Six Maroger Medium Recipies

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

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Old Masters Medium V



1 Part – Fir Strasbourg Turpentine

1 Part – Walnut Oil (Raw Cold Pressed or Refined)


· Place Fir Strasbourg Turpentine in a clean glass jar (a jam jar is perfect for this).

·Now pour in the Nut Oil, not all at once but in small batches and keep stirring the two ingredients as you pour all the oil.

·Mix slowly and thoroughly the two to combine them into a homogeneous thick and very viscous medium.

About Old Masters Medium

Studies carried out by many academics and artists painters have produced several proposals for the ever interesting quest for the Old Masters Oil Painting Mediums. Of these, of course, some can be considered unlikely, but other authoritative studies should be taken into account.

Oils Studio made some trials on the probability of such mixes and arrived at some interesting oil painting mediums. The recipes presented here have been tested and the mediums have been prepared at room temperature. Some recipes were adapted to comply with easier preparation.

All 6 Old Masters oil painting mediums discussed should dry within a period of time between 12 hours and 3 days. Drying times depend enormously of the oil paints being used, atmospheric conditions and climate characteristics of the area where you live. You may use a drier to speed the drying process. However, the presence of balsam turpentines imparts a smooth flat glossy finish as the balsams flat out in the drying process. A shortened drying time may not be sufficient to allow the balsam to flatten out completely, so be careful to calculate how long you want the drying time to be.

Both driers below may be used safely in the ratio of 1% up to 5% calculated over the total volume of oil painting medium. To remain 100% safe, an average 3% should be used. Suppose one of the painting mediums above was prepared, making a total
A drier or siccative may be used safely. We do not recommend cobalt siccatives because these tend to dry the surface leaving a softer under-layer. If you decide to use a drier, use a lead oxides based drier.
The French Manufacturer LeFranc & Bourgeois makes produces 2 distinct driers:

·Brown Courtrai Drier: Prepared with suspended manganese and lead oxides, it is the strongest siccative available. This siccative has gained some bad reputation in the past due to abuse from artists. Used in the recommended doses, it is perfectly safe to employ in oil painting.

·White Courtrai Drier: Prepared with suspended lead oxides, it is less powerful and due to its pale colour, it is to be preferred by many painters. Application rules applying to this siccative (illustrated above) are exactly the same as for Brown Courtrai Drier.
Both above driers speed up drying times considerably and help drying and stabilising the paint film from the inside out.

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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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Universal Painting Medium

Use it for both layering, and for glazing purposes. Use it in each and every layer that I apply.

1 part Linseed Oil
1 part Walnut Oil
1 part Venice Turpentine
2 parts Oil Of Spike

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