W&N Artist's painting medium

Hello friends, hope everyone is having a blast during the holidays.

Guys I use a small amount of liquin in my paints as the only medium. I love it but only except a small shortcoming, which is that after about 5 hours the paints get tacky and is not usable. The workaround could be adding a very tiny amount of linseed oil to bring back the flow as there's already linseed oil in the paint anyways. However, that brings another concern of maintaining "fat over lean" coz next day I won't need the linseed oil on liquin on the first 5 hours of painting. 

That above lead me to try stand oil which I have a huge attraction for its features like enamel like finish, non-yellowing nature, smoothing out of the brushstrokes. Winsor and Newton make a premixed stand oil medium essentially mixed with solvent and is quite popular, called "Artist's Painting Medium". It would help me a lot if anyone can share their experience using it especially the drying time or the time to get the surface of paint tacky to accept next layer. 



  • dencaldencal -
    edited December 2022

    Liquin is a modified soy oil designed to dry oil paint in about 24 hrs. Not a ‘shortcoming’, Liquin is doing its job. Suggest exploiting the benefits of Liquin for layers and glazes.

    Can’t help with ‘Artists Painting Medium’. I have used stand oil and solvent. Good stuff. With no Liquin involved I would expect 2 to 3 days for earth tones, 5 to 7 days for red and blue and 7 to 10 days for yellow and white. This is very dependent on temperature, humidity and ventilation in your studio.


  • edited December 2022
    dencal said:

    Liquin is a modified soy oil designed to dry oil paint in about 24 hrs. Not a ‘shortcoming’, Liquin is doing its job. Suggest exploiting the benefits of Liquin for layers and glazes.

    Can’t help with ‘Artists Painting Medium’. I have used stand oil and solvent. Good stuff. With no Liquin involved I would expect 2 to 3 days for earth tones, 5 to 7 days for red and blue and 7 to 10 days for yellow and white. This is very dependent on temperature, humidity and ventilation in your studio.


    Thanks, Denis, for the insight.

    I like liquin but the only issue is its less open time that's why I want to try other options.

    The drying time of stand oil sounds a bit longer for me, maybe there are any other options where the drying time isn't too slow, and the yellowing factor is less as well? Right now, I am also watching some videos on different linseed oil preparations and their characteristics. Hopefully something will come up. 

    Another query which came up my mind is, once the stand oil is touch dry and since it dries ot an enamel like finish as I read is it possible to pint over the dried layer? I mean, will the new paint stick on the dried stand oil surface or will slide off?
  • osiosbon

    I have used walnut oil with varying amounts of clove oil as a brush cleaner/dip and paint thinner. Works well.

    I tend to follow Mark’s instruction by painting in single layers so interlayer bonding ain’t an issue.
    However, subsequent layers of oil paint should bond well with dry stand oil mixed paint. Just add a tich more medium.

    There are many examples of polymerised oil sticking like glue to smooth surfaces.
    Try getting old oil spots off a glass backsplash behind the stove, or set up paint on the palette. Both operations need a razor scraper.

  • @osiosbon I began with the impression we were supposed to use medium. I now know it isn't required and usually isn't necessary. There is usually no need for medium if you're using artist quality paint. It will already have the correct pigment loading for painting, glazing and scumbling without any medium added. If we add medium we are reducing the pigment loading. Smaller amounts of medium are ok. Some people still like to use it for more flow or for special purposes. You'll get different views online and from others, this has come from my research into art conservation expertise and I've found it to work (eg, I now glaze without medium).
    Liquin is alkyd based (modified soy oil as Denis pointed out), so designed among other things to accelerate drying like alkyd paints (oil paints with alkyd instead of linseed oil). If you want to use stand oil use only the smallest amount. It's good for pigments such as umbers that tend to dry dark, but some risk you end up with a glossy surface with limited tooth for the next layer.
  • I agree with @Abstraction, but my agreement differs in that it comes from ignorance.

    Since I did not understood mediums when I began oils, I bought a lean and a fat from one company.   I was not enamoured with them and still have the original bottles to this day.
    Instead, I just use paints straight from the tube, regardless of how many layers I do (the initial blocking in stage has some odorless turps).

