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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Oil painting ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2016-12-04 14:37:35 ... Most recent comment 2016-12-07 11:03:00
    Oil Paint
    I am painting with Old Holland oil paints using a small amount of linseed as a medium, on linen canvas. My painting sometimes take several weeks to reach the first stage in completion. After that period I sometimes need to make small changes. At what point after the initial painting has been completed is it too risky to continue adding more changes? For example if I  'finished' a painting, could I then return to it six months after to make a change either a glaze or further painting?

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator AnswerThe issue is a bit complicated and it is difficult for me to make a blanket statement that covers all situations. One should avoid making major changes to a painting that is fully realized with substantial impasto and/or fat glazes as this can cause lack of adhesion, possible delamination, and visually disturbing pentimenti . Conversely, I believe that it is fine to revisit a painting with additional details, glazes, or minor additions when you decide to do so as long as the superimposed paint layers contain enough oil to follow the more flexible over less flexible paint film concept. It is true that oil paint does continue to oxidize over time and may become slightly less receptive to reworking over time but this should be surmountable with care. The issue does become much more problematic if you have varnished the painting before the decision to rework the composition. The problem with this is covered in our resource section on retouch varnishes, but that was not your question..
    Baade, Brian
    2016-12-04 15:14:06
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser CommentThanks so much for the excellent advice.
    2016-12-04 16:03:08

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