permanence of oil on commercial oil paperApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
Question asked 2017-12-13 11:04:29 ...
Most recent comment 2017-12-16 18:32:52
I have been researching commercial, cotton, oil painting papers by D'Arches, Canson, etc, for detailed, preparatory studies that I may or may not mount and sell.
Do you forsee any problems with 100% cotton papers by these or other companies?
The paper fibers are protected, according to their literature, but the OMS and oil can be drawn down below that surface somewhat, unlke the pH neutral PVA size layer tha I put on my papers before use. Perhaps this affords more tooth for the paint layer to attach to.
PS I avoid priming papers as I will thereby lose the very texture that I like in the paper, and have been sizing only. Also, the investment in time and material makes them so "precious" that I may not be as likely to experiment with them. I have followed the directions sent by Robert Gamblin some 15 years ago.
Answers and Comments
Hi there! I'm curious, when you say "sizing" what process are you using? Sizing can refer to a few different processes, and I want to make sure I understand how you are working.
Paper is a wonderful substrate for art and watercolor paper has cotton and animal glue to protect the cotton fibers, but that glue is not enough to keep oil media from staining and oxidizing, over time. I first heard that Arches was making an oil paper, when I was teaching in Paris, but I have not been able to learn what is added to the paper to block the oil. Their literature stresses the idea that the paint will have some grip on the surface, avoiding the “crawl” one sees, when oils are applied so some slick surfaces, but the penetration of the oil must be limited. I have worked on Arches cold pressed, applying acrylic, in varying thicknesses, over which I then applied oil, and my experience showed me that a stain of acrylic did not prevent oil penetration and that a film of acrylic was needed to get to a point that oil did not show up on the verso. Acrylic medium can be applied to watercolor paper, to prepare it for oil and one can assess the thickness needed by looking for oil penetration. Acrylic should be more flexible and clearer than PVA, but with any aqueous dispersion, that product should be applied, allowed to dry, for two weeks, and then the dry film should be washed with water, to remove the surfactant that has leached to the surface. If tooth is desired, a matte acrylic and be used and the paper can be wetted, or a wetting agent (ox gall or alcohol) can be employed, but they would complicate the chemistry.
Also I have been thinking about what would be the best replacement for hide glue and am becoming convinced that solvent acrylic is best, since it lacks evaporation holes and I use it, when I am working on paper with oil. Another question that comes to mind is what goes under the paper. Artists working in oil tend to not want to use mats, glazing, and/or mounting to Dibond and I often wonder why. Hard mounting, before the painting is done can be done with acrylic gloss medium, but how to do this, when the painting is done, should include some release layer and that is what I am working on these days. As I said, before, I think acrylic is more flexible and clear than either PVA or even EVA and I have found it to be a glue that will even bond to the surface of an oil painting. I am thinking of polyester felt or Volara as a release material and will let you know how my testing works out, but I see this as an issue that will continue to come up.
The nice thing about using solvent borne acrylic as a size
is that it does not cause unstretched paper to buckle like acrylic dispersion
Yes I think that is probably correct...at the moment there seems to be little known regarding a) the precise characterization and b) quantity of additive(s) being used in this particular brand of "oil paper" to render it suitable for oil painting. I will send an additional query to the scientific community to see if there is an off chance that someone has analyzed one of these papers but as they are fairly new to the market I am not hopeful on this matter. I can comment however on your musings re: Jan van Eyck. While A. P. Laurie's writings are indeed valuable and interesting to read, unfortunately I would not place a whole lot of faith in his conclusions regarding Old Master painting practices. We address this issue in our resources section in a document called "Myths, FAQs, and Common Misconceptions" (particularly in No. 8 and 9). Today we do know lots more about Jan van Eyck and Flemish painting technique and there is little evidence to suggest that there was a systematic use of distemper (glue-based) or tempera (egg-based) underpainting to prepared panels before applying oil (actually "gesso" would be an incorrect term here as that specifically refers to the use of calcium sulphate or gypsum....the Northern European painters at that time used chalk and glue for their grounds). But I do understand your point in including this specific reference as it relates somewhat to the topic of the thread. What appears to be a typical Flemish technique is to first apply an ink underdrawing over top of the chalk-glue ground (which MAY have had additional layers of glue applied on top of the ground to cut the absorbency). This was usually then folllowed by a pigmented oil-containing layer (which the Italians would later call an "imprimitura" layer). We do know of a few instances where a layer of unpigmented oil was applied either over the chalk ground before the underdrawing OR more commonly over the underdrawing. This was then usually followed by layers of oil paint. Researchers have reported a handful of cases where egg tempera was used as a full underpainting before oil colors were used to cover the entire surface. However, much of this research was done quite early on (even though it was performed WELL after Laurie's time) and even these results should probably be re-assessed.
It is not that PVA size in inadequate, it is that one coat
is not adequate. Multiple coats should work fine. Acrylic dispersion just seem
to accomplish this with fewer coats.
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