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Slow dry medium - does usage of VT necessary?

I am just about to prepare the slow dry medium.  I do not know if somewhere I can find info that I am asking for in this post, if yes pls direct me, if not - please advise here :)

I wonder if VT is absolutely necessary to use here. As I suppose the main work is done by clove oil. I understand that VT is great for right consistency and liquidity properties... however pls understand my doubts- my main goal is to make the paint slow drying and ftherefore I think about medium without VT or some ingredient to replace it (VT is quite expensive here, maybe another oil-resin medium might work?.

In short, my questions are:
Do you think it is possible to mix slow dry medium without VT?
If yes - which ingridient should be expand to replace the parts of VT?
If I can use other medium instead of VT - which should be good?

Thank you in advance and send you greetings from Poland!


  • dencaldencal -
    edited February 2018

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Poland probably has the highest density of larch trees in the world.

    Venice or Venetian Turpentine is really a natural resin from the Larch tree. Thick and honey consistency and color, with the distinctive fragrance of a conifer forest. Not to be confused with the solvent, distilled Turpentine from pine trees.

    Here are a few effects of Venice Turpentine; good even coverage, long open time, nice flow characteristics, consistency in mixing values, durable finished surface, self leveling brushstrokes and a nice gloss finish.

    Your questions;

    Yes. SDM is possible without VT because clove oil is the polymer retardant.
    Replacement: just leave it out without a replacement.

  • Venice Turps is not available in in any New Zealand art shops. I have heard that you can buy it (in quantity) from horse tack suppliers, as it's used for treating hooves. There are more horses than artists in NZ, so wish me luck!
  • Thank you Denis for your plain answer!

    I do appreciate VT effect. I use it for glazing purpose and also for preparing external medium (1 part of VT + 1 part of linseed oil + 1 dammar varnish).

    You are absolutely correct, we have larch trees almost everywhere  :) however, artist market is not so big, and VT is simply quite expensive in comparison to others. 100ml VT costs 4x more than 100ml other popular resin-oil medium so I always look for compromises in this area .. of course sometimes replaceing is impossible, but if possible I have to try :)

    Anyway, I will try some experiments and share with you the outcome, if worthy.

    BTW - can you direct me to place in Europe (as near Poland as possible) where I can buy Geneva Oil paints?

    Have a nice day!

  • @observer.  I wish you luck but offer you a warning.  The VT used on hooves has wax and driers in it.  It is designed to stay in place and not slough off the first time a horse trots around the paddock.  You would be better off using stand oil as a substitute.  It has all of the properties listed above by Denis except the open time is not as extended.
  • Pawel

    Geneva oil paint can be purchased here: 

  • edited February 2018
    I hope I'm doing ok with my replacing VT for W&N Artist Painting Medium, as this slows the drying? So far I'm satisfied with this mix and the final paintings. I use same amount of W&N Artist Painting Medium as what is recommended for VT in with the recipe for SDM, and my wet palettes have been kept wet up to 5/6 even 7 weeks absolute limit, weather permitting, wet, dry, humidity, etc. And the completed paintings stand for about a year to dry and then varnished.
  • Forgiveness

    Good news. I’ll have to try some WNAPM.


  • I may have been misinformed but I thought VT gave the mixed paint both a leveling quality and replaced Damar Varnish as the medium necessary to give the paiting a harder surface but DV made it dry out too fast. Please correct my misconceptions.
  • Hi


    a year before varnishing? seems quite to long to me... :) and what about glossy effect? when the surface takes mat? I guess few months before varnishing the painting - am I correct?

    Well I just think about my next paintings.. I generaly paint with quick drying media to finish my work and give it out. Hwever slow dryindg and alla prima wet in wet is very temptating - that is why I mixed it and prepared a setup. but please explain me this time before a varnishing this kind of painting - is it a year  or so, really??


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