Updated: Feb 8, 2022
Rad Educators is a 1-year program intended to help beginner artists learn step-by-step techniques from professional artists across different mediums. This is in no way sponsored or promoted by any particular Art Brand.
Nilisha Phad is Rad Educator for Oil Painting - Portrait.
Oil paintings, if preserved in the right way , can become important mediums of documenting long lost history . Oil medium stays intact for decades if handled in a technically sound manner.
In this tutorial, I am sharing my knowledge of preserving an oil painting and the factors which decrease the life of a painting .
Certain factors which can harm your painting in the long run are :
Mixing certain transparent and opaque colours together, causing the colour to become ‘dull’ .
Mixing the colour too much on the colour palette, causing excessive friction between the brush and the palette. Colours applied with a knife retain freshness longer .
Keeping the paintings in a place where there is moisture can cause the paintings to get affected with fungal growth.
Layering two different mediums such as water based (acrylics) and oil based mediums in a painting can cause peeling after a certain time.
Not using appropriate ratio of linseed oil and turpentine can cause the painting to go dry.
To preserve an oil painting , following are the things that one should keep in mind :
When preparing shades while painting , mix the colours with a palette knife to retain their freshness.
Making sure that turpentine or any other spirit based mediums don’t get mixed with the colour and damage it.
Keeping the painting in a dry place away from moisture. Incase of fungal growth, wipe the painting with a ‘dry’ cloth.
Certain varnishes and mediums can be used to further ensure that the painting is well preserved. For this purpose , I often use the ‘Liquid Gel’ by Winsor and Newton.
However, before using the gel, it is important that the painting is completely dry . A partially dried painting can get affected due to the gel.
Also, a gloss / Matt varnish spray by Winsor and Newton works well for this purpose.
Lastly, using a good quality canvas which is appropriately primed is important and largely contributes to how long the painting will last. Linen canvases tend to have long lasting archival properties .
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