Monday, September 29, 2008

Duo Aqua Oil

Sliced Onion No.3, 2008, oil on canvas, 6 x 6 inches
I was given at work a small box containing four 20ml tubes of Holbein's water soluble oil paint. I've been aware of the existence of this paint for a number of years and have never been intrigued to put them to the test. I guess my pride and snobbery that there's is nothing like "real" oil paint stopped me from trying it out. I heard some thanking modern technology for the birth of this paint, my answer has always been that it has been around for ages in the form of oil and egg emulsion. But what exactly is in this paint that makes it water soluble? That I'm not sure, but with gift in hand I put the four colors to use. I had to make the best of the palette, Alizarine Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Light Yellow, and Titanium White. The paint had a funny smell, I couldn't smell the linseed oil in it, then again I can never smell linseed oil in any of Holbein's oil paints. I dipped my brush in a little bit of water and dabbed some paint with it. It was surprising to see the paint run on the palette with just a small amount of water. It became loose and workable, and I was able to brush it on the canvas with no problem. It was strange to paint with oil without the smell of turpentine. But I started noticing that the water evaporated quickly leaving me with gunky, sticky, stiff paint on the palette and painting. Through the whole exercise I had to keep dipping my brush into water (solvent) which is something I don't do with standard oil paint. I kept getting aggravated with the stickiness of the paint and I became frustrated. But I wasn't going to let it win over me, I did the best I could until I thought I was finished. The end result is this small painting of an onion. My conclusion is that this paint might work best for those who love impasto, and not the best thing for those who like more detailed applications.

4 comments:

semifl said...

A paint kit like that can be useful to do quick oil sketches or underpaintings. I went no solvents after we had our daughter. I don't work in water soluable oils, but remember experienting with then in school. I used to like them when I was in a hurry and working inpromptu because I could just rinse everything out and go quickly. It's always good to branch out, especially when it's free :)

Luis Colan said...

They do rince out quickly, that was very surprising. I did compare notes with a coworker and he had a similar experience as I. But yeah you can't beat it when it's free!

Kitty said...

very nice. interesting.
I've always been intrigued by painting but never met the plunge.

I so admire painters....to have a vision, to be disciplined, to constantly push yourself, to love what you do.

Luis Colan said...

thank you very much kitty, I admire your work, you have an amazing eye when it comes to capture those special moments of our city.