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Oil Paints And Mediums

Oil Paints And Mediums by Jill Saur

Oil paint dries much slower than any other painting medium.  This medium requires patience.  However, in the end, if done correctly, painting in oil is extremely rewarding.  


Winsor & Newton Oil Products

Winsor & Newton Oil Paints

In 1832, Henry Newton and William Winsor formed the company Winsor & Newton. They're known for producing high quality paint and materials.  I've been working with these oil paints my entire life.  

Winsor & Newton Oil Mediums

Winsor & Newton Liquin Original - This is a semi gloss medium that speeds drying and improves the flow of paint.  This medium cuts the drying time of oil paint by half (depending on thickness of paint used).  This medium also resists yellowing.  However, using too much of this medium can cause cracking in the paint when it dries.  


 Standard Oil Painting Medium

When you squeeze oil paint directly out of the tube, it consists of two parts: the pigment (color) and the medium (oil).  Different colors and brands have different consistencies of paint.  In general, oil paint in itself is a thick paint and does not mix easily with other paints.  When you load the paint directly from the tube onto your brush, it's often too thick to paint with.  Using a small amount of painting medium will dilute the paint to just the place you need for it to be in order to mix it with other paint, or to load it onto your brush and create beautiful strokes on your painting.

Making Oil Painting Medium:  You need two ingredients to make oil painting medium; 1/3 linseed stand oil to 2/3 turpentine.  I've listed these two ingredients below.  Mix these ingredients in a jar with a secured lid.  Be sure to google how to safely dispose of your rags that you use to dry your brushes on.  Rags soaked in painting medium can be flammable in the garbage can!

First Ingredient For Oil Painting Medium:

Winsor & Newton Artists' Painting Medium - This is a linseed stand oil/petroleum distillate used to thin the consistency of oils and alkyds.  This medium dries to a flexible film with a minimal tendency to yellow, wrinkle, and crack. 


Second Ingredient For Oil Painting Medium:

Winsor & Newton Distilled Turpentine -  Solvents vary in their ability to "loosen up" the body of the oil paint. The solvent with the greatest power is Distilled Turpentine.  It evaporates slowly and it is also the most hazardous and strongest smelling solvent used by oil painters.  Only use this in ventilated areas!   


Winsor & Newton Liquin Impasto - This is a semi-gloss, quick-drying, non-yellowing impasto medium that retains textures and brush strokes without any visible leveling. This medium bulks up the paint and it allows more blending time.  Use this medium for heavy brushwork or palette knife painting.  This medium can be used in a 50/50 ratio.



Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour Artists' Gloss Varnish - This product provides a final varnish for oil and alkyd paintings that have been thoroughly dried (at least 6-12 months).  This varnish provides superior protection against dirt, grease, and UV damage. There are three formulas with varying degrees of gloss.  I use the Gloss Varnish.  You may prefer a different one.  The Gloss Varnish is a general purpose, non-yellowing varnish.  It dries to a high-gloss finish.  You can mix this with a mat varnish to get varying degrees of gloss that you prefer.  If you varnish your painting before it dries, you'll seal in moisture and your paint will eventually start to crack.  Be sure your painting is dry!


If you want to use a temporary varnish before your painting is completely dry, I suggest that you use a re-touch varnish such as Grumbacher Damar Retouch Varnish.  This is a spray Damar varnish for use during intermediate stages of an oil painting to even out the gloss of unfinished works.  This varnish can also be used to protect paintings before the final varnishing.  This varnish is transparent, quick drying, and glossy.  Allow it to completely dry before overpainting.  Only use this product in thin layers.  This product is not intended for use as a final varnish.



Winsor & Newton Oil Products   


M. Graham Oil Paints

Artist, Art Graham, had years of experience working for other companies when he branched out on his own and started his own company.  His products are based on his own high standards and values.  I've dealt directly with the Graham family and have nothing but the utmost respect for them and their exquisite paints.  Their paint is manufactured without fillers or additives.  They create these fine artist oils in small batches.  Every color is rich and saturated with the highest possible tinting strength and tone.  Renaissance masters such as Da Vinci and Durer favored walnut oil over linseed oil.  Art Graham uses walnut oil as a binder for all his paints.  It flows freely and has less tendency to yellow or crack.  


Avoid Harsh Solvents With M. Graham Walnut Oil 

Walnut oil removes paint from artist’s brushes.  It's a natural vegetable oil that doesn't evaporate.  The addition of walnut oil to color squeezed directly from the tube, will slow drying time and enhance the flow of paint.  It will also increase the sheen.  I encourage students to try using this as their sole medium when painting with a brush. Turpentine is a harsh solvent and toxic to ones health.  Turpentine was invented during the Industrial Age, long after the great masters of oil painting.  The great masters used walnut oil alone to clean their brushes and enhance the flow of paint!


Rembrandt Artists' Oil Colors                                                    

Rembrandt Artists' Oil Paints are manufactured in Holland.  They're made with the highest quality standards and have a rich buttery feel.  Their color intensity is second to none because they use expensive pure pigments.  The pigments are ground very finely in a binder of the purest linseed or safflower seed oil.  All of this results in a paint that is smooth, creamy and paints very evenly on the canvas.  I love these paints!


M. Holbein Duo Aqua Water Soluble Oils 

Because these paints clean up with soap and water instead of harsh solvents, Duo Aqua Oil Colors are safer than regular traditional oil paints when used in the studio.  These paints were developed to offer the same high pigment quality and archival qualities of regular oils, while allowing soap and water clean up.  These paints have rich hues, high color intensity, excellent resistance to light and a wonderful array of colors!  These paints can be diluted with water and they dry faster than traditional oils.  These paints can be mixed with acrylics, watercolors, gouache, and oils, to create different effects.  However, these paints are no longer water soluble when mixed with more than 30% traditional oil color.



If you want to do a palette knife painting using these paints, you can use Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Impasto Medium.  This medium thickens water mixable oils for textured painting and it also speeds drying time.  Always mix this medium thoroughly into your paint.


The Masterson Sta-Wet Palette Seal: I love painting in oils with the Masterson Sta-Wet Palette Seal.  This specialized palette keeps the paint moist, extending the life of your painting time.  With the sealed lid, the paint will stay nice and fresh!  It comes with several sheets of palette paper.  You'll have to purchase more paper separately.



© 2014 - Jill Saur, Jill Saur Fine Art LLC.