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 What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?

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Callie
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PostSubject: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:57 am

As water soluble oils have become more common, so have various oils and mediums for them. One can now find ws thinner, stand oil, safflower and linseed oils, alkyds (quick-dry), impasto gel, glazing medium and varnishes.
Let's compare painting methods - what types of mediums do you use, what brands do you like?

Share your experience and suggestions, or ask a question!
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:25 am

I use mostly the Holbein Duo Aqua. For an underpainting I use the Lukas Berlin Quick Drying medium. I use 1/2 water mixed with 1/2 linseed oil for my medium for everything else including glazing. I find it gives a good balance.Smile

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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:00 pm

Most of my paintings are done in layers with some glazing, so I'm fond of quick-dry (alkyd) mediums. It's nice to be able to continue painting from day to day, rather than week to week. My favorite medium is Grahams Walnut Alkyd. I mainly use W&N Artisans, but find their quick-dry is not as fluid as the walnut alkyd. With the Artisan quick-dry, I add a few drops of their thinner to make it flow better.
For painting outdoors (painting quickly, no time for layers), I like the thinner. Makes it easy to sketch the scene, then I use just enough to dampen the brush and keep on going.
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:24 pm

Callie, I'm thinking of using the Walnut Alkyd on my next painting because I'm finding the Lukas Berlin Fast Drying Medium dries too fast. How do you clean your brushes while painting with that medium? I use water now to clean my brushes while I paint but I would think with the Walnut Alkyd I won't be able to do that.

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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:39 pm

I use water to rinse the brushes with while painting. If I'm using big brushes or thick paint, I'll put a little splash of Artisan thinner in the water. The walnut alkyd isn't as tacky as some of the others. If you do want to add some oil to it, you probably wouldn't need as much as in your usual mix. I like the consistency of it as is, so haven't ever mixed it with other oils.
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:50 pm

Callie, that's perfect. I was hoping I could just use water. I'll try without the oil first and see how it goes. Thank you for your help! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:05 am

Callie, one more question if I use the Walnut Alkyd medium on the first layer do you think it would work if I switched to my usual medium of 1/2 w/s linseed oil and 1/2 water for subsequent layers or do you think it would be better to use one of the w/s alkyd mediums if I do this?

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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:54 pm

I don't know about that. Sounds like it would break the fat over lean rule because you're adding water-thinned paint over the previous fatter layer. Personally, I don't mix water into the paints, and keep it simple as far as mediums go. I usually start with a thinned layer of paint (Artisan thinner) to sketch in the subject, then switch to the walnut alkyd or just paint to continue the painting.
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:59 pm

Thank you Callie for your help! I thought because alkyd medium dries so fast that it would be ok. I mix 1/2 water and 1/2 linseed oil together as my usual medium not just water. Does that make a difference I wonder? I haven't tried the thinner yet with the Holbein. I'll give that a try next for the landscape for the challenge.

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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:32 pm

Think of the water as turpentine - it thins the oil/paint. So you're going lean over fat, rather than fat over lean. You could start with a little thinner in your linseed or walnut-alkyd to begin with, then either stay with that all the way, or switch to straight oil or alkyd (no added thinner/water). You don't want the top layer to dry before the bottom layer/s - that's how you end up with cracked paint
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:52 pm

Thank you for you help Callie! Initially what I was really concerned about was the combining W/S mediums with the Walnut Alkyd but you brought up a good point regarding fat over lean.

I know for certain that using the Lukas Berlin w/s fast drying medium works for underpainting and then moving to the 1/2 water and 1/2 linseed oil for the subsequent layers. The Lukas Berlin fast drying medium dries much faster then WSOs mixed with the 1/2 water and 1/2 linseed oil mixture. I did notice the Walnut Alkyd Medium dries slower then the Lukas Berlin w/s fast drying medium so I can see how that would make a difference.

When I took an oil painting class the teacher started with the alkyd medium then used 1/2 oderless turpenoid and 1/2 linseed oil. He's the one that suggest 1/2 water and 1/2 linseed oil and I love the way it works with the Holbein and Lukas Berlin. I tried it with the Winsor & Newton Artisan and the Grumbacher Max and didn't like it at all.

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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:42 am

Maybe our technical expert (hello David!) will weigh in here. Until then....
The walnut alkyd still has walnut oil in it (fat). The paint may flow better, but it's not thin - it has oil/fat added to it. The Lukas quick-dry has a real watery consistency, so I don't know how that works out as far as fat over lean when you go over it with water/linseed, maybe the Lukas would be alright.
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:22 pm

I think you have what the difference would be. I can see why Walnut Alkyd having oil in it would be fat. You're rite that the Lukas Berlin Quick Drying medium has a very watery consistendy and it does dry extremely fast.

