Mediums, Solvents, and Varnish for Oil Painting


Instructor: Scott Holladay

Mondays & Wednesdays, October 18, 23, & 25, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Oil Painting Materials Series – These three workshops (Making Oil Painting Supports, Making Oil Paints, and Mediums, Solvents, and Varnish for Oil Painting) are designed for artists to develop an understanding of materials and to make their own supports, oil paints, and mediums. The series allows artists to focus on the individual components and processes that are used to create more stable oil paintings. Given the many ways to create oil paintings, we will discuss what are considered to be the best practices today and talk about methods that have been (and still are) used that can cause archival problems.

Class 3: Mediums, Solvents, and Varnish
What can be added or changed when painting with oil paint? An easy answer is to use only paint, staying away from mediums and solvents, but that doesn’t allow the artist to manipulate paint to achieve their desired effects.

This workshop will explore a variety of oils, mediums, additives, and solvents and we will discuss their associated benefits and problems such as:

how oil cures and changes over time;
which pigments may strengthen or cause problems with oil paint;
the effect dryers and pigments have on oil;
deciding how much oil is safe to add to your paint;
what thinning your paint does to the paint’s oil/pigment ratio;
in which ways oil ground is preferable to acrylic gesso;
what problems are associated when adding Dammar, Copel’s, Canada balsam, or Venice Turpentine to oil paint; and,
safety concerns associated with solvents and essential oils.

Mediums, Solvents, and Varnish for Oil Painting