How do they make Oil paint?
|This is a simplified explanation of how oil
paint is made by hand.
The process involves mixing the paint pigment with cold pressed linseed oil to a crumbly mass on a glass or marble slab. A small amount at a time is ground between the slab and a glass Muller.
Pigment and oil are ground together 'with patience' until a smooth, ultra fine paste is achieved, this is then placed into jars or metal paint tubes and labelled.
|The Glass Muller is used to 'grind' the
pigment and oil together when hand making oil paint.
Years ago in commercial paint manufacture, pigment and binder were ground together between special stones, like those used in an old flour mill.
Today the paint pigment and binder are milled together on large steel rollers. The resultant paint then goes through many tests before tubing and arriving on the shelves in an art shop.
of the oil paint will be found on the label.
Umber is PBr 7 - PBr stands for Pigment Brown, PY Pigment Yellow and so
on. It also states which vehicle or binder the paint has been made with,
the lightfast rating, if it is opaque, semi-opaque or transparent.
| Another property of oil paint is its
drying rate. Earth colours tend to dry the fastest, usually made
from iron oxide:- Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna
and Light Red. These are often applied at the beginning of a
painting, their fast drying makes then good for under-painting.
The slow dryers tend to be Titanium and Zinc White, Alizarin Crimson, some Yellows, Green Earth and Ivory Black. Often applied towards the end of a painting, this helps maintain the 'fat over lean' principal - techniques page.
|Oil paint can be used 'as is' straight from
the tube, but most of the time its 'handling' qualities need to be
Oil paint can be thinned with Zest-it Solvent or Brush Cleaner for under-painting and Lean Painting Medium where lean paint is required at the beginning of a painting. Both of these thin the consistence of the paint.
Clear Painting Medium can be used for the main body of the work, the amount adjusted as the work progresses to maintain the fat over lean principle.
Copyright© Jacqui Blackman 1999
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