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Advice on leather mixes please

Discussion in 'Oils' started by Chrisr, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    I am seeking advice on what colours people use for painting leather in oils. I use a base coat of acrylics, and then paint over that with either water based oils or traditional oils. I have been using the earth colours - the siennas and umbers - and indian red, but I am not all that happy with the results. That is not surprising given my standard of painting.

    What colours do others use to achieve an authentic leather result in oils.

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. Helm A Fixture

    Chrisr likes this.
  3. pkessling Active Member

    I always preferred the Mars colors for leather: Mars Orange, Mars Brown, Mars Yellow. They can be tinted with other colors to give an infinite variety of tones and brightness. Blue Black for freshly polished black leather.
    You can also brush on a thin coat of Kiwi neutral shoe polish to achieve a natural leather sheen, after the oils dry.
    Chrisr, John Bowery and clrsgt like this.
  4. clrsgt A Fixture

    I have never thought about using shoe polish. Do you use mineral spirits to thin the polish to a very thin wash?
  5. megroot A Fixture

    I also use the Mars colors, mostly Mars brown and Mars Orange.
    Mars brown as bas, orange as highlight and sepia as shade.

    Chrisr and John Bowery like this.
  6. pkessling Active Member

    "I have never thought about using shoe polish. Do you use mineral spirits to thin the polish to a very thin wash"?
    Make sure the oils are dry. Brush it on right out of the can. Let it dry, buff lightly with a tissue. Just like polishing your shoes.

  7. clrsgt A Fixture

    Thanks Phil. I will have to try it.
  8. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Helm, pkessling and Steve, thank you for your advice. Greatly appreciated.
  9. Geoff Charman A Fixture

    I use oil based Artist's oils and use them neat, straight from the tube, starting with the lightest, Burnt Sienna, then Vandyke Brown and finishing where needed with Raw Umber, as used in this saddle P1110426-001.JPG
    oldtrousers, Gary D and napoleonpeart like this.
  10. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thank you Geoff. I was looking for natural leather. Greatly appreciate you advice.

    Geoff Charman likes this.
  11. Gary D PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hi Geoff. Thanks for the mix. What base colour do you use before applying the oils? Is it an acrylic colour or straight onto primer?

  12. Geoff Charman A Fixture

    Hi Gary, it went straight over the primer which was black lightly oversprayed with white acrylic primer. I used oil based Artist's oil neat, straight from the tube applied with a flat brush for the lighter Burnt Sienna, then and old round brush for the other darker colours using a stippling motion to achieve the desired effect.


    Hope this helps.
  13. Gary D PlanetFigure Supporter

    It sure does! Many thanks!

    Gary D
    Geoff Charman likes this.
  14. Geoff Charman A Fixture

    Pleased I could help Gary, do let me know how you get on.

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