This is what Winsor and Newton states about their Fast Drying medium:

"In order to control drying times, it contains within its range of specially formulated oils, thinners, mediums and varnishes - a Fast Drying Medium. This not only improves the flow of painting but speeds up drying time by about 50%, allowing further layers to be applied more quickly."

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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:50 pm

I used the Winsor' fast drying medium for the first time with my current painting Winter Scene. And it allowed me to lay down the first few layers much quicker. I liked it.
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:00 pm

Dale, I'm going to try that brand as well. It sounds good. I was looking for something that doesn't dry as fast as the Lukas Berlin Quick Drying Medium but slower then the Walnut Alkyd medium so the W&N brand might work fo me. Smile



Maybe I should read the back of my bottles sometime. Rolling Eyes The Lukas Berlin Quick Drying medium: "Addition makes oil colour "meager".

A full description on one of their pamphlets here:

"Painting Medium 3 modified (art. no. 2252), acts as a accelerator and makes colours “lean”. The emulsifying characteristics of this medium may lead to slight whitening during painting but will disappear completely during drying."

Here's a link to the leaflet: http://www.lukas.eu/WEB_GB/Broschueren/Leaflets/WERB2049_Berlin_GB_Internet.pdf

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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:04 pm

Let us know how you make out.
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:05 pm

Dale, I'll make sure to share all the details. It will be interesting to see the difference between the Lukas Berlin Quick Drying Medium, Walnut Alkyd Medium and the Artisan Quick Drying Medium. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:32 pm

I think the Artisan alkyd falls between the Lukas Berlin and Graham's walnut as far as drying time. It's also heavier/thicker than the walnut alkyd. I usually put a little bit of thinner in it.
The Lukas quick-dry is almost like a thinner and alkyd rolled into one product.
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:48 pm

OK Callie,

I am confused. So I can mix the slow drying medium with some thinner? Does that make it leaner?
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:25 am

The alkyd mediums all speed up the drying time. It's just that some of them work faster than others.

Graham's Walnut Alkyd = quick drying
Artisan Quick-Dry = quicker drying
Lukas Berlin = very quick drying

The first two are oily/fat, the Berlin is lean

I like the walnut alkyd the way it comes, but find the Artisan a little heavy so adding a few drops of thinner improves the flow.
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:38 am

Thank you Callie for the tips on the Artisan Quick Dry.

I did email Winsor & Newton to ask whether they consider the thinner leaner then the Quick Dry for the Fat over lean rule. I would think it would be as they state this regarding the Quick Dry: "When painting in layers it can substitute linseed oil and be combined with water and/ or thinner to maintain 'fat over lean.' "

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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:57 am

Soooooooooo how long should the W&N fast drying medium take to dry? I'm talking hours, days, weeks, here. The reason I asked is I mixed some in with my W&N ws oils and the paint is finally dry to touch/tack three weeks later. One would think it would dry faster than that, my strokes were thin as I was wanting to work in thin layers.

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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:05 am

Paints without the medium are usually touch-dry sooner than that. The main reason I prefer the walnut-alkyd is that the W&N quick-dry sets up too fast for me. Could you be mixing too much quick-dry with not enough paint? So you end up with a "gummy" coating of alkyd instead of a thin layer of paint? That's the only thing I can think of
Maybe it's just a bad bottle (check for the "improved" label on it).
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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:35 pm

Callie,

Is the Lukas Berlin also an Alkyd? It seems that the alkyd is what is causing my breathing problems so if this one isn't ,then I think it would be worth a try for me.

Judy

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PostSubject: Re: What mediums (if any) do you use with ws oils?   Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:08 pm

Callie wrote:
Paints without the medium are usually touch-dry sooner than that. The main reason I prefer the walnut-alkyd is that the W&N quick-dry sets up too fast for me. Could you be mixing too much quick-dry with not enough paint? So you end up with a "gummy" coating of alkyd instead of a thin layer of paint? That's the only thing I can think of
Maybe it's just a bad bottle (check for the "improved" label on it).

It says improved on the label. I added the dryer 1 drop to about 1 very large pea, or smallish grape, of paint, so I doubt I had too much thinner in the paint. I've found the paints take about a month over all to dry w/o anything mixed in them. I wonder what I'm doing wrong?

I paint in my basement studio where it is 61-63F and the humidity is very low here right now. Is this a sunlight issue? Does the paint really dry or does it need to come into contact with light in order for the oxidation process to work?

K-
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