New kid on the block

Hello guys
I have started painting recently coming from a photography filmmaking background. I am totally addicted and been really enjoying Mark's videos. Found my way here.

I bought an assortment of some artist oil colours (old holland, harding, sinnelier, blockx, while I practised with acrylics. I would love to get the Geneva paints and will check the forum for reviews. Looks amazing. Just wondering should I wait till my current tubes are finished? Can they all be mixed? How can I make the current paints similiar in consistency and drying time etc to benefit from Mark's online course? Should I use oil to mix them down to be silmiar to Geneva paints etc etc.

Thanks everyone and looking forward to engaging with folks here.

By the way there is some insane art on this website. I mean really? That good?


  • edited December 2016
    Hi @symza welcome to the forum and your new addiction! ;)

    "Just wondering should I wait till my current tubes are finished?"  I say get the Geneva Paints and start learning Mark's method with them if you can! They can be used with other paints and can be mixed to the consistency and drying time etc - some of the videos address all that. But - if you can afford to do it and can get them where you live (some here cannot), go for it! The colors are gorgeous.

  • symza

    Welcome to The DMP Forum.

    You can use Mark's formula for Slow Dry Medium (SDM) to alter the drying rate of your oil paint.

    Here is an extract:

    medium recipes

    There are currently no mediums on the market that slow the drying rate of oil paint adequately, so you will need to make it yourself.

    recipe for slow-dry medium (for all colors except titanium white):

    • 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 †

    For burnt umber, you will need extra clove oil. Please watch this video for instructions on how to incorporate the extra clove oil into burnt umber:

    recipe for slow-dry medium for titanium white:

    • 10 parts odorless mineral spirits
    • 1 part stand oil or linseed stand oil
    • 5 parts refined linseed oil
    • 5 parts Venice turpentine *

    Venice turpentine is not at all the same as what is commonly known as "turpentine", a solvent commonly used by artists many years ago (and still used by some artists today). Venice turpentine, on the other hand, is simply tree sap — a thick resin which is thick like honey.

    † Oil of cloves is sold as "clove leaf oil", "clove bud oil", or simply "clove oil" — any of these forms is fine. You may try looking for it in drug stores, health food stores, or from an online supplier.

    Here is a video tutorial on mixing paint with medium:


  • Hi, @symza.
    Welcome to the forum. :)
  • SummerSummer -
    edited January 2017

    @symza I used this method to get the actual ingredients of Mark's SDM recipe into a bottle.  I haven't learned how to do this in LibreOffice Draw yet--but I'm working on it.  The method I used is basically a proportional scale on the side of a bottle using a calculator. First, I re-arranged the numbers into 10, 5, 5, 2, 1, getting a total of 23,  showing me the order in which I would be pouring the ingredients into the bottle.  I purchased one 16-oz straight sided amber Boston round growler bottle from one with the black phenolic cone lined cap.  Then, I assembled a funnel, masking tape, thin, permanent black writing pen, a decimal ruler, and a calculator. I wanted the bottle full, so I measured its length, from where the chemicals inside the bottle would be - from top to bottom - which came to 3 1/2 inches.  I then placed a 3 1/2 inch strip of masking tape along the vertical side of the bottle. I made sure that one end of the masking tape was level with the inside bottom of the bottle and not the physical outside bottom. With the black marker, I drew the increments onto the tape based upon the amounts that I needed for each chemical. 

    With 23 total parts in this recipe, I began to divide the tape into 23 parts.  I planned to pour the biggest amount into the bottom of the jar first because then it would be easier to see the smaller increments at the top. I used a decimal ruler but it could have been a ruler in inches (10ths--not 8ths or l6ths). Or it could have been millimeters. Next, I used a calculator. OMS is the first ingredient and ten of the 23 parts, so, the first mark from the bottom is the result of 10 divided by 23 x 3½ inches = 1.52 inches and then I marked that increment on the tape. Because I am always measuring from the bottom, the next calculation was 15 divided by 23 x 3 1/2 = 2.28 inches. Then I put that increment on the tape. (See why it helps to have a decimal ruler? haha)  I used the same formula for the rest of the increments: 20, then 22, and the last one is 23. Now I poured in the ingredients to their fill lines.  I wore a mask and Nitrile gloves and made sure the chemicals were room temperature before I began.  Hope this will be useful to a few members.  Summer

    It will look something like this:

  • @symza  Welcome in our  support group 'addicted to oilpainting' ! :-)  
  • Guys Just noticed the responses. Thought I'd get an email notification, I didn't. Thanks everyone, and Happy New Year.

