Posted on Wed 01 Nov 2017
About a year ago I started painting with oil paints on coloured paper and card once again. The reason for this was to save space and also to be able to produce smaller sketches that could be done during an evening after work. Apart from that, I rather like how quickly the first layers dry on the absorbent paper and the rather grainy effect of the top layers as the paint dries. I had started oil painting this way back in school. Of course, there was no canvas there so I used whatever paper and card I could find.
If you paint in oils on board (HDF) and canvas, you’ll know how the colours fade and go dull and grey down as they dry. After just a few weeks some subtle skin tones for example, can look really bland and appear to have lost their true hues.
To remedy this and bring back the full colour, I oil out the paintings with an oil medium on a soft lint-free cloth… but only when the painting is touch dry. The result always brings a pleasant surprise when I watch those original colours reappear. Also, through the oil medium, the sheen of the wet colours returns and remains even when the oil medium is dry. This sheen is more pronounced on work painted on board than on canvas, probably due to the hard surface.
But here is the more interesting bit. Seeing how my bright colours had dulled on the oil sketches I made on paper, I was curious to see if I could oil them out too.
So, I tried a few sketches. It seems to work just as well! Colour and depth is restored! Now I’d better wait a year to see if that little experiment will be damage-free.
Anyone else had any experiences with this?