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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Using oil paint that has skinned overApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2017-07-20 15:38:21 ... Most recent comment 2017-07-23 16:04:58
    Oil Paint


    I came back to the studio today and some piles mixed tube colors of oil paint from yesterday have now 'skinned over,' though the paint below stil seems fresh and usable.

    Is it problematic to use this paint, removing the dried skin, and painting with as usual? 

    Does the paint below have the same properties as paint left on the palette without the skinning, or has the complexity of the oxidation of the oil now made this paint different somehow and less desirable, perhpas more lean...?


Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​We feel that it is "ok" to use the paint inside IF it is still wet AND if you do not incorporate any of the "skin".....the latter is harder to do. Realize that even though the paint beneath the skin, even if it is still wet, has probably begun to oxidize to some degree but you can still work with it to a degree.

    Kristin deGhetaldi
    2017-07-20 17:17:28
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Okay that's great because I've been doing this for awhile:) THANK YOU!

    What are the consequences of using the (linseed) oil once it has begun to oxidize like this, or using it even further into oxidation? Loosing binding and adhesion strength perhaps. 

    What if the paint skin is mixed back into the paint and used?


    2017-07-21 14:34:00
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    To be clear, it is always important to use fresh paint. Ralph Mayer has a very good section on this in his The Artists’ Handbook. The degree of importance varies from medium to medium. Obviously, for traditional watercolor and gouache, the issue is of little importance as the paint is completely resoluble. It is paramount in egg tempera.. It is in the middle for oil paint. The issue is that you want the paint to go through its whole drying or setting curve in place and not interrupt that, which can diminish adhesion. This is different from adding partially pre-polymerized/oxidized mediums like thickened linseed oil as these are in addition to the amount of binder need to adequately produce a serviceable paint.

    While there are certainly examples of modern and post-modern artists incorporating paint skins into their works, I would caution against it unless that is the specific effect that you are searching for and not just a result of your attempts at economy.

    Brian Baade
    2017-07-21 14:48:00
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Thank you. I guess I will premix smaller batches of paint. I will check out Mayer's comments as well.

    2017-07-23 16:04:58

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