    Also it just says December 2016 to denote when the comment was left rather than time and date. Anyhow ... Thanks for the advice. I will have to save up for the Geneva paints. Really want to get my hands on the divider and colour checker too. Thought they'd be a bit cheaper than they are. I have spent all my money on the other artist quality paints and bits and bobs you know so will have to wait a bit. Plus I also fished out a 100 for Alla Prima II. I just couldn't stop. I had to be dragged away kicking and screaming from my credit card by my loved ones. 

    Did you guys go through the DMP course? Any tips on how to make the most of it? Did you work from Mark's reference photos and make the painting Mark demonstrates? When does one get confident enough to apply the method to one's own chosen subject, still and portrait? I guess it's like asking when do you first attempt to swim in the deep water, someone usually has to drag or push.

    At present I am working from my bedroom while looking at some options for a ventilated studio space. Hence practising with acrylics. But can't wait to start to paint with butter.

    @Summer : I will have to read it several times so please hold your breath at your own risk.

    @EstherH : Digging out my 12 step program book tomorrow from the drinks cabinet.



  • symzasymza -
    edited January 2017
    Here is the list of oil paints I have just now ... (I know way too many) ...
    plus the oils and OMS I have bought.

    I have been working with a limited palette in acrylics but as I had saved some money I bought these pigments I  wanted to experiment with, especially in case  later I might not have the dough. I will be starting with limited selections of these for each painting I do. I really would like to start with a monochrome portrait. However I am in the middle of a colour portrait study at my local art class. I am being taught the verdaccio way so I bought a couple of greens to save up on mixing them. There are quite a few whites to see which one I like, and for which areas/layers/stages of the painting.

    My main worry at the moment is not knowing how to really plan with so many variables when it comes to using the medium to stay on the good side of the fat over lean rule. I may not paint every day, or may paint over many days in succession, if I paint some areas one day, should I skip them the next or not? Some paints are slow drying, when to use them with which paint and how much medium, some maybe too stiff, some not so stiff, how much to make them consistent. Geneva seems to take a lot of guess work out. Still I would love to develop my own system with the paints below. I would definitely get Geneva too at some stage, most likely after Feb so I can save up till then. I guess with the slow dry medium that Mark teaches how to make and which you guys have mentioned as well will make the paints stay wet over a longer period, a week, so I can then do DMP course as if I was using Geneva paints.

    Anyhow here is the list of things. Please feel free to comment, suggest, tell me off.

    Zest It Safe Oil Paint Dilutant And Brush Cleaner

    Winsor & Newton Refined Linseed Oil

    Michael Harding Stand OIl

    Clove Bud Oil (To keep colours on my glass palette moist by leaving a cotton bud soaked in clove oil sitting on the palette, like a stay wet acrylic palette)

    I am also getting a litre of W&N Refined Linseed oil turned into sun thickened oil. Will take about a month. We shall see how it turns out.

    1.       Williamsburg: Yellow Ochre 37ml

    2.       Schmincke Mussini Oil Colour 35ml Lemon Yellow (216) / 35ml

    3.       Old Holland Classic Oil Colour 40ml Mars Black / 40ml  

    4.       Old Holland : Classic Oil Paint : 60ml : Ultramarine Blue

    5.       Talens : Rembrandt Oil Paint : 40 ml Tube : Sap Green

    6.       Talens : Rembrandt Oil Paint : 40 ml Tube : Cadmium Orange

    7.       Daler Rowney : Artists' Oil Paint : 38ml : Viridian

    8.       Daler Rowney : Artists' Oil Paint : 38ml : Cobalt             

    9.       Blockx Oil Colours 148 Burnt Umber s.1 35ml

    10.   Blockx Oil Colours 087 Mixed White (Titanium + Zinc) 35ml

    11.   Blockx : Yellow Ochre - 35ml

    12.   Sennelier : Oil Paint : 40ml : Naples Yellow

    13.   Sennelier : Oil Paint : 40ml : Phthalo Blue                           

    14.   Sennelier : Oil Paint : 40ml : Lemon Yellow                 

    15.   Sennelier : Oil Paint : 40ml : Chinese Vermillion              

    16.   Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour Burnt Umber / 37ml

