Balsam Medium Recipe

Yet Another painting medium from my collection… Interesting combination

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Basic Oil Painting Medium

This is one of the basic oil painting mediums recipe, there are a lot of variations of it. You can make more fluid with more turpentine in it.

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Six Maroger Medium Recipies

Note of Caution: I do NOT recommend making Maroger mediums. They are very toxic to make!

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Darwin #5 Medium

Ingredients By Volume:

1 Part – Raw Cold Pressed Linseed Oil
1 Part – Damar Varnish (5 pound-cut)
1 Part – Pure Un-bleached Bees Wax
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Mix the oil with the wax pellets in a pan and heat together until the wax melts and blends with the oil. Remove from the heat and pour in the Damar varnish. Place the pan in a basin with cold water to cool the mix sharply, keep stirring into a soft smooth paste while it cools. Pour into a clean glass jar.

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Darwin #4 Medium

INGREDIENTS BY VOLUME

4 Parts – Venice Turpentine
2 Parts – Pure Un-bleached Bees Wax
6 Parts – Rectified Turpentine
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Place the bees wax pellets together with Venice Turpentine in a bain-marie over medium heat. Allow the wax to melt and blend with the balsam. Remove from the heat. Now gently and slowly start pouring the turpentine until all ingredients are perfectly blended. Do not over-heat the Venice Turpentine, heat just enough to melt the wax.

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Darwin #3 Medium

INGREDIENTS BY VOLUME

1 Part -Raw Cold Pressed Linseed
4 Parts – Venice Turpentine
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Mix the 2 ingredients together at room temperature. If using Venice Turpentine, warm it in a bain-marie prior to mixing. This recipe makes a fairly thick medium, which you can thin with turpentine for a leaner medium.

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Darwin #2 Medium

Ingredients By Volume:

1 Part – Stand Oil
1 Part – Venice Turpentine
1 Part – Rectified Turpentine

If you are using Strasbourg Turpentine, combine it with the oil first and then add the turpentine, combining all the ingredients well together. If using Venice Turpentine, it needs to be warmed in a bain-marie prior to mixing with the oil, because it is too viscous at room temperature. Then add turpentine.

Rectified Turpentine is preferred and is given in this recipe as a standard 1 part. You can use less or more than 1 part according to what your preference in regards to the consistency you want this medium to have. This heavily with turpentine for a lean medium. As given this medium is quite rich in fat and should only be used as such in the upper layers of the painting. Use up to 20% per volume of tube oil colours.

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Darwin #1 Medium

INGREDIENTS BY VOLUME

Consider 1 Part = 100 ml.
1 Part – Raw Cold Pressed Linseed Oil
1 Part – Double Rectified Turpentine
1 Part – Damar Varnish (5 pound-cut)
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Mix the 3 ingredients in a clean glass bottle, shake energetically until all are perfectly blended. Use up to 20% maximum medium per volume of tube oil paints. This medium is fat in this combination. Thin with turpentine for lean layers. Do not add more oil for upper layers, the oil content is high enough in keeping with the fat-over-lean rule.

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BASIC BEES WAX MEDIUM

Ingredients By Volume:

1 Part – Pure un-bleached yellow bees wax pellets
3 Parts – Cold Pressed Raw Linseed Oil
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Make enough medium to fill 2 glass jars:

Jar A – Wax Coarse Medium
Jar B – Wax Soft Creamy Medium

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Jar A

· Pour the oil in a pan.

· Mix in the bees wax pellets.

· Heat the pan until the wax pellets melt in the oil stirring a little.

· Remove the pan from the heat and pour the 1/2 of the mixture into your first glass jar. This will be your coarse wax medium.

· Leave to cool down to room temperature

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Jar B

· Now the remaining wax medium in the pan!… Place the pan in a basin containing cold water and keep stirring the mix while it cools down sharply.

· When the mix in the pan is cool enough (dull opaque) but still somewhat soft, scoop the whole contents into a food processor equipped with a blade.

· Process the mixture at a high speed. You will notice that the medium changes from a dull appearance to a shiny creamy texture very similar to mayonnaise at which point it should be ready. Turn off the processor and check that there are no lumpy bits left.

· Pour the creamy bees wax medium in a clean glass jar.

· Wash the food processor immediately after!!!

Although a little “original”, this method of processing the bees wax media is actually highly effective. It requires a little patience and some work but it pays off having 2 wax media different in texture, allowing coarse and smooth paint work when mixed with oil colors.

Jar A

Medium A sets in the jar a little hard, scoop it out with a metal spoon or a stiff palette knife onto the palette, crush it with a fork into a coarse paste and mix with oil colors. This medium is ideal for all abstract techniques, landscapes, painterly styles and impressionistic painting. It brings life and texture and creates random areas of interest across the picture. Dries to a soft sheen, due the presence of linseed oil. Also very good for all knife work. It can be thinned with turpentine.

Jar B

Medium B is a very smooth creamy paste. Immediately after processing it looks smooth and very shiny, like mayonnaise and after being poured into a jar and let to stand for 24 hours, it has the appearance of butter and feels like butter. Mixed with oil colours, allows really interesting brush work. Brush marks keep their shape, retaining their natural beauty for very expressive painting. Medium B is also the ideal for mixing with Maroger Medium in small quantities (up to max. 10% by volume) for an “Italian School of Painting” approach in still lives, portraits, etc. Dries to a soft sheen. It can be thinned with turpentine.

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Traditional Levkas Gesso

‘Levkas’ is derived fromo a Greek word meaning ‘white’.

· Heat 1 Liter of Rabbit Skin Glue prepared the day before in a bain-marie; never boil.

· Incorporate into it 2 pounds of alabaster powder. Use a wire wisk to get the lumps out.

· Add 1/2 teasponn of linseed oil for flexibility.

· Apply it to your panel warm in even crisscross layersand let it dry overnight.

· Apply several more layers. After which the mixture can be applied with a putty knife. Add a bit of water if the Levkas becomes too thick to avoid cracking.

· Sand to an egg shell finish.

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