The three primary colours in the Artists' Oil Colour range are Transparent Yellow, Winsor Blue [Red Shade] and Permanent Rose. These colours are the best selection when only three colours are used. We recommend Winsor Lemon, Winsor Yellow, French Ultramarine, Winsor Blue [Green Shade], Permanent Rose and Cadmium Red when using a six colour mixing system.
The whites in Artists' Oil Colour ensure that artists have the widest possible array of choices, as in every other part of the spectrum. Because of its paler colour and lessened tendency toward yellowing, most of Winsor & Newton's whites are milled with Safflower oil.
Flake White Hue
The long drying time of Artists' Oil Colour is also a key feature of oil painting. The colour remains soft and wet for a few days and therefore allows corrections to be made from day to day.
All colours will become touch dry in thin films in 2-12 days. The different reaction of each pigment when mixed with oil results in the different dry rates. Each colour is individually formulated to optimise its drying rate, which helps artists to avoid the problems of slow drying underlayers. However, the following list is a guide to the likely variations:
|Permanent Mauve [manganese]
Winsor Blues and Greens [Phthalocyanines]
|Winsor Blues and Greens [Phthalocyanines]
Cobalt Violet and Greens
Mars colours [synthetic iron oxides]
Permanent Alizarin Crimson
|Winsor Yellows and Orange (arylides)
Liquin Original is the perfect medium to speed the drying time of oil colour. It will speed the drying by approximately 50%.
Safflower whites are not recommended for extensive underpainting or as a primer. When oil colours dry, the paint film undergoes a number of dimensional changes, increasing and decreasing in weight as different chemical reactions occur.
Semi-drying oils, such as safflower and poppy oil, undergo greater dimensional changes than linseed oil. While a safflower oil based white is perfectly appropriate for use in normal applications and mixing, it is not suitable for use with underpainting. The movement of the film can lead to cracking the layers applied above.
For underpainting, we recommend Underpainting White - Titanium pigment ground in linseed oil which is recommended for under-painting or extensive layering with white. It has added texture to assist adhesion of later layers and is fast drying.
"Hue" means colour and indicates that a modern pigment has been used instead of the traditional one. For example, 'Cadmium Red Pale Hue' is a 'colour of cadmium red pale'. A hue colour is not necessarily inferior.
Semi-drying oils, such as safflower and poppy oil, undergo greater dimensional changes than linseed oil. While a safflower oil based colour is perfectly appropriate for use in normal applications and mixing, it is not suitable for use with underpainting. The movement of the film can lead to cracking the layers applied above.
Oiling out is the application of an oil medium to a painting which has sunk (become dull), or lost its oil to the layer underneath. The most common causes for this are an over- absorbent, cheap ground or the use of too much solvent and insufficient or no medium. When the colour is dry, Artists’ Painting Medium should be sparingly rubbed into any sunken areas with a clean cloth.
Wipe off any residue and leave to dry for a day or two. If smaller, dull areas remain, repeat the process until the painting has regained an even sheen. Varnishes should not be used for the purpose of recovering the lustre of a dead painting. For a faster drying oiling out medium, use Thickened Linseed Oil diluted with 50% white spirit (mineral spirits).
Fat over lean is better understood if considered as ‘flexible over less flexible’. When painting in layers, the proportion of medium used in each layer should be increased. The higher proportion of medium makes subsequent layers more flexible and prevents the painting from cracking. This rule has traditionally been kept by adding more and more oil to the solvent used. However, as Liquin is now more commonly used, it is the Liquin content which is increased. There is no need to use oil as well.
When painting with oil colour, artists must adhere to three conventional oil painting rules:
The Winton range has a more uniform consistency than Artists' Oil Colour and is slightly stiffer. It offers excellent retention of brush and palette knife strokes.
There is one main benchmark for brushes that are used with thick or viscous colour; the thicker the colour, the stiffer the brush needs to be. A heavy paint like oil requires a brush with enough resilience to manipulate the colour with complete control.
However, a colour that has been thinned will need softer tuft (e.g. soft hair or filament) and a colour that has been thinned to a fluid consistency needs a brush with flow control (e.g. synthetic or natural hair brush such as sable).
Varnish is desirable for two key reasons: one, to bring the surface to a uniform gloss level (matt or gloss or somewhere in between), and; two, for protection from dust and other atmospheric contaminants.
Varnishes are used to protect the finished painting. Picture varnishes should be removable so that paintings can be cleaned when they have become dirty.
There are two important things to remember about varnishes:
Here are eight simple steps to varnishing success:
1) Use a 1”- 4” flat wide, soft, tightly packed, varnishing brush (such as the Winsor & Newton Monarch glazing/varnishing brush). Keep it clean and use it only for varnishing.
2) Place the work to be varnished flat on a table - do not varnish vertically.
3) Apply the varnish in 1-3 thin coats, rather than 1 thick coat. A thick coat will take longer to dry, may dry cloudy, drip or sag during application and has a greater chance of showing brush strokes when dry.
4) Thinned varnish is more susceptible to producing bubbles. Do not be vigorous in your application.
5) Apply in long even strokes to cover the surface top to bottom while moving from one side to the other. While working, inspect the varnish layer at all angles for bubbles. Even them out immediately.
6) Once you leave an area, do not go back over areas that you have done. If you do, you risk dragging partially dry resin into wet, which will dry cloudy over dark colors. If any areas were missed, allow to dry completely and re-varnish.
7) After varnishing, it is recommended that the surface should be shielded from dust with a protective plastic film “tent”.
Dip a lint-free rag in solvent such as Winsor & Newton Artists' White Spirit, and rub gently on the painting surface. If colour shows, additional drying time is needed. If not, your painting is ready to be varnished.
If the painting is particularly valuable then it should be take to a conservator.
Otherwise, the best product to use would be our Distilled Turpentine.
Dip a lint free cloth into the turps and gently rub the surface of the painting. Start in a corner. The varnish should come off onto the cloth. If any colour can be seen on the cloth then you should stop. Working in small squares, proceed across the entire surface of the painting. It is best to keep using fresh pieces of cloth as this aids lifting the varnish rather than spreading it.