Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Tip

I am often asked how much drier is supposed to be used with oils. It's difficult to answer because "Oh, a few drops." just doesn't tell the story since the amount relates to how much paint and what colors. This is definitely one of those pictures being worth a thousand words sorts of answers. Ergo, you can click on the picture above for words that are loud and clear.

As you can see, I have my colors laid out on my lovely foil palette and I haven't mixed them up yet. Each of those dark splotches is a drop of cobalt drier. Mine comes in a squeeze bottle with a dropper lid, making it easy to get the right amount every time. To get a half drop, squeeze the bottle until the drop is about halfway out and touch the drop lightly to the paint. Just a bit will flow out. For these mixes, I used two and a half drops for the light mixes on either end, two drops in the second from the left and one drop each in the two dark mixes. Very light, very dark and metallic colors take longer to dry, so they benefit from a touch more drier. In this case, there wasn't enough dark paint to warrant any extra drier.

A word of warning - a little goes a long way! It is better to be cautious when using drier because too much can harm your paint. In any mix, too much may make the paint brittle and unstable. Worse yet, in lighter mixes, the drier can also turn the paint green or yellow! The amounts of drier I used here are plenty to get the paint to dry within 24 hours (much faster actually with this batch), and haven't caused me any problems.

Lastly for the curious, I have a couple more coats of paint to go on the new medallion, so you can expect "real" pictures of Daisy the Fjord soon!


Carol H. said...

Nice tip! I have used cobalt drier a little bit, and always wondered how much other artists used.

I have also used an alkyd medium like Galkyd or Liquin. You can use more of it in the paint, and even create glazes. Supposedly it dries in 24 hours, but I have found that it takes more like 3 days to dry completely.

Becky Turner said...

MEl did you get my email? Im wondering because I sent a bunch out yesterday and should have gotten an answer to most of them...( the others were asking for the address to ship to so its weird I didn't get any answers yet) its about the cure medal?
Rebecca Turner
Becky at solticeart dot com