|Matt or Gloss Varnish?|
Shiny and Matt Oil Paint
Oil by its nature is shiny. Pale colours, particularly titanium white are often blended with sunflower oil, as it is non-yellowing. Most other colours are blended with linseed oil. The high finish of oil paint gives a lustrous and rich finish to oil paint, particularly suited to detailed work and traditional oil painting. When wet the oil painting is particularly shiny. But the artist may notice some oil pigments dry more matt than others, resulting in a patchy appearance.
Although in some cases, this may be due to the oil paint sinking into an absorbent painting support, this is more often caused by the individual nature of the pigments and how they are blended with the oil. However, once coated with varnish, the oil painting will have equal gloss.
How to Get a Matt Oil Painting
The artist may obtain a matt finish to an oil painting in three ways:
- Adding an alkyd medium such as Liquin to the oil paint.
- Using alkyds in place of oils.
- Using a matt varnish once the painting is dry.
Using Alkyds Instead of Oils
The artist may also consider using alkyd paints instead of oil which offer the same properties as traditional oils, but with a quick drying non-lustrous finish. A misnomer, alkyd oils, as they are sometime known, is not really a type of oil paint at all, as the vehicle is a special alkyd resin. It must be borne in mind, that a matt varnish should be applied to an alkyd painting to retain the matt look.
Matt Varnish for Oils
The third option, using a matt varnish for oil painting is the most common option.