    The only time I may add a touch of anything is a bit of stand oil for making a mist if I need to add it over existing paint, (having changed my mind partway through a painting).  I use stand oil since I already have it for dull (Raw Umber) areas of paintings, using it to oil out the dull patches.   Since that seems to be a time honoured way of dealing with that problem (?), it stands to reason it can be painted over. 
     I keep my palette in a air tight container with a bit of wood soaked in walnut oil to slow any skin layer or hardening of paint on it.   On the rare occasion I use stand oil, the paint is too tacky to use by the next day.  Sometimes it is too tacky to use within hours.  I am too scotch to buy Liquin to use once every 8 or 10 paintings, and hence have never tried it.
  • @toujours Oiling out for a final layer can create problems mentioned below - it should only be done to sections you plan to immediately paint over. I was going to make some points but these are better expressed by Sarah Sands from Golden Paints and I commend the Just Paint site (run by Golden Paints and related to their research) and newsletter to anyone interested in technical stuff:
    [Excerpts only. The excellent article also goes into causes for dead spots (absorbent grounds, solvent use, thin applications of paint, certain pigments).]

    Oiling Out and the Cause of Dead Spots in Oil Paintings


    If possible, repaint a sunken-in area with the same or similar color but this time add a small amount of a bodied oil, such as Stand Oil, which should prevent any further sinking in and, as a result, should dry with a soft but even sheen.

    Oiling Out

    When repainting is not possible or practical, one can apply a small amount of a drying oil only to an area you plan to work into, making sure to wipe off any excess. Preferably use the same oil or medium found in the paints or in that section, applying as little as possible and using only enough to even out the sheen. Never extend this treatment to the painting as a whole, or to areas that will not be painted over in that day’s session. Doing so can create problems with adhesion and the eventual darkening and yellowing of those areas.
    a) Never use it as a final layer because it will yellow (no pigment with it!) and can create a 'gloss' layer
    b) Only do so where you are about to paint again immediately on the parts you are about to paint and wipe it back.

    Mediums or Oils as a Final Layer

    DO NOT USE. More than any other practice, this is likely the worst option as it introduces a permanent layer of oil that will only darken and yellow with time and with few treatment options available to reverse this condition. Also, should you need to paint on it further, the dried layer of oil or medium could cause issues with adhesion, beading, and potential problems with cracking in the future.(Sarah Sands).
  • @Abstraction, thank you so very much for posting all the above.   I am sure a lot of us will benefit from reading it.
  • Thanks everyone for your inputs, makes the forum really meaningful.

    I dont use medium unless absolutely necessary. I've used only liquin as medium so far, and have kept the amount within 25% max of paint volume. Now like I said earlier, the open time of liquin on palette being a tad too small for me, I was eager to try out other options probably more traditional ones. I summarized the following characteristics of different drying oils:

    Refined linseed oil - 
    Features: Purest form of linseed oil, and workhorse for day-to-day use. Decreases consistency, improves gloss and transparency, increases drying time, can yellow over time. (Using the word drying instead of polymerization to simplify)

    Cold pressed linseed oil - 
    Same as refined linseed oil except dries faster.

    Bleached linseed oil - 
    Same as refined linseed oil except yellows less. Dries faster than refined linseed oil. 

    Drying linseed oil - 
    Same as refined linseed oil except drier added to it. Fastest drying linseed oil.

    Stand oil -
    Many says as best form of linseed oil for painting, as it is amazing for detail work and glazing. Should be used diluted with various amount of OMS or solvents as per need. Decreases consistency, improves gloss and transparency, imparts enamel like finish when dry, self-levels brushstrokes, least yellowing of linseed oils. Really slows the drying time. 

    Thickened linseed oil - 
    Similar to stand oil yet yellowing factor is there. Dries faster than bleached linseed oil.

    I haven't included poppy, safflower and walnut oil I am not looking for those being less of binder than linseed oil. However, as its evident the various drying oils have different characteristics as per need and there's no best option. I guess I might go with stand oil to try with probably premixed one. Hopefully Id like it. Id let you all know how it went. 

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