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Oil wash

Discussion in 'Oils' started by Banjer, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. Banjer Well-Known Member

    I am working on a figure and want to tone down a colour using a wash. Whenever I have tried in the past using white spirit as a thinner I just get a dirty, oily mess.
    How do you guys do it?

    Immediately to hand in these times of difficult supply are:-
    White spirit
    Distilled Turps
    Lavender oil

    Thanks Bill
  2. kagemusha A Fixture

    Just to be clear...when you say "a dirty, oily mess"...I assume you want to make a wash with oil paint?
    If so;
    Liquin and Lavender Oil are not thinners...rather they are 'flow enhancers'...so will not work for creating washes.

    Either White Spirit or Distilled Turpentine are suitable for thinning oils to create a wash.

    One tip for creating a proper wash with oils is to soak out the excess oil on card before you add the WS or Turps...doing this will prevent the oily mess you refer too.

  3. Banjer Well-Known Member

    Thanks Ron,
    What is the difference between a wash and a glaze?
    I am attempting to tone down the colours with a thin coat of the main colour to make the contrast with the shadow more subtle.
    I could start again but wanted to try this to see if it works.

  4. kagemusha A Fixture

    Very generally speaking...a wash is a highly diluted and weak layer of colour...with a glaze being used to maintain colour density and hue with less thinners used.
    Hope that makes sense mate.
    Banjer and yellowcat like this.
  5. yellowcat A Fixture

    Banjer likes this.
  6. Henkm Well-Known Member

    Generally a wash is very thinned down paint and should pool in the recesses of the miniature. I think I have seen the term filter for the use Bill is describing. Also very thinned down paint but applied thin and carefully so it doesn't pool, at least that's my understanding. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Banjer likes this.
  7. Banjer Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys,
    I think perhaps I have not diluted enough and also applied too much so that it dries patchy.
    I shall persevere and see where it leads.

    Cheers Bill
  8. fogie A Fixture

    I have a bit of an issue with this... Turpentine or its equivalent is a solvent, by definition therefore
    it doesn't 'thin' the paint it dissolves it.

  9. kagemusha A Fixture

  10. Banjer Well-Known Member

    Hi Mike,

    Do I take it then that you do not use washes or that you have a different way of thinning the paint?
    I must admit that the effect I get like a film of dirty solvent which is why I asked the original question.

  11. fogie A Fixture

    Hi Bill

    Different painters have their own proven techniques - some of these approaches are based on conventional
    practice, while others have evolved through individual experimentation. It's a question of trial and error I'm
    afraid which sounds like a bit of a cop out.

    You said originally that you wanted to 'tone down' the colours on your figure. In my experience a wash will
    not do this - as others have already said here, a thinned coat of paint will partially cover the original but
    will also 'pool' in the crevices and change the effect. I use 'glazing' techniques ( a transparent layer of colour )
    sometimes to shade things and enhance the depth. This is time consuming but creates excellent subtle effects.
    and I use lavender oil for this - for me Turpentine is for cleaning the brushes.


    Meant to add Turpentine, White Spirit, Thinners are more or less the same thing The difference is that Turps
    is organic while the others are derived from petrochemicals.
    Banjer likes this.

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