New tube blues

I am currently painting a larger than normal oil painting, 16×20 inch in fact. This means more than one painting session to complete the job. For a change I’m painting from imagination or memory of various scenes I’ve encountered recently. In other words, I am making it up as I go along. Starting with a sketch and progressing by painting in the sky and distant horizon. At this stage I leave the painting to dry for a day or two and continue to paint on top of the dry layers. In spite of reasonably warm weather the initial painting is still not dry. I used Liquin, as usual, and a small amount of Linseed Oil in the mix. So it should have dried by now – 3 days later. The problem was a ‘new tube’ of Cobalt Blue paint.

When the paint is formulated and put in tubes, in order to extend the ‘shelf life’ of the tube, a drying ‘retarder’ is put in the paint. When you open the tube for the first time you will notice a clear liquid emerging ahead of the paint. This liquid which has seeped from the paint in the body of the tube, will contain a quantity of the retarder and if it gets into your paint mixture will seriously extend the drying time, as it did with mine. As I usually paint from start to finish in the one session I don’t notice this slow drying, I just put the painting aside when finished and wait for it to dry.

This little omission on my part has seriously ‘retarded’ my painting progress. Couldn’t I start another painting while this one dries? Absolutely not. I find it difficult to start a new project while I’m still involved in the previous. Multi-tasking is not for me. I will mull over this in an agitated state until its done and move on to something different. Hopefully, I won’t have to wait for much longer.

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5 thoughts on “New tube blues

  1. Oh…I LOVE your blog! I just quickly looked at a few posts and got that feeling of entering a really good book store or library…when you just wish there were more time!!!! Thank you so much for posting all of this incredible work, information and inspiration! And thank you too for visiting mine. Happy painting to you from San Francisco. I’ll be returning many times!

    • Thank you for the comment. Reading your blog reminds me of why I don’t get many comments. Your’s is Art and Life, mine is focussed on producing pictures mostly in isolation. I will continue to read and enjoy your ‘diary of an artist’. Thank you.

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