As you probably know I’ve not been using any medium lately, actually not for the last few months. By now the earliest of these paintings are ‘oiled out’ and are fully dry (well almost ready for a varnish). When I first started to use solvent only, I was expecting the resultant paintings to be very matt and dull and needing the ‘oiling out’ process in the worst possible way. But to my surprise the paintings are quite normal looking, with dull and glossy patches. I do remember a time when this ‘no medium’ method would have produced a very different end result, which leads me to think that the composition of the paints has changed in recent years. It seems like, more medium and less pigment in the tubes, but it could be the pigment is more finely ground. Whatever the reason, I think there might be a problem of using too much medium. The dangers of this are well documented, flaking, peeling, cracking, yellowing, etc. Don’t think the time scale of problems occurring is centuries, its possibly as little as ten years.
I include a photograph of an oil on stretched canvas I painted in October, 1972. At that time I was less careful about the basics and I was using too much medium. In this case Linseed Oil. What I’m doing now with solvent, I was doing then with medium. The difference is that the solvent (artist’s quality solvent) evaporates without leaving any residue. Medium is there for ever.
The colours used in the landscape above are Cadmium Red & Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Prussian Blue, Ivory Black and Titanium White. As mentioned before, there is no medium used, only White Spirits.
I will post the video of the painting process in a day or two, see you then.