Why use ‘Stand Linseed Oil’?

Evening glow, Wicklow hills

The medium used in this painting was ‘Stand Linseed Oil’. Why should one use ‘Stand Linseed Oil’ as opposed to standard Linseed Oil? For me, it was not that I wanted a thicker oily mix, but I needed to counteract the affect White Spirits has on the paint mix. This needs a little background information to explain what I mean. Recently I’ve heard artists complaining about headaches caused by the use of Turpentine. These, invariably are American artists. In Europe the use of Turpentine has been discouraged because of its toxicity for at least the last 30 years. There are several alternatives. White spirits is the most popular, but there is also ‘odourless’ solvents which are suitable for people allergic to ‘oil based’ materials. I use White Spirits to avoid the undesirable affects of the Turpentine fumes.

The ‘bulk’ of oil paint is part of its attraction unlike the thin staining quality of a paint like watercolour. When mixed with a medium like Linseed Oil this ‘bulk’ is retained. Turpentine also retains the ‘bulk’ when used as a solvent in the mix and helps to spread the paint mix over the surface. When White Spirits is used this ‘bulk’ collapses. The oil paint tends to behave like a wash as opposed to solid paint. This is favoured by some artists who like flat washes of colour. Stand Linseed Oil’s consistency reduces this ‘thinning’ of the oil paint and introduces a thixotropic quality to the mix which was needed to produce the rich heavy colours in this painting.

I have the time lapse video of the above painting almost ready to publish.

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2 thoughts on “Why use ‘Stand Linseed Oil’?

  1. Pingback: Escapism – time lapse painting video « PictureS

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