1. How can I adapt the acrylic videos to be used with water miscible oils and traditional oils?
Acrylics dry very quickly and most oil painters get frustrated trying to do the same painting. All oil or acrylic paintings begin the same: with a basic underpainting of darker values then adding lighter values on top until you reach the desired effect. When you paint with acrylics, you put on layer after layer of paint because they dry quickly.
Since oils dry slowly, you need to speed up the drying time by adding a few drops of alkyd painting medium. Within hours, the underpainting is tacky enough for you to begin the next step, just as if you were painting with acrylics. It takes a little more patience to work with oils. You may want to have several paintings going at the same time and at different stages.
2. What do I use in place of gesso?
In place of gesso, mix a large batch of titanium white and water. You want the consistency to be that of whipped butter. Apply this mixture to your canvas as you would gesso. This mixture is for blending in your backgrounds. For a faster drying time, add alkyd to the mixture. You should keep this mixture readily available.
3. When mixing my MAX oils, it is difficult to mix the colors. What am I doing wrong?
Remember there is oil in MAX paints and it requires more mixing than acrylics or traditional oils. You must thoroughly mix until they are of a creamy consistency. (Like soft creamy butter.) A touch of water or linseed oil is the key.
If you are mixing MAX oils with traditional oil paint, they will mix with ratio of 2/3 MAX oils to 1/3 traditional oils. As long as this ratio is used you can still clean and mix with water. A larger ratio of traditional oil will change the chemical makeup of the MAX oils and will need to be treated as traditional oils. Turpentine or liquin must be used to thin the paint and clean up is with turpentine.
Also, you may be trying to mix MAX oils with acrylic paints. These two mediums will not mix.
4. Can I combine the mediums of acrylic and oils?
You can use acrylics for your underpainting and apply your oils on top. Your acrylic underpainting must be completely dry (about one hour) before you apply your oil paint. Remember fat (oil) over lean (acrylic) never lean (acrylic) over fat (oil).
5. When working with water-miscible oils can I start a painting, leave it for a week or two and come back, and blend new paint with the old paint?
You can buy re-touch varnish and spray the dry oil paint. It will loosen the paint so you can blend the new paint with the old paint.
6. I have an old oil painting that is stained with nicotine. How would I clean an oil painting to remove nicotine and other stains?
First, remove the painting from its frame. Mix a solution of water and a few drops of liquid soap. Lay the painting flat and apply the soapy water with a bristle brush, lightly scrubbing in a circular motion. Test a small area before applying to the entire canvas. Let set for two minutes. Using a mister bottle spray with clean water. Blot with a dry towel. Repeat the spray and blotting. You can repeat the entire process 2 or 3 times if needed.
7. How do I apply a glaze with traditional oils?
Use a mixture of purified linseed oil and mineral spirits, it should be a 50/50 mixture. Then, add small amounts of color to create a glaze. You can also use a fast drying agent (e.g., Liquin) with color to glaze, but only on a dry painted surface. Liquin is made by Winsor & Newton.
8. What medium is recommended, Liquin or what substitute?
Liquin is the best preferred medium on the market - especially for quick-drying and thinning your paints.
9. How long should I wait after applying the different shades before blending my colors?
You usually wait until your paint has become tacky or dry to the touch.
10. Can modeling paste be used on an oil underpainted canvas and still adhere?
You can apply oil-based modeling paste to the same base surface. Oil paste to oil base surface and acrylic paste to acrylic base surfaces. Remember that modeling paste will crack if you apply a thick coat. You should apply thin layers until you achieve the desired thickness.
11. Here are a few tips for enjoying painting with MAX oils:
Use MAX in every way identically to the way you would use conventional oil paints, except use water to thin and clean up with.
MAX has the same drying time as conventional oils. Depending on the colors, this will take from several hours to a week or more.
DO NOT OVER DILUTE with water. You only need to add a few drops at a time and mix thoroughly. Some people slosh the water on as if they are using watercolors. Doing this will make it harder for you to get a smooth consistency.
If you want a very thin or flowing mixture, I suggest you add a little linseed oil. Alternatively, you can add alkyd painting medium that will speed drying as well.
MAX can be mixed with traditional oil colors and mediums. Its ability to thin and clean with water will be retained if you keep the proportions at two parts MAX to onepart traditional paint. If you exceed this proportion, you may have to use some brush soap, or a little odorless thinner, to cleanup.
12. I have an oil painting I did about 20 years ago and never finished. I would like to brighten the background, but now I use water-miscible oils instead of traditional oils. Can I use the water-based oils over this painting?
Yes, you can use water miscible oils to paint over traditional oils.
13. I am not happy with water-miscible oils. I find that they clump up on my brush and I have trouble drawing out a fine line. What am I doing wrong?
You need to take several drops of water and mix until you create a very creamy consistency. Then you are ready to paint. Most people quit mixing before it becomes creamy. Do not give up too quickly. Once you get used to the mixing you will prefer them to traditional oils.
14. What varnish can I use to cover an antique oil painting that is heavily restored that will mask the heavily restored areas?
The best varnish to use would be Damar picture varnish. You find it in liquid or spray. Most museums would recommend that you use the liquid brush on varnish.
15. I paint with traditional oils. What do I have to do to make the dress look like satin?
The procedure is to paint layer upon layer of a thin wash.
16. I paint in oils. How do I soften the shadows?
You would use your complimentary color system to soften a shadow. It is referred to as graying a color. For example, a purplish shadow would be grayed or softened with its compliment of yellow - blue with orange, red with green, etc. Check your compliment on a color wheel. This should solve your problem.
17. Liquin appears to have the consistency of honey. Is this normal, and if so, how much would I use with oils to hasten drying?
Yes, Liquin is thick and it will weaken the pigment of your paint. You should only use a few drops in your mixtures. Liquin does three things: 1) it shortens drying time, 2) it thins paint, and 3) when mixed in, it will make the paint creamy and give the paint a sheen (glossy appearance).
18. Please explain the process of using a rag on an oil painting?
The process is called rub-outs. After the background has been painted you take a rag and rub off the paint in certain areas to allow the canvas or masonite board to show through. This gives the painting a dramatic contrast of dark and light. It does take some experimenting to get the desired effect.
19. What will happen if you add quick dry alkyd to oil paints? Will it cause the painting to crack over time?
Over time any medium you add to your oils will cause them to break down, crack or even turn yellow. If possible, it is best not to use any mediums. Try to be as much of a purist as possible, and in the end, you will be happier with your artwork.
20. I finished an oil painting about 3 weeks ago, and it is dry. However, in the last stages of the painting, I used Liquin to help with the flow of paint, and now those areas are very glossy and the rest of the painting is matte.
This is a common problem. However, it is very fixable. In this case, you want to use Damar Picture Varnish for oils. You can buy either the brush-on kind or the spray. You can find it in most art stores.
21. Are water-miscible oils artist-quality paints?
Grumbacher assures that all of their mixtures with the modified linseed oil were of archival standards (museum quality).
22. How do I keep my oil paints from drying out? Keeping the lids on tightly will help. You can store them in a fridge or freezer. If the seem dry, add linseed oil to refresh them.
23. Can I reconstitute hardened oil paint in tubes? If you can squeeze the paint out of the tube, you can reconstitute them with any good linseed oil. If you can not squeeze them out of the tube, they can not be salvaged.