Saturday, June 9, 2012

Water Miscible Oils

I've been playing a bit with water-miscible oil paint, also sometimes called water-mixable or water soluble. This is mostly due to concerns with using potentially harmful volatile solvents in a small, less-than-optimally ventilated studio. I've decided that I'm not convinced. There doesn't seem to be that much in the way of actual benefits, aside from the ease of clean up with soap and water. And I can do that with the M. Graham walnut-based oils anyway.

Washes done with water as solvent are really only practicable in the first layer of paint, and the wash doesn't look or feel anything like a turps or mineral spirit wash. You also want to be sure the water has completely evaporated before you start any overpainting, or you might compromise the paint layers. There are driers for these paints, but they are just as smelly and noxious as the alkyd driers for linseed oil paints. The cost is considerably less than most artist grade paint, more like student grade, so that makes one wonder about the longevity and quality of the products. So, the verdict from me seems to be: carry on in the old tradition, just be very careful with my solvent use.

This painting (9 x 12, masonite) was done with Lukas Berlin WMOs, which I got because they were on sale. There was a stickiness to the paint that was very uncomfortable, and when it had dried, the colour had sunk to a very matte finish over most of the surface. I'll use up the remaining paint, but I won't be eager to buy any more.

1 comment:

  1. Nice.

    I have a similar photograph. I'll have to look for it soon.