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Glossy Finish

Discussion in 'Oils' started by OSS, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. OSS Active Member

    Not sure if this has been covered but after painting a layer of red on a tunic I was horrified to see it dry all shinny ??? I had undercoated in acrylic and then painted a thin layer over it in oils I have let it dry for a 4 days and was not expecting a gloss look any help or suggestions please..
  2. pkessling Active Member

    What color red oil paint did you use?
  3. fogie A Fixture

    It's something that comes up here perennially. Regardless of undercoat, oils are by their nature shiny. The carrier in the
    paint's composition ( the stuff that bears the pigment - usually linseed oil ) controls the eventual finish. So ... if you reduce
    the oil content of the paint, it follows that it will 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. There are more factors involved in this process, so you might check out other
    posts in this section to find extra tips that could help.

    Dolf likes this.
  4. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    Phil's question is important as some reds dry quite Matt.
  5. megroot A Fixture

    Let soak out the oil of the paint.
    Then dilute the paint with white spirit. Then paint the red with this dilute paint. It works for me.

    another solution is to spray with Testors Dulcoat.....

  6. OSS Active Member

    Mike that is very interesting information .................the colour I used was winsor deep red
  7. Landrotten Highlander Well-Known Member

    I had that issue with blues in particular.
    I tried a different approach last time: Instead of doing a colour study with acrylics, then finishing with oil, I went straight with oil to my primer coat (in this case grey car primer).
    After covering the area with the desired colour I removed as much of the paint as possible (I do this all the time, the idea is to have as thin a paint as possible). This removal was one until I started seeing the undercoat 'shine' through my colour. Let dry for one night, then add shadows & highlights (again as thin as possible). Repeat for a 3rd day.
    To my surprise the sheen was almost completely gone - it was not as matt as acrylics, but hardly any sheen to it.
    Perhaps this will help you?
  8. fogie A Fixture

    You'll get all sorts of advice on this. Some of it will appear conflicting - essentially this is because we've all worked
    out different solutions that do it for us. If you work to a few basic principles though, things should be easier. Very
    few of us use colour straight from the tube - it's mixed to our chosen shade or tint - so by selecting, say, a red that
    is known to dry flat might be effected adversely by the mix and behave differently. It is, however, a simple fact that
    if you reduce the oil content of the paint it WILL dry matte and also oxidise much more quickly. This makes the
    paint thicken up a bit, so it will have to be thinned. Some like Megroot use petroleum based white spirit for this ,
    others prefer an organic turpentine, I choose Spike Lavendar Oil ( we all have our own particular affectations ).
    The key is to use whatever works for you, right ? Keep at it........

    Dolf and Tecumsea like this.
  9. OSS Active Member

    Thank you all ever so much it is much appreciated
  10. pkessling Active Member

    Not sure what the pigment are for Windsor Deep Red. It is important to use artist grade paints as they will have less carrier and more pigment. For British Red, I would use W&N Cadmium Red with a little Mars Red mixed in. The Mars Red “tones down” the brightness of cad red as well as help with a matte finish.
    I always used a 3x5 card to soak out the oil before painting as others have mentioned. I never thinned my oil paints, applied with a small square tipped brush and just spread the paint thin. That is why it is important to have a base coat that is close to the final color.
    I used Cel-Vinyl acrylics and Plaka casein paints for under coats when I wanted a fully matte finish. Both are very flat and again suck some of the oil out of the paint. I always used a slow cooker/crock pot to dry the paint over night. This also helps with a matte finish.
    I never used any overcoat unless I had to. every time I did it just made things worse.
    Dolf likes this.
  11. Dolf Well-Known Member

    Hi Oss,

    Being a total novice with oils, in the process of learning, I also have (or better said, have had) until very recently the same issues and questions you are experiencing.

