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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Re: clarification on "Confusing concepts in oil painting...etc"ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2019-08-06 19:52:16 ... Most recent comment 2019-08-08 02:27:55
    Oil Paint


    fascinated by this discussion re abandoning the fat-over-lean and thick-over-thin that we have been taught. From the comments made about 'glazing' i.e. just use paint straight out of the tube ( = paste paint) and with a stiff brush apply it thinly, it would seem that you can paint each layer thinly, even the final one.

    Appreciate your advice on what I wish to do in constructing a non-toxic painting (no solvents): (1) for the initial layer I do a block-in drawing with e.g. burnt sienna. This layer is quite thin and I 'tonk it out' (i.e. put absorbent paper towel on top and rub most of the paint off). I am left with a thin layer. This would approximate the idea of an initial layer using a solvent/oil wash. I think the oil in subsequent layers should be able to penetrate this and bind to the canvas.

    (2) When doing indirect painting, for subsequent layers I will apply paste paint thinly (as per your advice), allowing each layer to go touch dry before applying the next, until I reach my final degree of finish. i.e. EACH LAYER is paste paint applied thinly. I plan not to use any added oil or medium because I dislike the slipperiness that this causes. From your original article these additions appear unnescessary anyway.

    Appreciate your feedback

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    I want to point out that is not the spirit of the fat over lean that is being abandoned but the particulars. Uppermost layers of paint should be more flexible than lower layers. There are simply problems with some of the ways in which this was understood and implemented. There are many posts about this subject that flesh out this issue.  

    Brian Baade
    2019-08-06 22:18:32
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​There is no problem applying oil paint in thin layers, and really this is the best practice for oil paint, since it dries faster, dries throughout the film, and is likely less prone to cracking.

    Adding oil is not necessary, but adding small amounts of oil also does not pose problems. In fact, applying paint that is on either side of its CPVC is actually best since the properties of paint alter significantly at its CPVC.

    As Brian remarked the use of CPVC and PVC does not make the concept of "fat-over-lean" invalid it simply provides a more scientific approach to thinking about paint.

    George O'Hanlon
    2019-08-06 23:58:18
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​Many thanks for both your answers. When doing indirect painting I like the idea of painting in thin layers anyway as it suits my style of painting. Nice to know it's technically sound.

    2019-08-08 02:27:55

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