Monday, July 20, 2009

Otto and the paintmaker

Howard and Daniel

I still can't get over the fact that some of the finest oil paint available is made a mile from my house at the Howard Daniel company. I got to see my pal Max Howard make a batch, and I have to say, It's WAY MORE WORK than I ever imagined. The Ralph Mayer handbook shows you how to mix up a batch of your own paint from scratch, but it's really an involved process if you want any level of consistency in your materials.

The milling process of oil paint manufacturing

First, The finely ground pigment is mixed with a carefully measured and balanced amount of linseed and safflower oils. Next, a "test run" is made by sending a small amount through a special milling machine that mixes the compound into paint.

Oil paint coming out of the mill

Once, the paint comes out with the perfect blend of sheen and body then you run the properly balanced mixture through the mill.

Oil paint ready to be tubed or shipped by the gallon

This is actually a blue, and is so rich in pigment that it actually looks black. The finished oil paint is then ready to be shipped by the gallon...

Tubes of Studio Products oil paint

or "tubed".

I'm getting started on some new paintings this week. I've spent the last couple of weeks preparing surfaces and I'm ready to get working. Pin It Now!