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A question about oil paints

Discussion in 'Painting Techniques' started by tete2noeud, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. tete2noeud New Member

    I am totally "noob de chez noob" with painting, except the walls of my kitchen.
    So, i have nice painted walls there, and i hope to get the same result with figures.

    I am buying my first oil paints.
    I have eared about Winsor Newton, Old Holland, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Sennelier, Lefranc Bourgeois, Mussini, here, in France. **

    And as i am loocking for infos about all this huge, subtil and complicated world of oil painting, i found also : Holbein, Gramblin, Da Vinci...

    So, there is some info about covering, on the makers sites, but it's more difficult to have some idea about a colour is matt or not....

    Do you know where i can find this info ?

    With the makers ** , french forums can help, but i am wondering about others : Holbein, Gramblin....

    Tx a lot for all infos and help.
  2. Sambaman Well-Known Member

    I'm an oils guy myself and I must admit, I don't know if I have ever found any brand, or color for that matter, that dries totaly flat/matte without some serious help. You'll find that some colors, blues in particular, that are quite hard to get to dry with a matte finish. There are lots of methods for achieving a matte finish with oils. Baking in the oven at low temps, cheap crock pots, turntables and blow-dryers, drying boxes (a recent thread here on the Planet may help with this one) etc. Some also use matte finishes such as Testors dull coat as a final step to get a nice even dull finish. I have used Dull coat since the begining and am very pleased with the results. You will find some telling you never to use this type of finish......I think it's all up to you and what you like. My best suggestion would be to experiment on some spare parts or sheet styreme with paints and colors and see what results you get with various methods. I would also try some dull coat on a spot or two just to see what you think. Good luck!

    Jay H.
  3. colinlt New Member

    I find that fresh clean turps is a good way of getting a matt finish but even better is the Hannants Extra color Matt Varnish which does not need thinning and is a super medium.


  4. megroot A Fixture

    I never spray my figures with a varnish. I put my oilpaint (always W&N) that i need on a indexcart so the oil can soak out.
    Then take my paint onto a white tile and paint with a brush who is a little moistend in English Turpentine from W&N.
    Then put the figure after the painting session into a drybox. A matt finish is garanteed.
  5. KeithP Active Member

    There are several ways to help insure a more matte finish. No guarantee tho.

    This may go contrary to what has been mentioned but you will also find what works for you if you experiment.

    Avoid thinning your oils with anything (sorry Marc). If you need to thin in order to get very fine lines, then use a small drop of linseed oil. When ever you thin, you reduce coverage. I have found turpenoid to give a faint shine when used to thin oil paints. IMO :)

    Use a dry box (box with light bulb). Helps to dry faster, too.

    Like Jay, I use dullcoate only when necessary!) I think it is water based. Can't think of the manufacturer (model master?).

    Avoid Prussian Blue at ALL Costs! :)

    WN Artist Oils are a very good to use. Avoid the "student" branded oils as they use cheap substitite pigments.

    I do hope Einion will chime in here as he has alot of valuable info on oils.

  6. gwensp New Member

    To get rid of the glossy sheen with oils I have had some success by putting a blob of the colour you want to use on a piece of paper card. Then spread the blob out a bit till it is about 4 to 5 mm thick. Then leave it for a while the paper card absorbs the excessive oil. ( some colours seem to need several treatments of this to get rid of all the oil).

    Then transfer the paint to your palette ( be careful not scrape some of the surface of the card in to the paint.)
  7. megroot A Fixture

    Keith, sorry is not needed. I did it your way before. Because i let the oil soak out into the card it is hard to paint with a pasta. That's why i use English white spirit (W&N).
    The lineseed oil is the cause off the shining.
    I have this kind of painting from Luca Olivieri. And he has a real matt finish.

    Anyway, we have different aproaches, and i think there are many more. When they all chime in i think nobody knows who is right. As long as we can have a matt finish it is oke.

  8. PJ Deluhery Active Member

    All oils dry with some sheen, it's the nature of the beast! As has been said above, the trick to getting oils to dry flat is to remove as much of the oil as possible. You can do that by using a card to soak up the excess oil, diluting oil paint with turps, and using a heat source for drying. I do all three, and find I have little trouble with even blue drying flat. I also undercoat in acrylics, which means I do not need a heavy oil layer to get color saturation. As a last resort, you can flat coat. You will have to experiment a little to find what workd for you. Good luck.
  9. John Bowery A Fixture

  10. Kisifer Well-Known Member

    I believe that a drying box guarantees a flat finish of the oil colors. I do it for years and always works. Give it a try and you won't be dissapointed.

