Friday, May 16, 2014

Using Oil Instead of Retouch Varnish

As oil paint dries on canvas, it will become matte and "flat", making it difficult to continue painting with fresh paint. This is normal and all quality oil paints will go through this change. The darks especially will become sunken in, and the blacks will become gray as you can see in the image below.

It is quite common for artists to use retouch varnish to "bring back" the matte areas before painting further, but I do not recommend using any type of varnish until your painting is completely finished. Varnish between layers of paint can lead to many problems down the road as the oil paint continues to dry over the years.

So instead of retouch varnish, you can use a bit of refined linseed oil, which is very easy. I just posted a new video demonstrating how to do this: oiling out paint that's drying

— Mark Carder
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