Technical Musings

This page is a depository for thoughts on techniques and practices that I find interesting and useful in producing art.

Wax Paste Medium
This important medium will allow you to thicken you oil paint to a buttery consistency. It's also useful in stabilising the consistency of oil paints when you prepare them yourself.

Beeswax 1 part, Turpentine 3 parts

Due to the risk of flash-over and burns, do not use an open flame source directly!

Either on an electrical hob, or in a double boiler, gently heat the wax until melted. Then, remove from the heat source and gradually add the turpentine. When adding the turpentine the wax is very likely to solidify due to the turpentine being cold, if so, simply re-heat the mixture after adding the turpentine into the wax. This way the turpentine gets heated for a much shorter period of time, thus greatly reducing the risk of fire. When re-heating the wax/turpentine mixture a lower heat can be used.

This medium has many uses: to make encaustic, to modify the consistency of oil paint, to make emulsions, can serve as a final picture finish, and can even seal ceramic quarry floor-tiles!

Further Remarks
The above given proportions aren’t necessarily exact, they can be changed (adding more turpentine will bring the wax paste towards a more liquidy/fluid consistency. While by reducing the amount of turpentine, the paste will be more stiff/solid). This medium is also useful when making oil paint, adding just a little quantity (say 5% by volume of paint), will help stabilize colors such as Ultramarine blue that tend to become stringy with time