  11. Henri New Member

    Matte or not

    Hello Tetedenoeud!
    I had to face the same question when I used oil painting for the first time.
    From my experience, I would say that no colour is matte in itself. It all depends on how thin your coat is (and the enamel coat before), how you have "worked" the oil colour before using it on the figure, I mean, with your brush on the palette. Also, it helps to spread it on a piece of this special "see through" paper for a little while, like in the evening for the next morning for instance, as it takes a bit of the oil away.I occasionally used corrected white spirit and liquin, the last one for leather effect: parade boots, german motocyclist overall/officer raincoat or any clean leather. But I tend to work with pure oil colour.
    I noticed that some colours are prompter to give this glossy/shiny effect than others: red, prussian blue, dark green, and black. So using some of the tricks described before does help. But there is nothing certain at all. You have to experiment, talk to others and make mistakes...
    All the best.
  12. jimias A Fixture

    The all time classic prob working with oils.THE MATT FINISH!!Well i would have to agree with all the aforementioned but i think that color shining depends alot on the eye of each person.I have seen figures painted with acrylics considered to be matt and the shine almost blinded me.I would like to have a dead matt finish with my oils but it cannot be done nomatter what you do.you can undercoat with acrylics or enamels,you can bake them or you can spray them,but the fact remains...as the amount of color increases so does the tension to shine.And of course you want to have a good contrast on you figure so painting just 3 or 5 thinned layers of oils over the base color will give you a matt finish but not a satisfying figure.
    I once asked Pietro Balloni about this matter and what he told me is that he uses neither of the aforementioned technics and still his figures are masterpieces.All he does is give oils colors time between successive layers.
    So,experiment with all techniqes,practice and then practice some more,learn the medium you choose to use before rejecting it and most important..If YOU like the results you get stick to it.
    You can only get better!!!
    Good luck.
  13. Anonymous1 New Member

    Oil paints question

    As my first post on the Planet figure I would like to pass some of my experiences with oil paint on, which by no means should be taken “as the final word“ experience and personal preferences included.
    I always clear my flat figures with a fine silversmiths wire brush, and then rinse it in dishwashing liquid, then I give it 2-3 light coats of “Hannants matt white“, a finely pigmented enamel paint, no acrylic primer for me, I have seen some painters using this, drying to a shine, which shurely affects the final result, not that it cant be done, but this receipe works for me, and have for some odd 20 years now, shurely some colours will dry to a certain shine, the blue ones beeing the most dangerous ones, but I found adding a little white, helps out, do awoid the “oily substance“ sometimes coming out of the tube when opening a new one, always go for a medium priced oil paint, depending on the money you want to use. You will notice that some colours are more expensive than others, depending on the pigment used. Its not like acrylic colours where all are priced the same.
    I have never experienced any colours drying with a shine, at first some may look that way, but oil colours dry, when the oil in them evaporates, from within, to the outside. Do also consider that every piece of garment dosent have a dead matt appearence, leather of different age has different shine, a horse coat will also have a slight shine, which can be used to a good effect, but always remember the “scale effect“.
    I have never used anything else than ordinary turpentine as a thinner, not more than makes the oil a little more “brushable“ , I add the colour and wait around 20 mintes to give it time to “settle“ and then using a soft brush, covering the whole area, you will notice that it has “more bite now“ and is easier to brush out, patience and rather 2 thin layers than one thick is the key words here., Oils dont dry for some days, which is one of the beauties, and can be put out very thinly avoiding buidups of unwanted paint.
    Linseed oil is allready in it as a carrier, and adding more will shurely make it shine.
    I'm shure other members have different oppinions on this, but at the of the day, what works for each and every one of you, is as good as anything else

    Kindest regards
    Kjeld Buchholtz:D
  14. Le Lancier Member

    Personnaly, I've had ecxellent results thinning my oils with common lighter fluid. I've had mat finishes on most occasions, although I must agree that certain pigments such as Prussian blue may dry with a slight sheen. In all the mediums I've used to assure a flat finish, lighter fluid has delivered the best results for me.
  15. paulyrichard New Member

    I'm new here also. I always use Winsor & Newton water soluble oils, and these work a treat. It also means my brushes are well looked after in not havin' to use solvents to clean and thin. ;)
  16. merty Member

    :) i agree with KBU completely, the only difference for me being, that i use humbrol enamels for the
    prime coat.(as they are easier available to me):)
  17. brady New Member

    nobody ever used amoniak???

    amoniak wil take the shine away
    do not put on the figure but in a closed box
    a litlle amoniak in a glass and put both in te box for a day to a week in it
  18. John Long Active Member

    Never heard of amoniak. What is it, and where do you get it?
  19. quang Active Member

    John: Amoniak is household ammonia. ;)

    As for me, the 'secret' of matt oils finish is in the thickness of the layer.

    The best 'natural' (ie. NO thinner, varnish, additive, oven,...) way to achieve a matt finish with oils is to keep the paint layer thin (by removing a maximum of excess with a clean, dry brush).

    Using this method, I sometimes find that my oils dry TOO matt :p for my liking, especially on the skin tones. Adding a tiny amount of Liquin will impart a nice sheen.

  20. Michaelg Member

    I have had good success using Grumbacher Matt Varnish.
    Just use it as you would a thinner with the oil paint.
    Talcum Powder (Johnston's Baby Powder) used to work well for flattening gloss hobby paint though have not tried it with oils.

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