Worth knowing

Worth knowing - Lilly Artists oilpaint

Worth knowing - Lilly Artists oilpaint

... On the subject of oil paints

Paint made from pigments and oil, probably had the greatest impact on the development off artistic painting in the past. Even though oil based paints are known to be used from the 5th century on, the more popular usage for artistic reaons started in the 13th century. 

Originally artist or their apprentices grinded their own colors. Depending on the properties of pigments used, these colors were triturated with different binders and additives such as linseed oil, walnut oil, egg emulsions or resins. This allowed each artist to adapt the colors to the individual requirements and at the same time ensure the best quality.

While in the Italian Renaissance mainly walnut oil was used as a binder for pigments, north of the Alps linseed oil came into use as a binder. Over time, linseed oil has become increasingly popular due to its lower price and becaues walnut oil had the tendency to become rancid. Even though some painters such as Vasari recommended walnut oil as the oil superior oil, since it yellowes less and also enables richer, more vivid colors.
Painters such as Van Eyck, Duerer, Da Vinci, Titian, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck, but later also Corot and Degas used walnut oil in their colors.

In the late 19th century poppy seed oil was popular as a binder, because the slow drying time of oil poppy came to meet the painting style of the Impressionists. Today also sunflower oil or safflower oil are used instead of poppy oil.

When the availability of finished oil paints became more and more poular, artist gave the centrury long tradition of manufacturing their own oil paints up to specialized color makers. This way artists could now devote more time to their art.

 


Pigments

Pigments are generally divided into organic and inorganic pigment types.

Drying time

Pigments are usually divided into 3 groups with respect to their drying properties.

Lightfastness

With two exceptions (PR 83.1 and PY3) we offer only pigments with light-fastness I (woolscale 7-8).