Retouching oil paintings

24 Feb 2009

Q: What should I use for retouching? Are Liquin and linseed oil compatible on the same canvas?

: There are many products you can use to go back into your oil painting after it has dried. Winsor & Newton’s Liquin, which produces a matte finish, or Sennelier’s Flow ‘n Dry, which produces a glossy finish, are mediums that speed up the drying time of oil paints. Either product can be brushed onto a dry canvas to make it damp. The paint will then have soft edges, and it will be easier to blend new brushstrokes into finished areas. You can also just add one of these mediums to your paint. Linseed oil dries slowly and may yellow. An alternative is a mixture of two parts mineral spirits to one part safflower oil. This mixture can then be brushed lightly over a dry painting to make it damp and offers soft edges when you resume work on your painting. This mixture can also be added to your paint.

--by Camille LaPointe-Lyons

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