Saturday, October 22, 2011

Oils Value Chart

The panel was finished up today. All together, there are two coats of Golden GAC 100 front and back, and three coats of Golden Gesso on the front and one on the back.

Using Munsell value chips (2-9) and a few oils, I practiced mixing values and applying with palette knife. I started with a brush and soon found it quite a waste of time, once I realized that mixing took place with the palette knife and not the brush.

Paints used are:
  • Gamblin Radiant White (Titanium Dioxide; Safflower Oil)
  • Wiliamsburg Ivory Black (Amorphous Carbon; Linseed Oil)
  • Holbein Peach Black  (Aniline Black and soot from lamp; not sure but probably Linseed)

Safflower or poppy oil is sometimes used with white to reduce the slight yellowing of linseed oil, so this Gamblin white will push the very high end of white in the Munsell scale, perhaps as high as 9.75. (In fact, some oil brands are mixed exclusively with a non-linseed oil.)

Holbein's Peach Black is known as one of the blackest blacks, pushing the low end of Munsell down to 0.5.

I'll be picking up an extended Munsell value chart that better displays values. It presents in quarter values with, for deeper blacks, a glossy finish.

And lastly, there's a Natural Pigments order on the way: earth oil paints and grinding oils.

Having a stock of dry pigments is so exciting! With an appropriate binder (gum arabic, egg yolk, linseed oil) I can produce watercolors, egg tempera, and oil paints, all from the same material.


  1. Sometimes it pays to read the instructions first (speaking from a similar experience).

  2. Well, sometimes reading only gets me so far. I have to do a bit and read a bit and then it comes together for me. Regardless, I am having a lot of fun experimenting with this new medium! :-)