As you probably know the medium I use is Liquin plus a little (5-10%) Stand Linseed Oil. The addition of the oil is to slow the drying of the Liquin which begins to dry and go ‘matt’ after about an hour and a half. Generally, in oil painting the shadows are painted first so I was having the problem of the shadows drying and the tone becoming lighter by the time I got to finishing the painting.
Recently I tried ‘Drying Poppy Oil’ as a replacement for the Stand Linseed Oil in the Liquin medium mix. Even though there was such a small amount used the effect on the mixing of paint on the palette was noticeable. The paint seemed bulkier and jelly like, which was good when transferred to the canvas. As you probably noticed from my videos I do a lot of manipulating of paint on the canvas. This is why I don’t use pure oil as it gets greasy with colours seeming to slide around on top of each other and not blending together. When this is thinned with White Spirits to reduce this effect, the paint becomes thin and without body. The addition of the Poppy Oil was great, but there was a little problem. The drying time was much, much longer than Linseed Oil, even though the Drying Poppy Oil has driers added.
I intend to use Drying Poppy Oil on its own, without Liquin, and see what happens. I know that Poppy Oil is less flexible than Linseed Oil, but I don’t use stretched canvas so flexibility of the paint film is not that much of a problem for my method. However, I may be prepared to wait a long time for the painting to dry, which isn’t a problem either, if I can keep the midges from sticking to the surface. I love the paint handling afforded by Liquin, but I have a niggling worry about later varnishing issues.
Here is the video of this painting process.
As usual – watching you do the sky is wonderful – actually you must have been reading my mind, for I was thinking about what medium to use for my plein air work – generally I use the paint straight from the tube but the drying time is horrendously slow, especially at this time of year. I have been using, at times, Archive smooth medium with some reasonable results – I tend to use thicker layers of paints, which doesn’t help.
I just love your blog. It is really wonderful. The effort and time you put into your work is really commendable. I love watching your time lapse videos as well but what I like most is reading about your detailed process. It is very helpful for me as I am a self-trained artist. I learn so much from you. Have you worked with Galkyd Lite before? Any tips or comments on it, how you like to use it…or not? Also, I would really love it if you did a video of you doing a complete painting…but in real time, not time-lapsed. It would be so helpful for so many people, I am sure. You probably have your reasons why you do not but I would personally love to learn from you in that fashion. Just my thoughts. Hope you are well and thank you for your blog. I look forward to each and every post.
Warm thoughts from San Francisco,
k i m b y
Thank you Kimby for the nice words. To answer your question, I have not used Galkyd Lite. The only ‘alkyd’ I have experience of is Liquin. This has definite advantages in the application of paint on the canvas. If you have been following my posts you will know my concerns regarding Liquin. I don’t like changing media that much as the ‘feel’ of the paint is important to the way I paint. For instance, I use a pipette to add precise amounts of medium and solvent to the paint mixes on the palette. This is critical in painting skies. Recently I used 5% Poppy Oil instead of the usual 5% Linseed Oil in my Liquin medium solution. I could feel the difference in how the paint moved on the canvas. The more control you have over your materials the more freedom you have in painting. I have more control by limiting everything to the minimum including colours used.
Regarding videos, its the limitations of technology which dictates the length of the videos. I use YouTube and the limit is 15 minutes. The realtime video could be 2 hours per painting. The uploading alone (if it were allowed) would take several hours. In just over a year I’ve uploaded 90 painting videos to YouTube, each about 10 minutes long. For me the easiest part is painting the picture. As I write this I have a new painting ready for the next posts and I am planning the next painting. The computer/video side of the operation is so slow I can’t get too involved in a particular painting. But technology is improving all the time and who knows, maybe I will be able to upload the entire realtime video in the future.
I’m delighted you find the blog interesting. Thanks again.
Yet another inspiring teaching post – thank you. I nominated you for the Art and Culture section of the ‘Blog Awards Ireland’ but their system seems to be faulty – the ‘send’ indicator just goes on and on – far too long to be reasonable. I hope they did receive it but if not I tried. Also they asked for your email which I couldn’t find….
Thank you John for the effort and support. I’m not really into this sort of thing, but there is an effort being made to encourage more people in Ireland to get involved in Blogging. It seems to be a worthwhile thing to support even if the organisation is a bit ‘hairy’. For the record my Email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and I hope my nomination made it through…