Black oil - is it beneficial?ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
Question asked 2020-01-15 16:52:10 ...
Most recent comment 2020-01-28 16:56:38
I'd like to ask about black oil (leaded oil). I found somewhat contradicting informations about it.
Natural Pigments sells "Dark drying oil (Black oil)" and the description says:
Dark Drying Oil or black oil is a fast drying oil
made by heating linseed oil with lead oxide (litharge) and used in
historical oil painting. The lead (metal basis) content of our dark
drying oil is about 3% by weight.
Black oil can improve the handling and drying of oils and can be used
in recipes to make megilp, Maroger and Roberson's mediums and
traditional oil varnishes, such as copal.
I'm not interested in Maroger and Roberson mediums, or traditional oil varnishes, but the statement "Black oil can improve the handling and drying of oils" sounds intereseting to me. As far as I know certain lead compounds speed up drying of the paint film and/or increase its flexibility and durability. Thus, it would seem to be useful medium.
However in MITRA pdf article "Myths, FAQs, and Common Misconceptions", there is this statement in the last chapter about Maroger mediums on page no. 11: "Dr. MarionMecklenberg of the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum Conservation Institute,however, has shown that paint films containing even small amounts of leaded oilare substantially weaker than those containing only cold pressed linseed oil."
Of course I realize that the actual amount of black oil in medium/binder can have varying effect. But generally - how is it with black oil? Can it provide any advantages, e.g. better balanced through drying of paint film and increased durability, or not?
Answers and Comments
Black oil provides interesting behavior when added to oil paint. However, as was noted in studies, it does not improve the physical properties of oil paint films. It is an integral ingredient in several 18th and 19th centuries oleoresinous mediums such as megilp and Maroger.
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