A Sinking Oil Painting
|A Glossy Finish to Oil Painting|
Known as “sinking,” a patchy oil painting is often due to the oil in the paint being sucked into an absorbent painting surface beneath. The following practices will cause sinking.
- Painting straight onto an unsealed surface, which may be canvas, wood, board or paper.
- Using cheap industrial or household primers to prepare the painting surface.
- Not sizing the painting surface properly, such as over-thinning the primer or gesso, or spreading it too sparingly over the painting surface.
- Using too much solvents with the oil paint mix, such as when applying glazes or oil washes.
The Best Sealant for Oil Painting
The artist need not worry if the painting surface has been properly sealed (or sized). This might be a gesso size, rabbit skin glue or (what I most often use and would recommend) artists’ primer, or acrylic polymer primer. This is sometimes labelled “gesso,” which is confusing, but acrylic polymer primer is a white water-based paint that dries water resistant, providing a tough, waterproof seal onto which the oil paint can sit. Applying the primer with a wide brush and allowing it dry before applying a second coat is all that is required. The great thing is, the paint brushes can be washed in warm soapy water afterwards without having to use solvents.
Oiling Out Dull Patches in an Oil Painting
However, if the fault lies with an absorbent painting surface or insufficient sizing, the artist may “oil out” the painting by a simple process:
- Firstly, allow the oil painting to dry thoroughly. This will take at least six months.
- Dribble a little linseed oil onto a dry, clean, soft cloth.
- Gently apply the linseed oil onto the dull areas by using soft strokes. This will help nourish the parched area with fresh oil.
- Allow the oil on the painting to dry for a few days.
- If the dry patch returns, repeat the process.
- Several applications might sometimes be necessary, particularly if the painting support is very absorbent.
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Which Oil Painting Varnish
Most artists use gloss varnish for oil painting. This will certainly rid of the dull patches. But if the artist does not wish for a high gloss, as is often the case with abstract art or contemporary art, matt varnish or even satin (a finish somewhere between gloss and matt) can be used. In both cases, the patchy appearance of an oil painting will disappear once the varnish has been applied.
Advice on Oil Painting Remedies