Understanding Oil Paint and the Use of Mediums
Oil paint is a medium composed of pigments suspended in a drying oil that enhances the color quality, saturation, and longevity of the painting. Artists have traditionally used oil paint mediums to create different effects on their artworks and to experiment with different techniques. While some painters prefer to work with pure oil paint, some use mediums to help them achieve their creative goals. In this article, we’ll explore some alternative oil paint mediums that artists can use to enhance their painting process and outcomes.
Linseed Oil Medium
Linseed oil is a common and traditional medium used by artists since the Renaissance period. It is a yellowish oil extracted from flaxseed that can increase the transparency of oil paint, add luster to it and strengthen the paint film. Additionally, linseed oil can speed up the drying time of oil paint when combined with a siccative like cobalt or manganese. Artists who prefer a silky texture and a glossy finish in their artworks often opt for linseed oil medium.
Walnut Oil Medium
Walnut oil is a light-colored, non-toxic, and non-yellowing oil that can slow down the drying time of oil paint. It is also less viscous and more fluid than linseed oil, making it ideal for layering and glazing techniques. Walnut oil adds a certain warmth and glow to oil paint that makes artworks appear softer and more elegant. Additionally, it is less prone to cracking than linseed oil, making it a perfect choice for artists who want to create long-lasting paintings.
Stand Oil Medium
Stand oil is a heat-treated linseed oil that is thicker, smoother, and less prone to yellowing than raw linseed oil. It is a durable and stable medium that can increase the fluidity, gloss, and transparency of oil paint. Artists who want to achieve a glass-like quality and depth in their artworks often use stand oil medium. Moreover, stand oil can make oil paints more workable and easier to control, making it an excellent choice for artists who want to master the medium.
Cold Wax Medium
Cold wax medium is a combination of beeswax and a solvent that can add texture and depth to oil paint. Cold wax can thicken and stiffen oil paint, creating a pastel-like, velvety surface that can be scraped, carved, and layered. Artists who want to experiment with impasto techniques and create complex and layered surfaces often use cold wax medium. Additionally, cold wax can also create a matte finish that is difficult to achieve with traditional oil paint mediums.
Safflower Oil Medium
Safflower oil is a light-colored and non-yellowing oil that can increase the flow and translucency of oil paint. It is a good alternative to linseed oil for artists who are allergic to flaxseed or prefer a slower drying time. Safflower oil also has a more minimalistic and delicate texture that makes it perfect for portraits and still life paintings. Artists who want to create works that have a less vivid and flamboyant quality often use safflower oil medium.