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Mediums, Diluents, Varnishes & Solvents » Oil »

Archival Oil Mediums, Gels & Solvents


Archival Oil Mediums are alkyd-based mediums compatible with all types of artists' oils. While you don't HAVE to use mediums to be able to paint with any oil, knowing which medium to use can improve your results dramatically and make working with oils more controllable. The 600 year old tradition of oil painting would be hard to imagine if mediums were not available. The Old Masters made their own. The images and descriptions shown below will help you to identify the benefits and uses of Archival Mediums.

Special Mediums
Artists whose technique depends on a particular medium and who wish to use Archival Oils may continue using that medium, as all oil painting mediums are perfectly compatible. In fact, Archival Oils will impart a degree of flexibility into the non- Archival Mediums. The Archival Mediums were developed to help artists with differing techniques and drying requirements. They are created using less toxic solvents so as to reduce the problem of toxic fume accumulation in the studio, particularly those where groups of people are working together in a limited space, sometimes without suitable venti lation. The main source of fumes while painting is the evaporation from the surface area of wet paintings being worked on. Turps based mediums evaporate rapidly into the air space while artists are at work. Most of the solvent in Archival Mediums comes off overnight in the drying racks because the evaporation rate is very slow.

CAUTION: Do not use fast drying mediums on top of slower ones.

Using Archival Outside:
If you prefer to start in oils you will probably prefer a fast medium. Lean Medium is fast and if you underpaint thinly using medium to spread the paint and build tone from dark to light, the evaporation rate of Lean Medium will cause your first layer to "tack up " quickly and you will be able to apply thicker paint in the same working session. This is a typical outdoor painting technique that will help you to avoid muddy overmixed colours.

Using Archival in the Studio:
-If you work in a studio situation you may prefer Classic medium which has a slower evaporation rate.
-This also prevents build up of fumes in the studio and gives you a longer open time (i.e. working time before the painting tacks up.) The actual drying time is about the same and thinnish layers can be built up from day to day.)

Adapting to New Mediums:
-Fast Lean Medium behaves much like a turpentine-based medium and tacks up in the same time frame.
-Classic Medium does not tack up and therefore you need to use fewer mediums, only enough to loosen the consistency during a painting session.

NOTE: 4 Litre Odourless is not being sold as it is cheaper to buy the 1 Litre.

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