Today I practise the black art of oil painting. Don’t run to your Defense against the Dark Arts teacher just yet. I’m simply referring to making my first painting medium. What it does is altering the property of the oil paint, making it glossy, matte, flow smoother and I can’t remember the rest. :) Honestly, I’m still learning this stuff so bear with me.
A quick search on Google will turn up hundreds of recipes for mixing your own paint medium; luckily, I stumbled across a All-Purpose medium recipe which is favoured by the modern Alla Prima master, Richard Schmidt. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for a fledgling oil painter like me.
I’ll be remiss to overlook the kid in me, who was only too eager to play with noxious substances that could potentially cause long term harm to my nervous system. But it does make your dick bigger! Hmmm!
Now the magic potion consists of: 1 part Stand Oil, 1 part Damar Varnish and 5 part Gamsol. The original recipe calls for Turpentine, reason being Damar dissolves well with it but I only have Gamsol, which is also a part of the paint thinner family, so I thought they must share similar genetic material for this mixture to work. Having said that, I was literally worried about the medium blowing up in my face upon pouring the Gamsol into the glass container. I didn’t want it to blow up in front of me. I like my face.
Anyway, it sort of worked. The Gamsol floated above the Damar and stand oil in the glass jar like a layer of cloud. So I forced the mixture by stirring with a palette knife and it didn’t explode. Phew!
Next I put a spoonful of it in my mouth and it tasted like salmon, if you fed it nothing but Pop Rocks & paper clips for its entire life.
kidding! I tested the paint medium by glazing with it on an old painting. It produced a nice satin sheen….not sure how I feel about that yet.