Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Paintings Aren't Drying


I've been painting two weeks with students in oil, and we've been having a great time working out the issues with Sedona's red rocks. If you've not been to Sedona before, the red rocks can be overwhelming - the red jumps out at you, especially against the green junipers, and that's all you see. I do my best in getting the students to understand that the color isn't really as intense as it seems at first glance.

Strangely, my paintings are taking a long time to dry this week. Except for today, when we're having some overcast and showers, we've had above-average temperatures. It's been downright toasty out in the field. I've been stripping off my fleece jacket and just painting in my shirt (and, oh yes, in pants, too.) So, it's a mystery. I'm using Titanium White, and that usually dries fast enough for my needs. But now the paintings are building up on the "wet painting" shelf. I've even had to move some over to the window sill.

Here are a few pictures of the paintings in situ. Hopefully, they'll dry in time for the next workshop so I can make room for more! As they dry, I'll scan them in and talk about them individually.






7 comments:

Helen Opie said...

That is indeed odd: I thought heat hastened the drying of oils...or is there more humidity in hot air? Surely not out in the arrid Southwest!

When they are dry, paint the front edge of that shelf; it is distracting...in all your free time, I'm sure it will get done....

Shelli said...

THe white paint and drying times , has me thinking about recommending
alkyd paints ( at least the white } for the plein air materials list.
Do you have any opinion on Alkyds?

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Helen. We left the front of the shelf unpainted because we like it that way. Shelli - alkyds are certainly an option, and I could go with them if I wished, but I didn't think I'd need them, so I didn't use them. Alkyd white would also be a good choice - it is the white that is the problem, not the other colors. Alkyds are great! I love 'em, especially the Gamblin FastMatte series.

Mark Bridges said...

Nice collection of paintings! If the oil in the white is other than lineseed, ie. poppyseed oil, that might account for it.

Steve PP said...

I use Alkyds all the time for their fast drying time, so useful, especially in a small studio in the winter!

Catherine M said...

Can you post 25 or fewer words about alkyds vs oils? I've looked at them at the art store and wondered...

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Mark and Steve. Catherine, alkyds are modified resin oils that are fully compatible with traditional oils. (E.g. they can be mixed.) You can use OMS to thin them and to clean brushes. Alkyds dry to the touch faster, often within 24 hours. Some alkyds have a stiffer consistency, but it all depends on the manufacturer. Alkyds are great if you want to lay in an underpainting and have it dry quickly or if you like to do a series of glazes and don't want to have to wait weeks between layers.