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Monday, November 14, 2005

Water-mixable oils

Because I'm a watercolor painter I'm attracted to the idea of oil paints that can be cleaned up with water instead of solvent. Many traditional oil painters don't have a very high opinion of this medium, but I don't have enough experience with oil painting to know the difference. Ignorance is bliss. I love painting with water-mixable oil paints. Over the past three years I've taken two brief workshops in oil painting using them. The instructor used regular oil paints in the first workshop and acrylics in the second, so there was no instruction in the water-mixable oils per se. The first time out I used too much water and Winsor & Newton paints. This last time I added some Holbein colors and used only a very little bit of water, except for cleanup. I preferred the Holbein paints. They seemed creamier and more consistent in handling from one color to another. While I respect acrylics and like to use them with collage, I think if I had to choose a painting medium other than watercolor, I would go with water-mixable oils. They would be better for travel, since you can't carry solvents when flying; and I think there might also be a benefit in plein air painting. If you want them to dry more quickly, there is a drier fluid available. I don't know if you can use Liquin and Alkyd paint with water-mixable oils, but they say you can combine them with any oil paints, so I don't see why not. However, you have to switch to solvents when you add these to the mix.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the Van Gogh H2Oils even more than the Holbein - and they are cheaper. However, with any of them I have tried, I have been unable to get a light-bright fuchsia color. Thinning with white makes the color pink. Just wondering if you have tried mixing pure watercolor paint with water-mixable white? I've been thinking of trying to mix W&N opera pure watercolor with the H2Oil white to see if that will work. Any suggetions?

11:51 AM  

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