Wednesday, February 25, 2009

studio products medium demo

This is the first part of the demonstration using the Studio Products 3 part medium kit.

This is basically a very loose sketch where I just want to have a little infomation to "build" my painting on. I used the #1 underpainting medium with a mixture of earth tones for my underpainting. This dries very matte ( and REALLY quickly ) and will be receptive to my second / third / fourth... layers where I block in some shape and color. The underpainting should be "lean" (as in it should have as little oil as possible) in order to have it dry quickly and so that you have a strong paint layer to build upon. Each layer should have slightly more medium ( containing oil- the "fat" part ) than the last. The point of this being that you don't want to paint over layers of paint that dry slower than ones on top of them ( this will eventually lead to cracking).

Now a word on safety:

This medium does contain lead. Now, I know you're supposed to flail your arms and say "Danger, Will Robinson" whenever we hear the "L" word, but seriously there are some things to consider here. First, I have kids, a little dog ( who doesn't need ANY more problems), and a family around me a lot. Do you know how I keep them from getting any of the negative toxic effects of using some of these materials?


If you take some relatively minor precautions, you can work with all of these materials safely. Wash your hands. Don't eat or smoke around your painting, and work in a well ventilated area. Turpentine can be absorbed through clean skin, but its the only solvent that will dissolve Damar ( OMS won't and really shouldn't be included in your medium either ). So...


Flake White causes testicular cancer ( they actually print these very words on the label), but is a totally invaluable white to have in your palette. So...

DON'T RUB FLAKE WHITE OIL PAINT ON YOUR ... Oh, wait... you can get the cancer through other methods of absorption. Just be careful with it.

Anyhow, that's my thinking on painting safely. I think the lengths that Robert Gamblin and M. Graham have gone to in order to make oil painting safer are wonderful ( alkyd mediums are still petroleum based, so... ). I think that their paints and mediums are fantastic regardless of the added safety, and I use them. I do also think that an oil painter should have as many products at his disposal as possible in order to make the best work , and the "old master" materials and methods are too important to discard in an effort to make things totally "safe" ( which is not the case with ANY oil painting supplies... AT ALL). If an individual is too stupid to follow some pretty simple precautions, I think they might feel more comfortable using the family of products from the Crayola family. Pin It Now!