Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back to the Easel: No Fainting Please

Getting a bit messy...another layer is added after many delays. There's still much more to do.

So, you're finally getting back to work on that oil painting, only to discover that it has already dried. If you paint on it now, the new paint will eventually just pop off in time. Wondering what to do?

Elizabeth Tolley has the answer...along with many other fine painting tips in her book, Oil Painter's Solution Book: Landscapes--Over 100 answers to your oil painting questions.

Ms. Tolley says, "If you are going to work on a painting after the first application of paint has dried, re-wet the painting with the medium you have been using so the subsequent layer will adhere." (Wish I'd known that a few years back...!)

She continues, "If you have been using a three-part medium of turpentine, damar varnish and linseed oil, use a retouch varnish with damar varnish in it. However, if you are using an alkyd, you need to use alkyd and OMS. I use a thin mixture of 1 part alkyd to 1 part OMS."

Beware of the damar varnish or retouching damar's fumes are toxic enough to cause fainting, and probably death to small animals/birds, or even you. You'll have to leave it outside to dry...and I don't mean in the garage attached to the house! The fumes will still leak inside and leave you with a headache. I also noticed that the stuff ate through gloves to the skin. For these reasons, I prefer Gamblin's Galkyd as both a varnish and quick dry medium, used with his OMS (odorless mineral spirits).

I prefer to keep breathing while I paint, don't you?

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