    Since I've started changing/upgrading my oils (most of them are still student grade Rive Gauche, but have been buying a few artists oils from other blends recently, Norma from Schmincke, Lefranc & Bourgeois, and have a few Winsor & Newton on my wishing list too, maybe a couple from Rembrandt), and using the methods suggested by Mike and Philip Kessling here (soaking out the oils before using them, for instance, as also suggested by Massimo Pasquali, on this video I recently posted here: https://www.planetfigure.com/threads/visage-à-lhuile-par-massimo-pasquali.139580/#post-974424 ), I've been obtaining fully matte results.

    One thing I've tried, but wasn't able to achieve (method used by Massimo Pasquali, and also by Philip Kessling according to his previous post), not yet anyway, as I still feel the need to thin down my oils (for that I've been using Abteilung 502, both the Matt Effect Thinner as well as the Fast Dry Thinner, and they do help to get a matte effect as well as accelerating the drying process; I've also been using a "drying box", usually everything is fully dry after a few hours inside the box), even after soaking them off on a piece of paper (5 minutes and they start to dry, so for me it's hard to use them... maybe I need to change my brushes, or I may need to correct something else) is to paint from the mix I get after mixing my oils after soaking them off. As I say they dry quite fast, hence I find it difficult to apply them that dry, so at least for the time being I'm still thinning them with both thinners previously mentioned.

    Anyway, if you start using the methods here mentioned by Mike and Philip Kessling (as well as Massimo Pasquali on that video) I bet you'll start getting much better results.

    And avoid student grade oils, artists oils are indeed much better (as I was told multiple times by others here with years of experience on this; the only reason I didn't do that from the beginning is as usual the financial one... but better get a small palette slowly, building it up as one can afford, rather then get a large palette of cheaper student grade oils, that's for sure...) .


  12. fogie A Fixture

    Dolf, if the paint starts to dry too much on the paper, add just a touch or two of linseed oil ( not too much ). It'll
    just bring the stuff back to a working consistency. Glad things are working ... tremendous feeling isn't it ?
    Dolf likes this.
  13. Dolf Well-Known Member


    "For British Red, I would use W&N Cadmium Red with a little Mars Red mixed in."

    The Mars Red you mention is also from W&N?

    I ask because I was checking on the list of W&N artists oil paints from my local supplier, and can't find that Mars Red.

    "I never thinned my oil paints"

    Last night I was painting some small parts on a 120mm figure I'm repainting (after a total disaster on my first attempt I decided to fully remove the 1st painting and restart it all over again from zero), namely leather parts (so using Lefranc & Bourgeois Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber, and for the darker areas and shadowing adding a bit of Norma from Schmincke Van Dycke Brown to the main mix). I did soak off all three oils mentioned on a piece of paper, before even mixing them. I noticed that all of them started drying pretty fast. So after mixing the two main ones (and later adding a bit of the 3rd one) the mix was quite dry already. That made it very difficult to apply on those tiny little parts I was painting, for instance a belt the figure has on his chest, only a few mm width, and only a couple of cm long. For that I used both a 6/0 and a 10/0 brush. But the already drying oil mix was quite hard to apply. Hence when painting his gun holder, I decided to add some of those Abteilung thinners I mention on my previous post, otherwise it seemed almost impossible for me to apply the oils mix.

    Any advice on how to achieve this without the need of thinning down the oils?

    Thank you very much in advance.


  14. Dolf Well-Known Member


    "Glad things are working ... tremendous feeling isn't it ?"

    Yes it is... :)

    Thanks a lot for your previous advice, it really helped making things work (y) ;)

    "if the paint starts to dry too much on the paper, add just a touch or two of linseed oil"

    I don't have any yet. But I do have turpentine, which, in larger oil mixes, for painting larger areas, I occasionaly have been also adding to the previously mentioned Abteilung thinners. So far it seems to work.

    I still have White Spirits, but now have been using it mainly for cleaning my brushes, or if necessary, a drop in a piece of cotton rolled on the tip of a toothpick, for removing some excess oil that went out of place (damn... I wish I still had the same firmness on my hands as some 30 years ago... :sick: ), but since I've started using these two Abteilung Thinners and on occasion Turpentine, I no longer use White Spirits on my oils mixes.

