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Enamel varnish over oils?

Discussion in 'Oils' started by Dolf, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Len K. Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Hi all,

    I have been painting exclusively in oils for over twenty years. I have used paint from at least a dozen manufacturers and they are all different as far as the way they dry and also vary color to color. What has worked for me is to use testors enamal thinner to achieve a flat or matt look and to use distilled turps to produce more of a shine. Also if you are looking for a Matt finish it helps that after you apply the paint you lightly brush over it to help remove some of the oil. The type of paint, your thinning medium and how you apply the paint all have an effect on how it dries. After using oils for a while
    you get the know what paint you are using (the brand, color etc.) and adjust everything accordingly.
    Dolf and Nap like this.
  2. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Enamel thinner is pretty much what euros call white spirits..and distilled turps is rectified turpentine..know ones brand is very important..schminke say contains damar resin to even the drying time across hues..it slows drying for many and dries to a sheen..brushing over won’t remove much oil vs will dull the finish..in canvas painting overworking leads to dulling of colour..the little particles reflecting light don’t like it..
    patmaquette and Nap like this.
  3. Dolf Active Member

    Country:
    Portugal
    Thank you very much for the input Len (y)

    As for enamel thinners: I've always used a regular synthetic thinner, quite cheaper than those manufactured by miniatures paints makers, and it works perfectly fine (for Humbrol enamels at least) .

    I could test the Testors one you mention though, as it's available from the local miniatures and accessories retailers. I may give it a try. Thanks for mentioning it.

    I've never used turpentine though.

    I think there are two main reasons (that I found so far), for my 1st experience in painting a full 120mm figure with oils ended up too glossy.
    One is that I definitely applied too much paint! The other is that I didn't use a medium mixed to the oils (I did mix a thinner to the oils, but not a medium, and I believe these are two different things) . There are some out there that help give the oils a final matte finish, I'm still looking for one (that gives a matt finish to the oils) available on the local market.
    The one that from my research, and advice from other members here, that seems to be the best one available on the market for this particular effect, "Matt Spectragel Medium", is made in the UK, and they are not allowed to ship it overseas...

    I'm in the process of totally removing the paint on my failed 120mm figure, and restart again from zero. This time I'll apply a proper surface primer (Gunze/Mr Hobby Mr Primer Surfacer 1000 in gray, or perhaps the 1200, also in gray) directly on the resin (which I didn't do before, using instead a Humbrol enamel paint (Matt Sand #63) as a primer (apparently such an enamel coat can be applied, but on top of the real primer) .



    "After using oils for a while you get the know what paint you are using (the brand, color etc.) and adjust everything accordingly."

    Yes, I agree. It's just that for the moment oils are (almost) totally new to me (for my other miniatures modeling I've always used enamels, never needed to use oils), so I'm learning from the very basics. In time I'm sure I'll certainly improve ;)


    Thanks again!

    Cheers!

    Dolf
  4. Dolf Active Member

    Country:
    Portugal
    "Enamel thinner is pretty much what euros call white spirits.."

    Not sure what/which "euros" you refer to... Not our currency I assume...

    Anyway, in my own case (no idea about others, and I don't like generalizing), as I mention above, the only enamel thinner I've always used, with no problems whatsoever, which works perfectly fine, is a regular synthetic thinner (for enamels of course; other types of paints, such as cellulose paints, require regular cellulose thinners, which I don't remember ever using) .

    As for "White Spirits", we call them "águarrás" here, and I've only recently started using it, for... oils... not for enamels.


    Cheers!

    Dolf
  5. NeilW A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Gosh: things have changed since I started in the 1960s (now trying for a comeback).

    In those days you just unscrewed an Airfix bottle or prised the top off a Humbrol tin, using a can of lighter fluid to thin things down, and brushed away. Perhaps a (brush applied) coat of gloss or matt varnish if needed (rarely was but if overly matt a buffing would usually do the trick). Floquil paint and airbrushes were exotic and unreachable mysteries to a pocket-money modeller.

    It seems that now you need a degree in chemistry and a bottomless wallet.
    Banjer and Dolf like this.
  6. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    The chemistry part I have

    Dolf, you go on endlessly..just paint something and get on with it..these perpetual questions get nowhere..I have no idea what you are babbling about
  7. Len K. Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Basically after experimenting and trial and error for 20+ years I found what works for me.
    Dolf, Nap and grasshopper like this.
  8. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Exactly..I enjoy exploring the science of colour and chemistry of paints..it’s won’t make me a better artist..my art was long ago and nothing to,do with miniatures, but where some enjoy uniforms and medals, I enjoy composition and colour...as for the painting...just do it..pick a method, and keep at it..pick a style and medium that resonates..get a bit of experience, then build,out from there and develop a signature style.
    Nap likes this.
  9. Dolf Active Member

    Country:
    Portugal

    Indeed! lol...

    Or you have to be some clone/reincarnation of Picasso, or Rembrandt, or Van Gogh...

    As I said above, I just like miniatures, and enjoy modeling... and honnestly I don't think one needs to be an "artist" for making some nice models...


    Cheers!

    Dolf
  10. NeilW A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Somehow, I don't think Van Gogh's technique would have made him very good at figure painting (mind you, some of his paintings would make cracking prototypes).

