Sun-Struck Sapling, L. Daniel, 8 x 6, SOLD
Back at the Wimberley creekside, this small cypress sapling caught the brilliant mid-day light. It looked so beautiful against the purple gray limestone shadows. I loved it's simple but dramatic pose.
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Using Refined Linseed Oil as a Medium:
One of my readers asked me to talk about using Refined Linseed Oil as a medium instead of Turpentine mixes or Liquin. She has been experiencing some allergic reactions to solvents and is making the switch. Here is the thing about solvents and allergies: while not everyone is bothered, some people are completely debilitated. Still others begin to experience allergic reactions after years of use. Even the odorless mineral spirits are toxic - the fumes are there even though you can't smell them. So be really careful if you are using them.
I learned to paint using linseed oil (I use the "refined") and have never missed solvents. If you are interested in trying it, here are some pointers:
- Place linseed oil in small cup on palette - you only need a small amount
- Dip just the tip of your brush in it, add a little as you go and mix in completely
- Use it only to emulsify paint for an even flow (so all pigments are same consistency)
- Do NOT use it for washes - you won't be able to paint back in and it will take a long time to dry
- If you like a toned canvas, consider pre-toning with an acrylic wash in your preferred color
- I don't clean my brushes as I paint - I wipe them out with paper towel as necessary to keep the color clean
- I use lots of brushes - typically one for each basic color in the painting (since I am not swishing)
- Brush cleaning - at the end of a session, I clean my brushes with warm water and Masters Soap (also a great conditioner - make a thin paste of the Masters Soap and reshape the tips)
- Other options are walnut oil and poppyseed oil - I've not tried them but hear they are good choices
Like anything, it takes practice to gain mastery but it's worth it. Most of my students who try it never go back to solvents. I know we all want to be painting for a long, long time, so paint smartly. And good luck!