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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Lamp black - issues?ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2018-06-07 03:37:52 ... Most recent comment 2018-06-08 02:47:39
    Pigments Oil Paint

    Hi all,

    I prefer to use Iron Oxide Black (PBk11) for my darkest values as I read that unmixed Lamp Black (PBk6) can have cracking issues due to the very small pigment size and oil absorbing nature. I use it pure for the darkest values and then mixed in with other pigments for the darker colours in my painting.

    However I do find Iron Oxide Black dries a bit quick. Would mixing it with Lamp Black be acceptable from an archival point of view so I get a bit more open time? Would the Iron Oxide help the paint film withthe larger particles and less oil rich nature?

    I work on rigid panels on a toothy surface with paints made more fluid with walnut oil (no solvents). With this extra oil and lack of movement do you think I would experience any issues with using pure Lamp Black areas? Or would it be safer to use a mix with Iron Oxide Black or Iron Oxide on it's own?

    Thank you,

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ‚ÄčRichard, That sounds like a sensible approach, mixing the two blacks to arrive at something with the properties you want. Personally, I think it's best to avoid painting broad areas with lamp black alone, even on a panel, especially if you're not using a medium that can support film strength, like alkyd. Just as an example, while I don't know for certain which black was used on William Orpen's Portrait of Grace (1907), in this picture there is fairly apparent splitting of the type I think might result from broadly painted lamp black. 

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2018-06-07 20:22:17
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ‚ÄčThank you Matthew for your help. That makes me less inclined to paint with lamp black alone!

    2018-06-08 02:47:39

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