Paint touch dry in 2 hours, why?

edited January 15 in Painting
Last night I finally put some paint on a canvas. Within 1 hour my black & 2 dark greys were sticky, touch dry after 2 hours. At this point I stopped painting and started swearing. This is very different to my usual experience of 7 - 10 days working time.

I'm doing some tests but hopefully someone can just say "It is xxx".

Canvas - bought pre stretched triple primed, brown ground applied as per Mark.

Stock paint - Windsor & Newton artist grade, with slow drying medium added per Mark. 15ml clove oil added to burnt umber per Mark. Blue, brown, white made last week. Red, yellow were made August.

Slow dry medium - made 21 May 2022 per Mark. Kept in screw cap wine bottle. Shaken thoroughly before mixing.

Palette paint - mixed Friday, transferred to 7.5ml snap cap pots & stored in fridge.

Brushes - previously dipped in brush dip, wrapped in cling film, stored in fridge. Saturday cleaned in odourless mineral spirits to remove sticky dip. 

The dollops of stock paints on the glass palette are still wet after being stored in a cupboard overnight.

Comments

  • I had this happen as well in the past. It turned out the Gesso I had put on was so absorbent that it sucked the oils out of the paint and made it look touch-dry within a few hours.
    dencalheartofenglandDesertskydewald
  • Thanks @Richard_P

    Sounds reasonable. It felt quite draggy to paint quite quickly.

    If the gesso is to blame I will have to scrap my drawing. I will keep my pain and loss to myself...😫 Lesson learned.

    So from now on I'm going to self gesso my canvases. Any low cost, non-sucking-the-life-out-of-my-paint options in the UK?
  • Not sure how good it is, but I have bought really cheap stuff in the past from somewhere that caters to the general public.   Here in NZ we have a shop called the Warehouse which has reasonably priced everything, from clothes to gardening, to kitchen, to car, to stationary and art/craft.   Even book/stationary shops sell it here.
    I use a large brush and sandpaper, but read today that pumice is better and that a credit card works well to spread the gesso on the canvas.
    Good luck.
  • Hi @toujours

    "Here in NZ we have a shop called the Warehouse which has reasonably priced everything, from clothes to gardening, to kitchen, to car, to stationary and art/craft."

    Sounds like The Range here in the UK. Alladins cave of gems, tat and bonkers stuff.

    I like the idea of wiping. No waste and no clean up.
  • Rather than throwing it, try using acrylic matte medium in several layers over the parts of the canvas without oil on them. If that works you will be able to see the drawing through to continue painting.
  • The canvas is definitely going. I've lost faith in it. I may trace the drawing and transfer to another canvas. It's my first still life using dividers. Very simple but 10ish hours and many redraws.
  • edited January 15
    The canvas is definitely going. I've lost faith in it. I may trace the drawing and transfer to another canvas. It's my first still life using dividers. Very simple but 10ish hours and many redraws.
    45,500 (odd) years ago someone mixed some red earth and soot with animal fat and smeared it on a rock  wall in a form we can still recognise to this day.
    I am not sure how long you are wanting your painting to last?  If I were to hazard a guess, the canvas you are using is in a better prepared condition than the substrate used by that talented artist all those years ago.

    If it were mine, I would finish the painting and use it as a learning experience (an experiment in manipulating paint).   You may be able to achieve some textures and marks that would be impossible in a normal situation.    It could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as a learning opportunity.    Have you wiped it out with stand oil.....?   I understood this is what wiping out is all about?
    tassieguyAtalanta
  • dencaldencal -
    edited January 15
    heartofengland

    Any low cost, non-sucking-the-life-out-of-my-paint options in the UK?
    Yes. Aluminium Composite Material. Can be used with just a light sanding or coated with a tinted metal primer.
    Doesn’t suck.

    Denis





    heartofenglandPaulB
  • Hi @toujours
    I'm doing my first still life from life using Mark's DMP approach. I had reached step 8 "Painting Your First Object". This requires the paint to stay sufficiently liquid that it can be blended... mine did not. This pretty much put an end to this attempt having learned loads.

    How long do I expect it to last... the bin men come every two weeks. I put 100% effort into my art but have learned not to be too precious about the finished article.

    Wiped it out with stand oil... not a part of the DMP approach I am learning, sorry. I've traced the drawing so tomorrow it's OMS time!

    I have an idea of how to recreate a surface with similar paintability properties. It involves a piece of sliced white bread and a toaster 😆 I might suggest it to Tracey Emmin, Damien Hurst or any cavemen I meet 😜

    Onwards and upwards!
  • edited January 16
    @Richard_P
    Your theory is looking spot on.
    Other colours behaved the same when applied to the primed surface by the staples. 
    The original paint is now powdery, zero oil film.
    I can see where the oil has seeped through to the the back of the canvas.


    A huge thanks to you and the rest for solving this. My family will attest to how grumpy I was for 18 hours. Weekend saved!

    @dencal I've added ACM on my to-do list.

    Keep supporting each other🤩
    tassieguydencal
  • That was a good experiment to do, @heartofengland. If the paint seeps through to the back of the canvas it is a serious problem - the oil would cause the canvas to rot. It's definitely not an archival substrate and should not be used for serious work. Hats off to @RIchard_P for figuring out the problem.  :)
  • I agree with Tassie, if oil seeps to the back the canvas will rot and wasn't prepared properly.
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