    17.   Winsor & Newton : Artists Oil Paint : 37ml Tube: Underpainting White

    18.   Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour Titanium White / 37ml

    19.   Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour Cadmium Red / 37ml

    20.   Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour Permanent Alizarin Crimson / 37ml                

    21.   Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour Iridescent White / 37ml       

    22.   Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour Flake White Hue / 37ml

    23.   Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour Cerulean Blue / 37ml  

    24.   Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour Yellow Ochre / 37ml

    25.   Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour Violet Diox / 37ml

    26.   Michael Harding Oil Paint Ultramarine Blue / 60ml        

    27.   Michael Harding Oil Paint Terre Verte / 60ml

    28.   Michael Harding Oil Paint Titanium White No 2 (Linseed Oil) / 60ml     

    29.   Michael Harding Oil Paint Raw Umber / 60ml

    30.   Michael Harding Oil Paint Ivory Black / 60ml

    31.   Michael Harding Oil Colour : 40ml Burnt Sienna

    32.   Michael Harding Oil Colour : 40ml Raw Sienna

    33.   Michael Harding Oil Paint : 60ml : Prussian Blue

    34.   Michael Harding Oil Paint: King Blue Deep / 60 ml 

  • symza

    Yes, you need a plan.

    Complete your monochrome portrait.
    Select 2, 16, 18, 20, 26 from above listed pigments.
    Buy some Venetian turpentine. Mix a batch of slow dry medium.
    Buy or make a proportional divider and color checker.
    Build or improvise a shadow box.
    Decide on a couple of simple, side lit, still life objects.
    Get started on DMP using Mark's videos and tutorials.


  • Wow, that's a lot of paint you've collected!
  • The first thing that comes up re Venitian Turp is this
    'Venitian turpentine is used on horses' hooves to toughen the sole.  It creates a barrier to protect against moisture.'

    I don't have a horse. I could try and paint the horse Mark paints in one of the videos using it though. :)

    @Richard_P : If I find out I have no aptitude (Note I didn't use the word talent) then I will use the tubes to paint my room.

    Happy New Year folks !

  • @some  Thanks.  I was thinking that this would have been better as a demonstration video.  Something to think about for the future, anyway.  :)  Summer
  • Geneva holiday gift set with colour checker, propotional divider, and essential palette with black ahs arrived! Also got some wood cut at the loca store to make a brush holder. Life is exciting!
  • Welcome. Watch all the videos before you start. So many of your questions are answered and a second or third viewing will help your confidence. Remember too that Mark's course is designed as a LEARNING METHOD. If you follow the method you will learn how to draw, mix and paint realism.
    FlattysymzaSummer[Deleted User]
  • Thanks BOB73. I have watched Mark's most videos many times. He talks in such a direct and friendly way, maiking a lot of sense. I will try and cultivate patience, attention, arrange proper space and time to be able to get the most out of it. The only thing I don't have is a still life box or a space to put one. Might use a table in the house unless I get some studio type space which I am trying to arrange. Is it beneficial to paint Mark's still life, portrait or one's own?
  • Brush dip is US only so I can't order it from UK. I tried to check prices of safflower oil and clove oil but to get 20-40oz (same as brush dip quantity) buying them separately is so expensive. I mean brush dip is about $18 for 20oz to $32 for 40oz. W&N Safflower oil alone in UK is priced at $8 for 2.7oz (75ml) and $11 for almost 9oz (250ml). I haven't added the walnut oil in there yet. Anyone know of any particular brands I could get for clove and safflower oil? Cheers guys.
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