Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

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Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby ToneWood » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:01 pm

I've been translating some of Jogge Sundqvist's text on using artists oil paints on wood. Having waded through some pretty obvious background information, I thought it might be worth sharing a few of the more key passages here:

[The following refers to applying Artists' Oil Paints from tubes onto wood & is my interpretation - which might be wrong]

...Since the paint is applied thinly, directly onto the wood without primer, it takes incredibly little of it. If one wants to increase the surface gloss, add a little raw, cold-pressed, oxidized linseed oil, to make the color richer. But be careful to test it first. The pigments require different amounts. If we add too much oil, the surface coating will become mottled and wrinkled(/runny?). To cover a surface, paint several thin layers.

Use a stenciling brush to distribute the color. Dab small amounts of color on the surface to distribute it in an even layer, so that the wood shows through. The brush is laborious but gives a fine result. With this technique, it is difficult to paint at adjacent edges. There you may want to distribute the color with an ordinary brush. It is important the color is spread uniformly and thinly over the entire surface. The final coat is applied with long brush strokes, lengthwise.

The drying times are different for all pigments. However, one can add drying agents (siccatives). But driers are not healthy, because they contain lead. An excessively high proportion of siccative can deteriate the properties of the colors and cause crackling/cracking/tearing. 1-2% siccatives is the correct amount. You can thin the paint with turpentine ("turps"). Exercise caution by adding the turps dropwise. Too much turps deteriorates the binding properties of linseed oil. Always test on a piece of wood of the same species and surface texture.

If I mix colors, I use the "Oljemalarens Färghandbok" (oil painters' Color Guide), which shows several examples of color mixtures. This book is very useful in achieving the right shades. Best to mix your color in plastic film roll canisters. They can be stored for a while.

...
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby ToneWood » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:45 pm

This section was a challenge, what with Zug, Ändern, Flammen (German speakers: corrections/clarification?) - and some, at first, very odd sentences, think I got the gist of most of it in the end though:
Various Techniques
You can also learn to paint with the binder egg-oil tempera. One part egg (yolk & white), one part linseed oil and one part water. The water is mixed in a ... (German: Zug) tray/container(?) with egg and oil. That's fresh produce, but it can be kept for several months in the refrigerator. Mix pigment with tempera in a mortar to a viscous paste, which is later diluted. Tempera is incredibly durable and, with use, obtains a high gloss. But it has a long drying time, it can take up to a year to dry fully. Those that want the colour to "set", that is to dry quickly on the surface, rather than be sucked into it, can prime the surface with unmixed tempera. Try painting with stencils, blob painting, marbling techniques, Change(?), flames(!), stamps - the techniques are varied and exciting.


That's all that I'm planning to translate here, enjoy!
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby mstibs » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:05 am

ToneWood wrote:Zug, Ändern, Flammen (German speakers: corrections/clarification?)
Various Techniques
Change(?), flames(!)


I guess, the first means "mix water/oil/egg in one go" , the second "flame painting techniques". Hard to tell when translating EN-DE-EN but from the content it makes sense.
Saxons. Were good wood-turners, they had to be because they were poor potters...from "A Short History of Woodturning with the Pole-lathe" by Brian G. Howarth; My bilingual (de/en) Blog: http://mstibs.wordpress.com
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby roosstoi » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:11 pm

owning the book I took a closer look at your second wish for a translation:
the german word has been "aedern" not "aendern".
I dont know this specific technique of painting but the word is the verbal form of the noun "Ader"
translated: vein, whatever kind of painting this could be?
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby ToneWood » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:10 pm

Vein? That could be a variant of marbling I suppose. Hang on, did we both get it wrong, the word is " Ädern" (last sentence P57).
Thanks both of you BTW ;)
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Using W&N Artisan oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby ToneWood » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:54 pm

I just painted a carved spoon handle with artists' oil paint. I used Winsor & Newton "Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour Beginners Set". I have another v.cheap set of regular oil colors but opted to use the Artisan oils because you can clean-up with just water - v. nice feature :).

ImageOn Amazon: On AWinton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Paint Starter Set. Shop around, they often go on sale. Check your local art store (no shipping charge)/ebay.

Jogge suggests using a stencil brush, so I used an inexpensive medium sized one from a local art shop (~£2.50, ProArte, Series 5B, Stencil, Large), which work well -- anything would do though. A stencil brush is like one of those thick, stumby kindergarten brushes they give to small kids to use but with the tip cut-off flat (I may try that, we have some :D). Afterwards, I was able to wash the brush out with water, then soap and water to finish.

ImageYou don't need anything fancy, short bristles is probably an advantage - less to clean :D.

I was planning to paint the spoon handle Sap Green, which is a normal warm sort of green. However, unlike the cheapo set, the small Artisan set only had Phthalo Green - which (like Viridian) is a powerful, ugly (I think), artificial, blue-green, intended presumably for mixing. So I added some cadmium yellow pale hue (i.e. cheap, stable synthetic pigment not real, poisonous cadmium), quite a lot, to get a nice bright mid-green.

