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Other Art Related Issues Discuss other art related issues not connected with tempera

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Old 17-02-07, 07:16 PM
miss pixel miss pixel is offline
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Hi, I am doing a survey of artist's use of varnishes and other substances that they use on, during and after finishing oil paintings.
I would be interested in any comments, suggestions and remedies for the eternal artist's problem of preventing oil paint sinking into a primed canvas. I have had several interesting 'works for me' suggestions for sorting out this problem, but would welcome yours too! please specify any brands, quantities or drying times etc you advise with your suggestions.
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Old 19-02-07, 02:03 AM
Alexandra van Cruyningen Alexandra van Cruyningen is offline
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To prevent oil paint from sinking in I use linseed oil and a makeup sponge. I just go over the sunken in areas with it. But istn't this an egg tempera site and not about oilpainting problems?? :-o
Alex.
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Old 19-02-07, 09:37 AM
miss pixel miss pixel is offline
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Hi it says 'other art related issues' in forum index, so I guess that means art topics other than ET can be discussed.
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Old 19-02-07, 12:49 PM
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Alexandra,
This particular forum (Other Art related Issues) is for any art related discussions whether it be oils, watercolours or whatever else you want to discuss relating to art.
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Old 19-02-07, 06:21 PM
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Bert Congdon Bert Congdon is offline
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Oil rots canvas, and I never allow oil to soak into canvas. After it is stretched, I soak on a coat of very dilute hide glue, then I paint on two coats of oil base enamel undercoat, no latex or acrylic. Enamel undercoat dries and hardens in a day, so you can work on it right away, and there is no chance of it soaking in in the days and weeks ahead. Linseed oil will soak in for months, especially artist grade cold press.

When dry, 6 months for oil, one year for ET, I use one or two coats of damar, about two pound cut. I don't want it to look like glass. I want to see the brush strokes, but neither do I want flat spots where the paint is sunken in. I have Saluvar, and have used it, but no more.

I make my own damar varnish. Bert
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Old 19-02-07, 09:10 PM
miss pixel miss pixel is offline
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Hi Bert, thanks for your reply. Just one or two questions: what do you mean by enamel paint, in England this is usually sold in v.small pots for model aircraft etc. Did you mean household gloss paint which is available in big 2litre containers? Also, what is meant by a '2lb cut' of dammar varnish is it available in bottles or do I need to make it myself? and what is Saluvar????? what you are saying is helpful but I am not sure about the differences between American and British products. Thanks from Miss.P
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Old 23-02-07, 08:18 AM
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Well miss Pix; It's like this, You don't want to varnish over a painting with anything that can't be removed. Dammar can be disolved with turpentine given enough turpentine, rags, and time.It is so much cheaper to make you own, A2 pound cut means two pounds of Dammar disolved with enough turps to make a gallon. But five pound is prettymuch standard with most recipes. but 5 pound is hard to make. Kremer says, you put the dammar lumps into a cheese cloth bag and throw it in turpentine, and when you think of it, give it a stir. Ha. Nonsense. I put the chunks into a plastic bag and beat it with a hammer. When I think I have a pound, I put it into two quarts of turps. I put a lid on and shake it a often as I think of it.Is there dirt, bark , and rock with it? You bet. Do I strain it? No. I just let it be. When I quit shaking it, it settles out in he bottom. If I dont shake, it will stay there, and never bother you. Saluvar is a little different. I have a jar ot sitting next to right now. I comes off easily with turpentine, so when a painting gets dirty, just clean it off with with turps, the dirt coming with it. But when Saluvar ages, and is tough to get off, just as hard to get off as Dammar. no advantage. but yet there is one. Saluvar come matt or glossy. Buy one of each and you can mix dereee of shine or no shine that you want. Two coats of Dammar and you find it looks like glass. But if you go to a paint storeyou can order the fluff that goes in to make it flat. You can stir a ten pound bag of it into a pail of paint that is nearly full. As it drys and hardens, this fluff floats up to the surface. Under a microscope, it looks like dead grace lying down. If you rub it or scrub it, it will get shiny again, because you are taking off the very particles that maks it look like it is flat. The same goes for your flat wall paint.

O.K. don't buy enamel in a model store. Go to a paint store. Paint is pigment mixed with oil. Enamel is pigment mixed with varnish. Varnish is not removable. I had mentioned enamel undercoat. Please don't confuse this with enamel. Enamel doesn't seal as well as undercoat, and undercoat sands nicely. When dry, it looks like flat paint, but when you sand it you will find a shiny ttough layer of paint under there. It is not flexible, and is very hard, although oil will also become very hard over a few years.

Saluvar is acrylic, but it thins an cleans up with turpentine. I don't use it anymore. I have several paaintings that were coated with Saluvar.They were packed in large boxes, and left for severel months when we moved here to Texas. When I opened them up there was a liqyud on the surface of each one as thou someone had pourd honey on them, but as they were displayed in the house, no smell, they dried up hard, and you couldnt tell. So I just left it on.

The little bottles of dammar are very expencive for what you get, and very thin. I paid $7 once for a bottle so thin , I threw it in with stand oil for medium.

When making five pound cut, be careful. You can't get it disolved without heating it. I took it outdoors a.nd put it on a hot plate. warming it, but also watching it.
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Old 23-02-07, 05:33 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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When I want to varnish an oil painting with a matte surface, I use beeswax (dissolved in mineral spirits). So far as I know (which is not all that far), beeswax is less prone to cracking than other varnishes and doesn't get any yellower than it already is. I use quite thin layers. I don't know if it would present any difficulty in removal down the line. Thinking about it, it may need the painting to be warmed, and I'm not sure that would be good for it.
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Old 24-02-07, 12:29 AM
David McKay David McKay is offline
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Hi, I bet Bert knows about this topic/material too and I am anxious to hear from him. In one of Thompson's books he mentions adding a thin layer of bees wax on top of a damar varnish to cut down on the gloss. I have read in the Iconography forum about mixing beeswax with damar. I have never tried either. The beeswax alone (I don't think) would not give much protection to the painting against bumps or scratches but I would help keep it clean. You can "simply" wash the wax off but I am not sure with what. ..... Bert?? :-) David
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Old 24-02-07, 10:47 AM
miss pixel miss pixel is offline
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Hi Bert, this is all very interesting and slightly complicated! I like the sound of the materials but am still not totally sure if they can be found in English paint stores (e.g saluvar and enamel undercoat, even under different names). I will be looking into it soon. I havent tried making my own dammar varnish before but you have inspired me to go out and try it. Beeswax does sound interesting as I have got a very nice recipe for using it with turpentine & oil paint for impasto painting. If you want the recipe I can post it for you.
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