Medium 1-1-3

Fat (oily) painting medium recipe. I call it simply 1-1-3. Density of this medium you can adjust with more or less turpentine.

Ingredients By Volume:

1 part Stand oil
1 part Dammar varnish
3 part Turpentine

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Stand Oil Recipe

Heat – Fusing oil – Polymerization

This procedure can be done with linseed oil, walnut oil and poppy oil. I prefer walnut. Polymerized (stand) oil can be exchanged for sun thickened oil.

Take 1 part raw walnut oil and 1 part polymerized walnut oil*, in a small metal cooking pan and heat it slowly on an enclosed electric hotplate while stirring the oils. At a certain point the oils start to fuse (keep stirring!), but when the oil reach it’s smoking point remove the cooking pan immediately from heat to prevent darkening of the oil. Cool it.
This fused oil gives a most excellent painting medium, and can be used as is.
It’s characteristics are fluid, non-sticky and very suitable for delicate work where small details and sharp lines are possible without bleeding. Dries to a very glossy & saturated film.

Smoking points of oil:

Flax seed oil Unrefined 225°F | 107°C
Walnut oil Unrefined 320°F | 160°C
Walnut oil Semirefined 400°F | 204°C
Poppy oil ?
Safflower oil Unrefined 225°F | 107°C
Safflower oil Semirefined 320°F | 160°C
Safflower oil Refined 510°F | 266°C

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Rubens Oil Painting Medium

One medium used by Rubens followed this recipe:

3 part Venice Turpentine
2 part Sun Thickened Walnut oil
1 part Mastic Varnish
with an added siccatif

(Today, one might freely create a similar recipe with Venice Turp., Sun-thickened linseed or Stand Oil, and Damar Varnish)

Due to the yellowing nature of oil and varnish and their effect upon highlights, the lights were given more force by comparison with darks. “The influence of the colour of the vehicle on the quantity and depth of shadow is, indeed, plainly to be traced in the general style of oil painting, as compared with tempera and other methods.”

If a fresh painting turns yellow or brown, placing it several times in the sun or in open air will exhaust the exudations which cause the yellowing of the surface. when pictures are safe from further change, then removal from the sun will preserve them. “…their protection from the sun’s rays, when there is no longer any ‘superfluity of oil’ to dissipate, is essential to their preservation.”

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1-1-3 Painting Medium

One of the most common medium recipes…

1 part Linseed Oil

1 part Dammar Varnish

3 part Turpentine

…put a couple of drops of cobalt drier

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2-3 Painting Medium

From my collection one of the interesting mediums, I call it 2-3.

If the thickness of your oil paints are keeping you from spreading or blending them easily, you need some additional oil painting medium to mix in with the paint.

2 part Stand Oil (or sun thickned)

3 part Turpentine

Stand oil is so thick that the two liquids won’t want to combine right away—be prepared to wait a few days for it to completely mix.

If you’re wondering what to put it in, glass containers with a tight screw on cap work best.

If you get impatient, turn the container on its side or top every few hours to help the stand oil and turpentine mix together faster.

Once it’s all one liquid, I usually pour just a small amount into a container and dip into it with my brush whenever I’m mixing colors or working with thicker, more opaque paint. Make sure to keep the rest of the medium sealed up and it’ll last quite a while.

There are a few other benefits to using this medium as well. It’ll make your oil paint tougher and more durable—and it will keep the skin of your painting from cracking as it dries.

As far as drawbacks go, there’s only one: drying time.

Oil paintings take longer to dry when stand oil is involved, up to a week (or longer even) depending on your location’s humidity and temperature.

If waiting that long is out of the question, you can substitute sun-thickened linseed oil for the stand oil and gain a few days.

Just realize that using sun-thickened linseed oil in your medium may turn your lighter colors (like white) slightly yellow over time.

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Imprimatura Painting Medium

If you are the follower of the old school, here is the old recipe for the medium for imprimatura layer in 7 layers technique:

1 part Dammar Varnish

20 part Turpentine

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dt 1-2-3 Painting Medium

After a lot of experiments and use of self made and manufactured mediums, I was urged to make something different. Medium that will dry fast, hide some brush strokes and finished painting to have shiny look.

Here is my medium recipe:

1 part Linseed Oil

2 part Dammar Varnish

3 part Turpentine

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Magic White * Liquid White Recipe

If you wish to paint wet on wet and to use technique of William Bill Alexander and Bob Ross, you will need Magic White or Liquid White. Here is the recipe for that famous medium:

Ingredients By Volume:

1 part Titanium White

1 part Linseed Oil

1 part Turpentine

When I make that medium I use kitchen scale to measure parts… Mix it all together, stir/shake well… HAVE FUN!

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