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 #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 #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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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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