I have recently been experimenting, I have been doing monochromatic watercolour style paintings using oil paints and turps on watercolour paper, with and without, gesso.
Has anyone else tried this?
The idea came to me many years ago. I would rough in a painting with burnt umber and turps on a canvas and would love the effect the sepia tones gave the initial forms. I was always disappointed when I then worked with different hues over that underlayer. I felt it was ruining the magic of the initial workings.
Recently I got out some watercolour paper, and started playing around. Using the burnt umber in a wash of turps on the paper. Each time I go over a section a few times, it gets progressively darker. I can leave the white paper behind as highlights. It gives the effect of an old photograph.
I have tried it with a lean medium as well, but this dries shiny and I would have to gloss varnish the entire page to bring it all together as the turps only bits are matt.
I have read that oil paint rots paper. How long does this take to have an effect? I have some oil on non gessoed paper I did 15 years ago, and it seems stable. It lives behind perspex. For the low prices I charge for my works, if they only last for 50 years, does it matter? I will not be around then, nor will my clients. I am not egotistical enough to think my work is so excellent as to warrant being in a museum and existing eons into the future!!
If I gesso the paper, will it stop the rot? Will the paint stick to the paper for 50 years if there is more turps applied than paint (very thin wash)?
Here are some sections of what I have been doing. I would be grateful to read people's thoughts, and ideas as well as anyone with the scientific knowledge behind what I am trying.
Old oil on paper above.
new oil turps mix below
Hope this gives an idea of what I am meaning?
Ed to add..............
I am trying to achieve the runniness of the turps to be like water for watercolours. I had thought the gesso may impede this. I am still undecided. My question is, would the small amount of oil left on the paper after the turps has evaporated (it was suspended in the wash of turps) cause much damage, or is it only thick paint with lots of oil in it?
The way I am working, I think the turps may be destroying the oil and I am left with the powder/pigment suspended in turps.
Probably my main questions are....
Will the turps damage the paper even with gesso?
Will the pigment stick without much oil?
Will spay varnish help it stick the way it does with charcoal?