Drying time depends on the pigment - for the ones I used, it should be dry to the touch in around 5 days - but 6-12 months to fully dry!
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby AlexanderTheLate » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:20 pm

Speaking as a watercolorist, You really want to mix all pre-packaged greens. All paints/ pastels are all formed from the same basic pigments, so if you go to a supplyer's website, you should be able to find their mixtures listed, and could easily emulate their colors cheaply. On the subject of drying time, could you use acrylic paint? It drys much faster and is also cheaper.
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oil, watercolor, acrylic & enamel paints

Postby ToneWood » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:07 pm

Excellent. I do a little watercolor painting too. I was hoping to use Sap Green - which I like - so that I could use a consistent color for several items. However, I am not overly concerned as a little inconsistency or even contrasting color can be quite interesting, and is in-keeping with the craft "vibe". Yes, mixing too many pigments leads to muddy colors. You can get guide books & wheels for color mixing. I have a little book that I really like and use for watercolor inspiration - not really to get specific colors but more to see what colors and effects (particularly granulation) are available - I found some quite surprising.

Couldn't find the one I have but this looks similar & has the advantage of covering acrylics & oils as well as watercolors:
Image Image
The Art of Colour Mixing: Using Watercolours, Acrylics and Oils / Colour Wheel

Acrylics might be worth a try but I've used them for fishing lures, fins & marker buoys and found the paint scratched off rather too quickly (off the lures & fins), which surprised and disappointed me. I found artist oils and, particularly, oil-based exterior house paint to be far more robust. However, my wife (who paints with all manner of materials) thinks the artists oil paints will probably scratch off too when spoon is used, unless varnished - we'll see, as I don't plan to use varnish. Jogge doesn't mention varnish (as far as I can tell). It's an experiment.

Enamel paints might be worth a try. I found enamel paint scratches rather easily when dried at room temperature (less than acrylics though) but apparently it becomes very hard and tough if dried in a warm oven - I plan to try that with an old metal paintbox that I am restoring.
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby Davie Crockett » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:41 pm

I hate being a wet blanket, but could I offer a word of caution regarding paint pigments. Many of the colours are formed by reacting metal oxides with chemicals to obtain a "Fast" pigment or one that is resistant to fading.

Metal oxides, particularly Cadmium, Chromium, Nickel and Barium are known to cause cancers and birth defects.

Please look out for the manufacturers Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDA) to identify potential poisons before using them on things that could come into contact with foodstuffs.
Here's an example: http://cdn.dickblick.com/msds/DBH_01728XXXX.pdf

Find your paint manufacturer here: http://www.dickblick.com/categories/watercolors/#artistwatercolors Under the Artists Watercolours header. Click on the relevant manufacturer, then the picture of the paint type you are looking up. The MSDS info is obtained from the Image Icon.
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby ToneWood » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:55 am

Yes that's true, we've been through that already on a couple of other threads (search: chromium or cadmium), in connection with paints & leather tanning (with links to W&N data sheets). That's why I mentioned using a cadmium hue above - for artists paints, hue is short-hand for "not the real pigment but a cheaper modern synthetic replacement" - and that cadmium can be poisonous. BTW I only paint the handle, not the bowl or stem, just as Jogge does; even in a large, deep pan, the painted portion would be entirely outside of the pan.
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby AlexanderTheLate » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:02 pm

If you are only painting the handle, acrylics should work, as the paint is not going to get wet. What I meant about mixing, is that you could find out from the suppler what pigments go into their paints, then by the dry pigment cheaply in bulk, then mix the colours your self with linseed oil (Robin Wood's paint tutorial) and probably save a living fortion on 'artist's quality' paint.
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby ToneWood » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:21 pm

Ah, yes Robin's excellent paint thread, I'd forgotten about that - it was thought provoking, I need to read it again. I was thinking of trying that for a larger project (e.g. doors & window frames, perhaps on a shed/garage to start with). The egg based paint is quite interesting too. Perhaps you could even source the modified linseed (or safflower) oil used to make water-mixable oils paints.

BTW I think acrylic paints are waterproof, once dry - and, like my water miscible oil paints, the brushes wash clean in water :). Worth a try.
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby AlexanderTheLate » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:53 am

Yes, I am fairly sure acrylic paint is water-proof: I remember a fishing lure I painted with it, I do not recall the faint coming off, but the lure did not get much use unfortionately (8 lbs line, with a fish pulling 9), so I cannot be certain.
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby Doftya » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:31 pm

This thread reminded me of a post on a whittler's blog. I looked it up, and he had turned it into a pdf. It's about mixing artist paints and lindseed oil. The blog is found at http://www.woodbeecarver.com and the pdf can be found in the right hand menu under 'Painting Softly'. I have yet to try it myself, but it is very similar to what has already been mentioned here.
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Re: Using artists oil colours (paints) on wood

Postby ToneWood » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:36 pm

I notice he uses "boiled" linseed oil - probably not a good idea for eating utensils (at least the parts in contact with food/mouth) as the "boiling" is usually chemical these days. But the same could be said of the pigments themselves.
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