yes, I'm using WMO'S in class. I really don't know all about their use of traditional oils yet. The teacher teaches oil painting, acrylics, and watercolors. I'm only going once a week, so it will take a while to see everything that they're doing.
Dayle
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:54 am

I made a mistake one time this winter and grabbed a color from my tradition oils that I did not have in WSO's. Of course, when I went to clean the brushes, the difference became very apparent and I was glad that I had switched to WSo's.

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dbclemons



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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:48 am

watermixableguy wrote:
...But not all WMO brands are available in Canada. The "better" (professional quality, supposedly) brands, such as Holbein and Kobra, I need to buy from US, and are very expensive to import here...

Have you tried Grumbacher MAX? Curry's has them on their website:
https://www.currys.com/catalogpc.htm?Category=GRUMBACHER_MAX_WATER_MIXABLE_OIL&NBReset=3

They have a high pigment load that appears to be equal to their regular Pre-Tested line of oils. I have had trouble with some of them in the past related to a stiffness similar to Artisans, but I haven't bought any new ones in awhile.
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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:30 pm

David, thanks for the information about Max. I might give them a try.

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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:55 am

Wallack's have the Cobra.

http://www.wallacks.com/catalogue/store.php?st=paint

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Crystal1



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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:32 pm

Janet, good to hear from you again.
Dayle
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watermixableguy
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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:17 pm

Janet, thanks for the link to Wallack's, I was not familiar with them. And they are having a sale on WaterMixables!

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susanms



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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Sun May 18, 2014 5:41 pm

Guess I'll pipe up here, since I was looking on the site here to see if anyone has gone back to traditional oils as I have. I used to paint with them and the turps, but found out about about WSOs and was quite enamored by the fact that I could ditch the turps and use water to thin and clean brushes. So I invested in lots of Holbein and had lots of other WSO also. I told everyone about them and still will - but after realizing after many paintings produced by them over about 7 years, I had to admit that the quality of the painting was just not there. I came across info that baby oil is all that is needed to clean the paint out brushes (which I'm fanatical about keeping clean), so - I pulled out my traditional oils. Except for using up the WSOs for underpainting, maybe, I must admit - I love traditional oils. I don't use baby oil to clean my brushes. I use walnut oil. I bought large bottles of it in the grocery store while in France, but I've found it here, too. I use it for cleaning my brushes and then I use Dawn and then I use some Masters to form the bristles nicely. Simple, easy... (for my 2 cents).  Wink 
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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Thu May 22, 2014 2:20 pm

Thanks for the 2 cents.  Smile  We are finding that many traditional oil painters are now avoiding the turps by doing what you are doing. That's great. I still have a problem because of the linseed oil in the paints. I have that same problem with some WSO that have linseed and also with the linseed oil made specifically for WSO. The walnut has been a real life saver for me.

Good to hear from you again. I'm assuming you noticed that we now have forums for all the different media since many of us use all different ones.

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susanms



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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Thu May 22, 2014 3:01 pm

No, I didn't really notice about different forums. Is there one for traditional oils? If so, where?
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PostSubject: Re: Traditional oils versus Water Solubles   Fri May 23, 2014 12:41 am

If you click on the Home button on the menu and scroll down. The first area is "Discussion," next is "WSO Gallery" and the third is "Other Media" where you'll find the Traditional Oils as the first one listed.

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