    Many thanks once again, really appreciate your time and help (y)


    fogie likes this.
  15. Dolf Well-Known Member


    One more tool I still need to buy is a good spatula, for mixing the oils out of the tubes, both for spreading them (hence helping the oils to dry on a piece of paper, and also for mixing the different oil paints used on a particular mix) .

    Massimo Pasquali uses one on that video, and it works nicely for him.


    fogie likes this.
  16. fogie A Fixture

    OSS, we seem to have hijacked your post - all the points mentioned above though should help solve a
    few issues that may be getting in your way. Something I would add to both you and Dolf is that once
    you produce a good matt finish - one that is you deliberately intended - you are well on your way to
    understanding how to use oil paints. Once you're comfortable with them your confidence will grow
    and you'll improve even further. Before long we'll all have to watch ourselves...eh ?

    Dolf likes this.
  17. pkessling Active Member

    I think the Mars colors may have been discontinued by W&N. Really useful colors for miniature painters but not so much for canvas painters. Most fine art painters use oils in layers and glazes. So, thick, matte drying colors (pigment) don’t work. So well for them.
    The only thinner/medium that I used was mineral spirits (white spirits). Linseed oil, turpentine, etc. can add to a sheen or contribute to splotchy, uneven drying.
    I usually added a drop or two of stand oil for flesh and leather items. This imparts a slight, realistic sheen. For some leather items, you can paint with Liquitex burnt sienna and just use oils for the shadows and highlights. Belts and straps were always the last items that I painted. After everything is dry, outline with a very thin shadow color of whatever item is underneath the belt, i.e. if a red tunic, outline the belt with the darkest red shadow color. This is a very important step as it gives the figure a more 3D look.
    When painting details, you will inevitably get some paint where you don’t want it. Just clean up with a brush lightly moistened with white spirits. The beauty of oils is that they are very easy to clean up when they haven’t dried.
    Dolf likes this.
  18. Dolf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Philip.

    Just looked for those items you mention that I don't have/didn't know about (such as stand oil and Liquitex burnt sienna) . Found a stand oil from Sennelier on my local arts dealer ( https://www.pontodasartes.com/en/catalogue/painting/oil/auxiliary/mediums/sennelier-stand-oil/ ) . According to the description, it seems to have some positive characteristics, but they also say it's "very bright" (which I try to avoid as much as possible; have for instance that Liquin Original, from W&N, but haven't been using it exactly because it gives the paint some gloss effect; but maybe for leathers, as you say, or the eyes, as others here recommend, I'll have to test that) .

    As for Liquitex burnt sienna, if I got it right, it's an acrylic paint. Couldn't find it locally.

    "When painting details, you will inevitably get some paint where you don’t want it. Just clean up with a brush lightly moistened with white spirits."

    I've been using a piece of cotton rolled on the tip of a toothpick, soacked on white spirits, and then almost dried on a piece of soft cloth. Next time I'll have to remember to use another brush for the same effect. Indeed quite often there are some single strings from the piece of cotton that will drop and may kind of stick to the paint, having to be removed with tweezers. I guess that can be avoided using another good brush (y)

    Thanks for your time and help!


  19. pkessling Active Member

    Liquitex Burnt Sienna was an acrylic that came in a plastic jar. It may no longer be avail. I also used their Deep Portrait flesh to undercoat flesh areas.
    Dolf likes this.
  20. Dolf Well-Known Member

    "Liquitex Burnt Sienna was an acrylic that came in a plastic jar. It may no longer be avail."

    That still exists. I found it online, both from Liquitex itself (the manufacturer I guess) as well as others that also have acrylic Burnt Sienna on their products (W&N is one of them) .
    What I've found doesn't necessarily comes in a plastic jar, can be in tubes, other ways (even pens) . There's one that comes in a small jar, not sure if plastic or glass, with a pipette/dropper:

    I just couldn't find it here, locally.

    "I also used their Deep Portrait flesh to undercoat flesh areas."

    From Liquitex? If so, I can't find it not even on the Liquitex main website. With that exact name, nor from other manufacturers.



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