Mixed Up Mediums: A Review of Oil Painting Mediums With Some Basic Tips
This report reviews a few of the more popular oil painting mediums, their purpose, and some tips on how to use them. The purpose of adding these materials to your own oil paints is to alter the behaviour of the paint during application and affecting results after the painting dries. Behavior describes the way the paint comes off the brush and glides on the surface, the way that it covers either the surface or succeeding layers, and just how it feels as you apply it.
Brands of paint behave differently and mediums help you control the paint the way you want it to act as you use it. Some paint manufacturers –and here I’m only referring to the artist grade paints rather than the student grades–are stiffer straight out of the tube. Student grades have less pigment and more fillers like additional oil and simply don’t perform well. If you use those paints which are stiffer out of the tube, but need more flexibility in how they handle, or act, you will require a medium. If you would like brush strokes apparent on your final painting, a lighter paint functions better. Including a refined linseed oil in tiny amounts until it feels right to you will encourage the paint to level out and show less strokes. Less linseed oil and much more strokes will show. Always remember to never place a quicker drying layer on a slow drying layer of paint. The top layer can dry too quickly and form a barrier causing the underlying layer to be sealed in and can ripple or crackle the surface later on.
Glazing mediums permit you to apply thin layers of paint and build color and luminosity with the viewer’s eye blend the colours as opposed to mixing the paint on the palette or canvas. Using a moderate like Liquin by Winsor & Newton speeds drying time while thinning the paint allowing layers to be constructed without waiting a few days for each layer to dry before you apply another layer. There are also glazing mediums available like A traditional medium used for decades by many painters is refined linseed oil, a touch of solvent (typically mineral spirits), plus a bit of stand oil, and a touch of Japan or Cobalt Drier These components are blended in a balance to achieve your desired results, such as faster drying time, more Rat Poop, etc.. ) Stand oil is just a thicker linseed oil which may decrease brush strokes and increase gloss. Adding Damar varnish to your mixture also adds gloss and can accelerate drying time. Damar varnish is made of tree resin and alkyd is a form of synthetic resin.
There are a number of mediums and I suggest that you try several until you find what works best for your style of painting.