    VG1.JPG VG2.JPG VG3.JPG VG4.JPG
  11. Dolf Active Member

    Country:
    Portugal
    "Somehow, I don't think Van Gogh's technique would have made him very good at figure painting (mind you, some of his paintings would make cracking prototypes)."


    Indeed!

    Well, it was his kind of personal style after all, so at least he deserves credit for that ;)


    Anyway, this is just a hobby, just like so many other hobbies. Real Artists have their art shown on real Museums, IMHO. Even though there are a few amazing artistic works on this field...



    Cheers!

    Dolf
  12. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    There is a valid art form here..the roots of art at the most basic come from “make it special”. Leonardo made miniatures that were not prototypes nor models..Inuit carvings were originally pocketable in keeping with their traditional lifestyle..while PF is a hobby site, there are serious artists making a go of it, and while gallery representation is nominal if at all, Italian museums seem to be getting into it..”only a hobby” equates to good enough..good enough is never good enough
    Nap likes this.
  13. NeilW A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom

    Attached Files:

  14. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Thanks for the link..it’s an age old debate, never fully resolved..and generally impossible to distinguish one from other in passage of time and fresh eyes can’t understand original intent..I see many wonderfully executed pieces here that sell for significant money that I consider high end craft..and every once in a while something, someone making art..usually a person working 1/1 and selling in galleries..Dmitry Feseschko being one..anyway, not for this thread. This thread has become way too tired..
  15. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    And van goths use of colour would absolutely fit...of course I couldn’t care less about uniforms and medals..
  16. fogie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    As has already been mentioned earlier here, it's not actually necessary to add varnish or
    additives of any nature to protect or alter the drying time or finish of oil paint - in fact it can
    be argued that to do so could possibly be detrimental. The carrier in the paint's composition
    ( the stuff that bears the pigment - usually linseed oil ) controls the eventual finish and the
    'drying time' By the way, oil paint doesn't 'dry' by evaporation but by a chemical process
    of oxidization, which is why it takes so long. So ... if you reduce the oil content of the paint,
    it follows that it will 'dry' faster and have a matte finish. The easiest way to do this is to leach
    the oil away by mixing the paint on an absorbent surface - a bit of stiff card, say. When you
    need a more glossy effect, mix the stuff on something non-porous like a ceramic tile.
    Dolf likes this.
  17. Dolf Active Member

    Country:
    Portugal
    Thank you very much "fogie", appreciate your input (y)

    Since I initially asked the question, and partially due to other members suggestions, I've got a few accessories for helping with that glossy effect some oil paints have a tendency to show once dry (or while drying), and also for helping fasten the drying time .

    Among those accessories I got two Ableitung 502 thinners, the "Fast Dry Thinner" and the "Matt Effect Thinner". Haven't tested the Matt one yet, as for the Fast Dry one have recently used it and indeed it seems to really fasten the oil paint drying process. But then again I've used it with a mix of "Raw Umber" and "Burnt Sienna", which from former experiences don't seem to be the slowest ones drying. Other colors apparently take a much longer time to fully dry. Will have to test it soon with other colors. Same for the matt effect, as some oil colors seem to have a more pronounced shinny look than others (of course I also know that it also depends on brands, student or artist types, etc) . Trying to increase the number of colors on my palette, and should get a few more soon, from better brands than the one I've been using ("Rive Gauche", which is a student grade from Sennelier), such as Norma Professional Schmincke, Winsor & Newton and Lefranc & Bourgeois. Sadly we don't seem to have Old Holland nor Schminke Mussini on the local market here, even from the best artists stores.

    Anyway, I'll try your method of using an absorbent surface (I've seen other reputable artists doing it btw) next time I'll paint with one of those more shinny colors (some reds seem to have that tendency, maybe others) .


    Cheers!


    Dolf
    grasshopper likes this.
  18. fogie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom

    It works, Dolph. it really works !

    Mike
    Dolf likes this.
  19. fogie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Just had another thought.... you've obviously had lots of advice about what make of oil paint to use. One of the
    things you should consider is the translucency of the colours you select. Some are very transparent which can
    make life a bit tedious when using them on figures. Winsor and Newton are extremely useful for this because
    all the information you'll likely to need appears on the tube's label - transparency/opacity, permanence, colour
    reference identity, so forth. Reading the label first can save you time and money and produce better results.

    Mike
    Dolf likes this.
  20. Ronaldo A Fixture

    The card will draw the oil out for sure but brings with it other problems IE paint drag, this can be sorted by only taking so much oil out then transferring onto non absorbent palette ; add some turps to make the paint flow and you are on your way, but no one technique works on its own . It is a mix of different methods which give a consistent result.
    Your under coat for most purposes will be as close to your finish colour as possible : this ensures a very thin application of the oil paint and it MUST be matt .
    The aid of a drying or light box will speed things up , dont add anything but turps just about everything else messes with the process.

    I am gathering you are very new to oils or you would not be asking the question , as mentioned elsewhere in this thread the oil paint itself has to be chosen carefully,
    Opaque tints are a must as transparent and semi opaque colours are for use on canvas and always give problems , but they do have uses in very skilled hands .

    You will find earth pigments dry the fastest and the lighter the pigment the longer the drying process .

    Hope this helps

    Ron
    Dolf likes this.

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