Hello, I noticed one of my paintings has what looks like dried drops of sweat. Painting is almost dry. Used DMP medium in the paint. Bummer. What causes this and can I get them off? It's an oil painting on an acrylic primed and acrylic gessoed board. Thanks in advance


  • Hello .
    What clove oil did you use ?
    I read somewhere long back (not here , but i guess on wetcanvas or somewhere that I cant recall right now ) that the clove oil the person used as a part of the medium was water-distilled (and not steam distilled as high quality clove oils are supposed to be ) . which caused 'patches similar to droplets '.

    but someone else could chime in . I am sorry i dont remember the source I read that at but that was long back when I was trying to read up on clove oil extraction procedures .
  • Its steam distilled and a new bottle. I used the same kind previously with no problems.
  • by the way, the drops are sticky like VT
  • Appears to be no paint pigment. It looks dark amber. It's been a while and I dont remember if I oiled out or not. I did adhere to the fat lean rule. and when I do that, I only add the least bit. so, Im not sure. All I can think of, is I might have oiled it out and it's coming through someway. Is there a way to remove it? I'm trying to salvage it.
  • shows what the dogs think. :) this been leaned against the wall in the closet on a shelf with the face side down so dust wont fall on it. looks like tree sap.
  • no. I asked the Gamblin guy. Here's what he said: I am not aware of a single report of any Gamblin painting mediums “sweating” out of a drying paint film.  But clearly these drips are somehow an “expression” of excess medium or resin.  I’m wondering if the clove oil maybe retarded the curing of Venetian Turpentine (a natural resin) resulting in some separation as the surrounding paint film oxidized.  I’m not sure, though. 


    I would recommend removing the drips.  Consider using turpentine on a Q-tip to dissolve away to drips.  You could also start by gently scraping with a single edged razor blade held perpendicular to the canvas surface only on the thickest parts of the drips.  Scrape, do not attempt to slice or cut away the drips.  Then follow up slowly and carefully with turpentine and Q-tips.  A small amount of touch-up painting may be inevitable.

  • SummerSummer -
    edited April 2016
    Do you use Brush Dip?  Either homemade or store bought?  It's important to wipe the dip from the brushes and apply linseed oil to the bristles, and wipe again, before using them to paint with.  I'm thinking that maybe these drips could be the clove oil in the brush dip trying to dry out.    
  • @summer, thanks for asking; yes I use it, but I wipe the excess off pretty well I think. It's never happened before, so I'll just remove them like the Gamblin guy said, and move on the the next one. I might have oiled a spot out too much in that area, I'm not really sure. Im getting old and forget. If I forget, it doesnt bother me, because I wont really know it :)
  • I have had that happen once and it was because of oiling out too much.  BTW oiling out even once is too much as far as I'm concerned. 
  • Folks

    Oiling out is great for rendering a canvas compatible with oil paint on a brush. It needs to be a thin coat to break the surface tension. Best is to apply liberally and remove most of it with a lint free soft cloth, leaving just a sheen.


  • maybe I'll just leave it and call it "character".
  • From a book I'm reading, it says that once a canvas has been oiled, it must be dried horizontally (even after a painting session) as although only a thin layer has been applied it is still viscous and will pull together to form drips.
  • @leke44 Horizontally in the laying it flat sense?  :)
  • Yes, that's my understanding of what the author is saying. Probably a good idea to keep the painting face down too while its drying or enclosed under a cover to keep the dust off, as much as possible, if drying face up.
  • Just thought I would add to my previous comment, don't place a covering directly on top of the canvas when its wet.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited April 2016
    @Kingston @leke44 Thanks for the clarifications.  Speaking of which: This is why I designed the storage rack--for drying paintings and palettes horizontally and even drying varnished paintings for as long as need be.  There is also room for 1 or 2 upright canvasses that can lean up against the legs if necessary.  No more room in the house or anywhere for vertical drying.  "Necessity is the mother of invention."   :)   Here is a pic.  A black king size sheet goes over the whole unit which is now kept in the utility room with good ventilation. 

  • Thanks everyone for you advice. Its greatly appreciated.
  • you can also keep the painting  in sunlight as it will accelerate the drying .  you can keep it in a glass box or something similar to keep out dust and bugs . 
    as long as the pigments are lightfast! (except PR 83 , which is one of the most notorious pigments and is also used in alizarin crimson . (not '' permanent '' alizarin crimson by WnN  )
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