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Question asked 2018-09-05 08:55:44 ...
Most recent comment 2018-09-05 16:34:23
Handling and Transportation
Studio Tools and Tips
Dear MITRA moderator,
I start make my oil paint out of pigments and linseed oil, nothing else, and I don't know how to store large amounts like 200 to 500 ml.
One year until now I used plastic syringes for small amounts and had no problems.
My first question is: What do you think of keeping this paints in plastic syringes? Would paint react with plastic envelope?
My next question is more general:
What do you suggest as best way to store linseed oil and pigment paint?
Empty aluminium tubes are not economical for me and glass jars load with oxygen during use. Do you know if empty aluminium tubes can be used more than once, I mean can I open them again after use and fill?
Answers and Comments
As long as there is no solvent in the paint and the syringe
is made from a stable plastic, it should work fine. I am assuming that you sue
it without the metal needle which would clog rather quickly unless is it a very
large gauge. I would also worry about pricking one’s finger with a needle
containing potentially poisonous pigments.
Metal syringes were used to
store and deliver oil paint for a short period before the adoption of
collapsible metal tubes. They were only abandoned because of the expense, not
because they were inherently problematic.
Jars and cans (like the empty paint cans that can be
purchased from places that sell house paint) should work if your paint is
somewhat soft and you can tap out any air bubbles. However, I have also
struggled with them and invariably they develop a crust of dried paint which
gets incorporated into the fresh paint ruining the whole. Personally, if I purchase
large amounts of paint, I transfer it to tubes rather that keeping it in the
can/jar. For the above reason, I would not suggest reusing cans or tubes, you
are likely to spoil your paint.
This subject also brings up the fact that the more simple
(and pure) you oil paint (ie only pigment and oil) the more difficult it is to
store it without separation. Art materials manufacturers add stabilizers/etc to
combat this fact (and some for less noble reasons). These do change the way in
which the paint moves and flows especially in higher concentrations. Conscientious
manufacturers keep these additions to a minimum and only add just enough to
keep the paint from severely separating and allow for storage in the tube. Some
painters are unwilling to accept the compromise in handling and prefer to make
their own paint. Just remember that there are compromises in using handmade
paint as well. It is impossible to make a paint by hand that is fully dispersed
and has as high a pigment load as is possible with a roller mill. There are a
few manufacturers that make oil paint composed of only pigment and oil, but
they are few in number and their products are inherently pricey. This is not to
discourage you from using hand ground oil paint. We do this in all of my
I think aluminum tubes are really the best way to go. They can be sourced affordably- the ones for toothpaste are particularly cheap- but they may not have the cold wax seal that prevents leaks. Play around with your search terms (e.g. cosmetic, lotion, medicine) to find a wider variety.
My experience is consistent with Brian's information where manufactured oil colors are concerned- most paint manufacturers do use stearates to "gel up" free oil that otherwise sheds from the paint in storage, otherwise the retail displays would be covered in amber stalactites. I don't know any artists who add such amendments in the studio, though.
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