Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

Help please - problem with black background!!

edited September 2017 in Painting
Hello - I am still fairly new to oil painting and having problems with a black background.

I started this painting a couple of months ago and left it aside as I didn't have time to focus on it. I originally used Norma Professional Ivory Black on it. When I went back to the painting two months later, the black was very shiny and I didn't like it (it detracted too much from the hand which is matt). I went over the ivory black with Langridge Mars Black (I no longer use Norma - don't like it - I love Langridge). Now that the black has dried, it has a very mottled affect. Any suggestions as to why this may have happened?

Thought best to ask before I go over it with Langridge Mars Black again in an effort to even it out, and continue working on it.

Fyi - I don't use any mediums or Gamsol etc. There is only oil paint on the canvas.

Many thanks in advance for your help!


  • @Veronica - I am new as well, so I do not have any recommendations for your background, but I must say your rendering is very good. You get a good sense of depth. I look forward to other comments on this and to future paintings of yours. :-)
  • Veronica

    Chill about shiny and matt surfaces during the painting process. All will be restored to a uniform lustre when finally varnished in six months.

    If you insist on a uniform sheen, oil out with a light coat of linseed oil over dry paint. See Mark's free video.


  • @Renoir - thanks for the feedback! Much appreciated :-)

    It's still very much a struggle knowing how to manipulate the medium, but with each painting I learn something new!
  • @dencal - thank you!

    I saw that video a year ago, I suppose it's going to make a lot more sense now that I'm painting. Will check it out again. :-)
  • Since you don't use any medium, your painting will become matte as they dry. If you are not done with the painting and need t work on it then you need to oil out. Below is Mark's video.
    Mediums have two purposes, first is to thin the paint or at least make it manageable and then secondly, make the paint more beautiful (enamel-like, shiny surfaces). But everything will change anyway when you varnish it after it has dried properly.

  • Thanks Kaustav. I don't use medium because I'm a migraine sufferer and try to avoid fumes. Having said, I do use Oleogel sparingly. I am yet to varnish a painting, so it will be interesting to see how my "style" will look like once all is done and dusted. :-)
  • @Veronica ; Well, first off, Ivory Black is a slower drying color generally than Mars Black.  But if you say that it was dry before you put on the Mars Black all may be well.  I would be concerned about the Mars Black drying before the Ivory Black was completely dry and whatever complications that might cause.  Did you put a drop or two of oil in the Mars Black as a precaution observing the fat over lean rule?  Or, am I way off base here.  Anyone?  Summer
  • @Summer
    The Ivory Black was on the canvas for out eight weeks before I put the Mars Black over it. I may have mixed Oleogel (Rublev brand) with the Ivory Black to help spread it - I honestly cannot remember if I did.

    It states on the Oleogel can that it "does not significantly slow the drying time". So I hope I did not observe the fat over lean rule i.e. Mars Black application was straight from the tube over the Ivory Black (which may have been mixed with Oleogel - yikes!). If I did use Oleogel with the Ivory Black - will oiling it out now cause more problems?
  • @Veronica ;  To me it seems the only problem you have is to make sure that the two layers of oil paint are completely hardened before proceeding so that you can oil out and begin painting again.  And, I'd probably keep notes for each painting in the future, because you are still experimenting.  Have fun.  :)  Summer   
Sign In or Register to comment.