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Old 13-01-09, 04:20 PM
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mona mona is offline
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Although amber varnish has been lightly mentioned in passing on this forum, I was not able to find a thorough discussion. There is a website devoted to selling a series of varnishes made by Alchemist using old master recipes and amber resin at The idea is that in using these varnishes it becomes possible to paint thinly, layer over layer in one day, similar to how egg tempera artists do it, but in oil.

I have tried using Koo Schadler's method of making an isolating layer and then working over egg tempera in oils, have tried liquin, and have also experimented a little with egg oil emulsion. However, the discussion about using the varnishes given on this site, which includes a demo video, and information on how to use the varnishes (about 4 or 5 different varnishes are used in the process of making one painting, from underpainting to final varnish) I find very intriguing. They are a bit expensive, so I wanted to ask on the forum about anyone who may have tried Alchemist's varnish products. I am undertaking some very large panel paintings where I want to do some work in egg tempera and then work over and around some of it in oil. These varnishes sound faster than liquin, yet it doesn't appear to contain a fast drying agent from what I can tell. Have forwarded a few questions to the contact person, Don Fels, listed on the website, but has anyone tried these products yet over egg tempera?
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Old 23-01-09, 04:47 AM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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Location: Oceanside, CA
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Hi Mona,
give a look at >
They have a variety of mediums that may suit your explorations.
The pre-Raphaelite medium dries very quickly. The Maroger's is great though not in minutes. By all means avoid the alkyd line.... ie. Liquin and all. The archival aspect of them are quite suspect.
Eric in O'side
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Old 09-02-09, 04:41 PM
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mona mona is offline
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Default Amber Varnish

Thanks for the advice Eric. I'm really just looking for anyone who may have tried this specific amber varnish product by this company, not looking into other recipes, etc. at the moment. I am surprised that I still haven't heard back from the company's owner.
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Old 19-03-09, 01:29 PM
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Koo Schadler Koo Schadler is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Alstead, NH & Zirahuen, Mexico
Posts: 317
Default About Alkyds

Hello Eric,

Could you describe more fully the problems with alkyds? I thought they were deemed okay, particularly given that Gamblin (who is generally sensitive to archival issue) offers several alkyd based mediums. I'd love to hear more....
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alchemist, amber, amber varnish, oil varnish

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