Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Water-Miscible Oils

"Spring Shadows" 3x3 oil

"Clouds Over Eastport" 3x3 oil SOLD

I finally had a chance yesterday to play a bit with my Grumbacher Max Oils. These are water-miscible oil paints, which are sometimes misspoken of as "water-mixable oil paints," although they are that, too. I bought five tubes: Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Red Light, Ultramarine Blue and Ivory Black.

I did two paintings, each 3"x3", one indoors looking out and the other in the field. I was quite pleased with my limited test. The paints were fluid enough, just like regular oil paint. They thinned with water - I used only a little water, though, since I usually like to paint right out of the tube with a minimum of medium. And, as promised, brushes and palette cleaned right up with soap and water.

The paintings are still drying, but from all appearances, they look just like they were made with traditional oil paint.

I'm using expensive hog bristle brushes. But natural fibers absorb water, and the brushes can become soft, leading (perhaps) to loss of control when I make a stroke. Also, the soggy fibers will keep the wood beneath the ferrule wet, which could lead to rot. I'll need to switch to synthetics if I continue.

I did have one other concern. I like to cover my palette with plastic wrap and then stick it in the freezer. This keeps the paint from oxidizing and hardening, and it stays fresh for my next session. What happens to the physical integrity of water-miscible oil paint when you put it in the freezer? I sent a note to Grumbacher, who quickly responded that the paints contain no water and freezing them will not hurt them.

More to come as I experiment!


Dot and Ken Hoffman said...

Mike, these are beautiful. I especially like "Clouds over Eastport"....but then, I have a passion for clouds.


Ed Terpening said...

Yes, in my experience, you need to use synthetics with these paints. I think Winsor Newton makes a hybrid brush just for their water-miscible. I found W/N's to be really gummy, acrylic like. I didn't like the way the colors dried.

I also really like that first, loose painting.

Good luck!

donna said...

Ed, was that with the Grumbacher paints or another brand?

donnarose said...

Good Morning
I just started experimenting with water mixable oils also. I did find that when I squeeze onto my palette then mix it with my knife then tend to have a better consistency.
Here is my blog.
I also purchase linseed oil made for the paint. Will experiment with that shortly.
Enjoy your new paint..