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Is Arches Oil Paper an acceptable support for an oil painting with a long life? Alternatively, do we know what makes this oil ready, in a way that is different enough from what you usually call paper, which is not oil ready due to the rot attack of oil to the paper fiber? (Perhaps this paper is a synthetic polymer?) I am aware of some other common problems associated with painting on non rigid supports, but am interested in using marouflage techniques to adhere to panels for greater stability. Is adhesion of paint on paper-in general- for impasto technique problematic?
If oil was the medium usually used for hand touching photos, do these have acidic oil rotting issues?
Sorry for the host of inquiry, I am a curious person:) Thanks for any ingith into the oil paper etc.
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I am sorry to say that I have not been able to find out what is in this product, much as I have tried. This has come up when I was in France and I had to admit ignorance. Since there is protein sizing in their watercolor paper, they could simply size the surface more heavily, and keep it simple, but that could lead to discoloration, if the paper is left exposed and is on display. Their description mentions it being cotton, with CaCO3 and no optical brighteners, and they also mention its absorbency (which is mentioned in the artists who tout it on line) and I keep asking myself how can the fibers be protected from the fatty acids in the oil, if the paper is absorbent? Crescent makes a paper that resists media going through it, which I think has a wax core, since it can be torn, but I don’t think they recommend that for oil. I have worked in oil on Arches Watercolor paper and it does come through, so there is something more added, here. What I have done is to begin working in acrylic washes and building up to thicker layers and then oil and those look good decades later.I will continue to look. If this paper were adhered to a panel, like Dibond, with acrylic medium, I think that combination would be durable. Hugh Phibbs
Thank you for your feedback. Frustrating that this information isn't more transparent, but interesting that you saw it is cotton based- and I agree with your sentiment about absorbtion. Now I'm skeptical to use it as carefree as I had been.
The manufacturer explanation I have seen is that, since the paper is internally sized (in the wet pulp), the cotton fibers are isolated. It was explained that the sizing itself allows solvent and vehicle to penetrate the paper surface, but the paper fibers are apparently not in direct contact with the paint vehicle. The actual sizing was not disclosed, which naturally made me start guessing. My current stab in the dark guess is a synthetic like AKD, though I have no data to back that up.
I've worked on Arches Huile to a limited extent. It is absorbent, in the sense that the first layer of paint will sink into the paper and dry fairly matte. I've never seen oil soak all the way through the paper, though, even with heavy application--no oil stains on the back. If you want the paint to sit more on the surface, a single thin coat of PVA size will accomplish that.
Thanks for the continued insight. I have contacted Arches as well for any more information. I also noticed the papers resilience to being 'stained' by oil like paper usually does, and have watched pure linseed oil just roll off the surface, which makes me more confident there won't be deterioation problems, perhaps adhesion is of more concern, but oil paint seems to adhere in the short term...
Just wanted to share that we have applied oil paint to this paper - both straight and thinned with some solvent - and examined a cross section under a microscope and the paint did, indeed, appear isolated from the fibers. But the testing was limited so all the usual caveats apply.
Sarah, that sounds very promising. I'm glad you shared your results.
Thank you for sharing this research with me, and for doing it!
On a related note, does the use of the Infinity logo on this paper that I believe corresponds to an acid free ISO 9706 suggest that this paper is a good choice for an artist's material with a long life?
In general I have cometo trust Arches in this respect, and I know that permanence and archivality are problematic concepts, but don't know how to phrase this otherwise..