Old 21-10-2009, 10:58 AM   #11
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I guess that the thing with all mediums is not to try and fight the intrinsic qualities that the media has.

There are lots of neat things you can do with oils that you can't do with acrylics, such as impasto, get that pallete knife out!

Also, you can leave your pallete overnight, just stick it in a loosely tied carrier bag or lay a bit of clingfilm over it. I like to mix colours on glass, old pyrex plates from the charity shop are ideal.

Linseed oil is good for base layers as it's a quicker dry, but don't mix it with white or it might end up yellow over time. Blues can turn green, same principle.

If you do make lots of layers, you need to increase the amount of oil in each layer, to prevent cracking "Fat over lean".

Don't forget to prime your canvas!


(I don't tend to oil paint, becomes I like the smell of solvents a little too much but I did learn, including how to mix oil paints from powdered pigments - I'll see if I still have any of the class handouts for you both)
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Old 21-10-2009, 11:06 AM   #12
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Thanks BB. If I didnt use linseed to mix with white or blues, what do I use for them? As whites gonna be the top layer for highlights its gonna need to be the thinist layer too.

Also the canvass board I bought said its ready primed, should I still prime it, and if so with what? The only primer I have at homea the mo is an acrylic one.

I want to try to do quite a pre raphaelite style piece, so will be finer than the chunky impasto style. if it goes well I will do more in this style but adding my own slightly weird twists.
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Old 21-10-2009, 11:17 AM   #13
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my nan was an amazing oil painter and used to paint on hardboard that she primed withhousehold undercoat....always worked well for her an i saw paintings that were over 30 yrs old an no cracking........but maybe these days thats old hat i dont know but thought i would share as its very cheap an easily available
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Old 21-10-2009, 11:28 AM   #14
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If it's ready primed and labelled as suitable for oils, you'll be fine.

If you get into it, it's worth stretching your own canvas' better quality for less money - or even look into painting on board - lots of old alter pieces are on board.

The best art shop I've been too is Atlantis in London ATLANTIS ART MATERIALS if you are ever in town, it's worth a visit. They sell pre-made stretcher lengths that you can slot together and stretch your own canvas over. They don't have an online shop at the moment, but they will soon.

For the style you want, I'd say there are no short cuts, just let it take it's time and work on other stuff in the drying phases. Are you going to go for a chiaroscuro approach? I think you achieve that by doing a lighter under painting then building your darks over the top in the shadowed areas, using glazes (Rather than starting with the darks and finishing off with the highlights). Shit, I wish I could remember all this stuff!

I think poppy oil is a good alternative to linseed, but I have to google and check! It probably doesn't matter much with your first experimental piece and I don't know diddly about the water soluble oils anyway - but if you end up doing big pieces that sell for £££ you need to think about quality and longevity of materials.
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Old 21-10-2009, 12:22 PM   #15
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Right yes I have done a google hunt and seen that poppy oil is for the blues and whites.

Im going to start off by doinga Grisaille underpainting, which Im thinking I will do with just black acrylic and my gesso prima, as I read that acrylic primer can be used from priming for oils, so this will be 2 birds with one stone, meaning the board is well primed and providing my underpainting and fast drying. The piece is almost A1 so will be plenty for me to work one even while other bits are still drying.
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Old 21-10-2009, 12:44 PM   #16
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hahaha i'm going for the more amature approach of throw it all on the canvas and see what happens... LOL

I've picked a simple subject and just want to get a feel for how they lay and mix before i get bogged down with the technicalities.

IM if you want to use it for the competition just post your step by step thread after the comp
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Old 21-10-2009, 01:01 PM   #17
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Ah thats okay, I think I wouldnt have a cat in hells chance of getting it done in time. I think my aim will instead be to get a good result so it can go to the Tattoo Freeze gallery.
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Old 21-10-2009, 04:14 PM   #18
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I just have one final question thats bothering me.
So I start from light to dark, but the problem is, the whites and light tones need to be mixed with lighter oils than linseed so they dont yellow, like safflower or poppy, but that goes against everything I have read, about always doing the fast drying oils like linseed first so that the slow drying oils over the top dont cause them to crack.
Also as the whites are all opaque I cant use them to mix translucent tones for glazes, so will have to just mix them with more oils if I want to make a colour lighter. This then again will go against the whole fat to lean, as for each darker layer will involve more pigment then oil ????
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Old 21-10-2009, 04:33 PM   #19
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Woah! You are right, that seems wrong. What does Roy say?

In the meantime:

Info on whites here:

Hints and Tips Oil Paint

Although you shouldn't use linseed for whites, that doesn't mean you can't use a slower drying oil for darks too, I suppose that's why they aren't ready mixed, you can use a different oil depending on when that layer is applied.

Although I'm wondering if you allowed each layer to dry out completely before adding the next the fat to lean thing wouldn't be as crucial anyway.
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Old 21-10-2009, 04:46 PM   #20
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Im wonding if its cause I should use solvents to dilute colour instead of of oil. I have posted on Wet Canvass to ask the bofins there anyway.

Roy has gone home for the day as he only works in the mornings on a Wednesday. Im sure when I put this question to him in the morning he will just smile at me like I have just asked him the location of the holy grail, and say Ahhhh . . . And then I will just have to work it out for myself and he can laugh at me when I do it wrong lol!
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