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What is the size of "part" when mixing oil paint tubes?


Although i bought and received Geneva oil paint.
I also bought all the ingredients Mark suggested to mix my own medium as i still have a lot of oil tubes,
Windsor newton and Old Holland brands and i wish to use them as well.
I want to use Mark's supply list, but my question is what is the size of "part"
I have a tubes of 37ml and 60ml paints.
When Mark writes "parts" what is it compared to.
What should be the size of each "part" when i wish to prepare a whole tube of 37ml or 60ml ?
for example:
  • 10 parts odorless mineral spirits (any artist-grade odorless mineral spirits will do)
  • 5 parts stand oil or linseed stand oil (this is viscous like honey and is not the same as refined linseed oil)
  • 1 part refined linseed oil
  • 5 parts Venice turpentine *
  • 2 parts oil of cloves †

Can anyone clarify this for me?

Thanks a lot,


  • nkummel

    Welcome to the Forum.

    A ‘part’ is any size you want it to be, just as long as each part used is the same size.
    The benefit here is that using parts will keep the proportions of the components according to the recipe, but allow you to mix the total quantity you want. 

    Suggest starting with the smallest and most expensive component, the Venetian Turpentine (larch resin).
    If you start with 100ml of VT then each part will be 20ml. This will make 460ml of SDM, enough to keep you going for three to six months.

  • Thanks for your prompt reply.

    So, from what i understand,
    I should try to use Geneva paints first.
    After getting used the fluidity and density of Geneva paints,
    I will be able to mix some of the above SDM with old Holland tubes
    and work to achieve similar fluidity and density.
    After mixing a whole tube i will store it in an airtight small glass jar for daily use.

    Is that a plausible process?

    Thanks a lot!
  • dencaldencal -
    edited July 2019

    Well yes, no problem with that approach.

    Geneva does not need any medium. Can be thinned with medium. Can be thickened with absorbing oil out on paper, leaving to set up a bit, or adding impasto gel.

    Old Holland is pretty stiff out of the tube. Add SDM to adjust viscosity to a tomato ketchup consistency.
    The test is that a blob will fall off the mixing stick within a few seconds as Mark demonstrates.

    When not using Geneva I mix the stock W&N water mixable paints, Artisan, BU,UMB,TW,CYL,AC into 75 ml snap caps with SDM. Remains useable for years. Displace the air with glass marbles or argon gas. For each painting I will mix each colour group value into 10 ml snap caps using my stock colours. Remains useable for about six weeks.

    Glass jars are fine, just difficult to find small enough jars with good closures and seal.

    None of this is critical or essential. Many artist like using the thick out of tube paint, others thin the paint to use a dry brush technique. However, if you want results like Mark gets, then follow his instructions to the letter.

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