Oil Painting

Which form of canvas is best ?
Much depends on the quality of canvas itself. Most of the so-called canvas panels have nothing to recommend them – they are unsatisfactory. Canvas by the yard is usually the painter’s first choice. It comes in a variety of weaves, some coarse, some fine.

Is linen canvas better than cotton ?
Not necessarily, the best cotton is superior to poor linen. However, linen of superior quality cannot be matched by any cotton material. Generally, for small sizes (up to 20” by 24”) cotton canvas be very well used, however, the texture of the cotton fabric is, unless well covered with the underpainting, monotonous, hence quite unattractive.
Is a ground prepared with white lead preferable to one made with other white pigments – Titanium, zinc white, etc..?
In most respects, a white lead ground is more desirable.
Can a yellow ground be bleached?
Generally a few days of exposure to strong daylight in addition to a few hours of exposure to indirect sunlight will bleach a yellowed white lead oil ground.
Why is white lead preferable to titanium or zinc white for priming?
White lead is the traditional, time-tested material. It has been used for centuries and has proved to be absolutely permanent.
What kinds of sable (or fitch) brushes should be used, and what purpose do they serve?
The best quality is made of red sable, which is the tail hair of the kolinsky. (several species of Asiatic mink are known as kolinsky.) Fitch brushes(so-called Russian sable) are good substitute for the red sable brushes. Where a soft brush stroke or a delicate blending of colors is desired, a sable brush is indispensable.
Sables are made in flat and round shapes. Large flat brushes, an inch or more in size, come with short handles, indicating that they are chiefly used in watercolor. However they are also valuable in certain oil techniques for blending.
What are the properties and characteristics of the bristle brush?
Bristle brushes are made of hogs’ hair. The so-called “brights” are made with short bristles, and the “flats” with longer hairs. Generally, the best quality brushes
are made of hair which curves from both ends of the ferrule toward the middle; the hairs placed in the middle are straight. The hairs in cheaper brushes form a mass which is usually narrow at the ferrule and wider at the end. Also, the expensive brushes have firmer and more elastic hair than the cheaper ones.
What is a soft-hair blender?
A soft-hair brush made from a variety of hairs, mostly squirrel;it is better suited to delicate blending than a sable brush because the very soft hair does not have the power to agitate a paint film. These blenders may be had in a variety of shapes, but the most suitable are flat brushes 3/4 T0 1 inch wide.
What oils are used in painting?
Chiefly linseed oil; also a poppy-seed oil and walnut oil.
What are the advantages of linseed oil?
Because of the chemical composition of linseed oil, its durability and drying properties are superior to all other drying oils. These properties are due to the presence of glycedrides of linoleic and linolenic acids. which form the tough skin of the dried oil known as linoxin.