Thursday, 4 March 2010

Deconstructing Oil Mediums

I'm working through the book "Formulas For Painters" by Robert Massey. I'm going to start posting some of the most popular recipes in the hopes that we can discuss why they were created in the first place and if they can be updated to be made more contemporary and safe.

Oil Medium No. 1
Purpose: Resins, with their clarity and hardness, combine well with the tough qualities of oils and add brilliance to the handling of glaze coats.

4 Parts Oil (Walnut, poppy or linseed)
2 Parts Damar Lumps
1 Part Mastic Tears
4 Parts Turpentine

Directions: Turpenine only partially dissolves mastic resin at room temperature; benzene, over a period of two to three days, will completely dissolve it. If you use turpentine, heat all the ingredients together over an electric unit until they dissolve. Decant the solution into a clean bottle. If you prefer to use Benzene, bottle all the ingredients and leave them at room temperature until the resins dissolve.

Directions for Use: This solution can be mixed with tube oil colors as a medium; thinned for use as a glaze; or applied thinly over finished and thoroughly dry oil paintings as a varnish. Medium No. 1 dries in 1 1/2 or 2 days.

[From: "Formulas For Painters", Robert Massey 1967.]


D.Macri said...

Mastic tears, oh my I hope you're not hurting mastics for art!

mondotrasho said...

Once you cut down all the Truffula Trees you just bonk them on the heads...seriously,
"Benzene" made your eyebrows go up pretty quick didn't it? I've been leaning toward solventless oil painting recently.