Tuesday, November 9, 2010

similarities: Liquin and Diet Coke

8x10 oil on linen (unfinished)
Crazy, eh? Diet Coke and Liquin. Let me explain. I love Liquin: it's quick drying, beautiful surface can't be beat. I love Diet Coke: the taste is delicious and refreshing. The problem- neither one is good for me and I am trying hard to end  these two mini addictions. I am a daily user- a squirt of Liquin and only one Diet Coke.
As of yesterday I am trying replacements for Liquin.
Possibilities include Linseed oil with the absolute tiniest smiggen of cobalt drier. You have to be very careful because Cobalt Drier is powerful ...a drop too much  your surface will crack.   Liquin is an alkyd  and I have heard that another way to use an alkyd is in an alkyd white. That will speed your drying. I have also been told that M Graham makes a great painting medium it too is a rapid drying alkyd medium.
So folks, what's your experience? I am serious about replacing my favorite medium. I have headaches when I use it for more than two hours.  Help!

PS This is a painting on the easel....5 layers of glaze so far...more to go.
PPS. As long as we are at it, do you have a good replacement for Diet Coke?


Caroline said...

Gosh you really are amazing as I popped into my blog this morning and find yet another fantastic painting by you! whatever you are on continue as you have heaps of energy and talent. A truely wonderful painting. I hate liquin but without it my oil paints would take ages to dry, I have tried using less and the drying time was a very long time indeed. A couple of years ago I used walnut oil only, also cleaned my brushes with it yet one painting took almost six months to dry yet had the most beautiful sheen on it still to this day! I keep a cover on the liquin and do have a small window open by where I am working. Only trouble now is that winter is here and I don't like being freezing cold for too long! Try working in a massive size of a studio! Mine is really small so the smell of the liquin can be very strong. Or try working in another medium during the winter.

Brian McGurgan said...

Beautiful, glowing painting Loriann - you're really making the indirect techniques your own! I have an underpainting done on a new painting myself and am moving very, very slowly on it (almost like no movement at all but maybe I'll get back to it tonight). I've been using Galkyd and Galkyd Lite, and like them. They are a little stickier than Liquin, although I've found that the Lite version works better for me for glazing. They seem to have less smell than Liquin and help the paint dry almost as quickly. I'm not sure they would necessarily be better for you - they took some getting used to, mostly because of the viscosity. The regular Galkyd is almost like maple syrup.

As far as the Diet Coke, I can only say that I've been drinking hot white tea for years now and sip it throughout the day and during all seasons of the year. It has just enough caffeine to keep me alert at work but much less than coffee or regular tea. No sugar or other bad stuff in it either. Although white tea is relatively expensive, it's probably much less expensive than soda or Starbucks. That's my two cents for what it's worth!

Karen said...

For the diet coke, as a fellow addict, I can say that when I started juicing, my cravings for it dramatically diminished...without struggling.

My favorite mediums are stand/gamsol/damar and then good old maroger (wonderful, gel-like, drying but not too fast, great transparency...but smells like turps a lot)

And yes, the glazed painting do seriously glow!!

Double "D" said...

Good Morning B,

Stuck on watercolor so I have no answer for the medium replacement. As for diet coke ... I drink water most of the time to avoid dehydration. I'm surprised what a difference it makes.

This is a wonderful glowing painting. Beautiful colors!

Donna T said...

Those glazes are beautiful, Loriann! The painting really does glow! Sorry, I know nothing about oils or mediums. I hope you find a solution. One Diet Coke a day doesn't sound too bad. If you go the tea route you can always add a little honey to satisfy your sweet tooth. At least it's natural.

Katherine Kean said...

You might try the Galkyd thinned with Gamsol. I try to use mediums sparingly.
I hate to think of you having headaches! I gave up caffeine a few years ago to avoid headaches - except for a bit of dark chocolate now and then.

loriann said...

Thank you so much Caroline. Leaving a window open is a must, yet hard to do in the winter. Getting a barn sized studio would be nice...but not likely right now. I will keep trying! The walnut oil alkyd is what Jala has tried. I may order that. Thanks for your comment.

loriann said...

Hi Brian,
Thanks for your comment..I have tried Galkyd- too sticky maybe the lite version would be better. I wish I could get rod of the stink completely. Are you really satisfied with the Galkyd products?
White tea is good. I like bubbles too. lately I have tried la croix bubbling water. There are periods i completely go cold turkey and never touch Diet Coke for months...then I go back. One sip and the relationship begins again!

loriann said...

Hi Karen, Juicing,eh? What kind? Turp smell with Maroger...and you still love it enough to continue the relationship? How fast does it dry?

loriann said...

Hi PB..water, yah I know I should drink it but 1 don't drink enough...taste,,craves coke.
Thanks about the unfinished painting. Right now I am sitting in the kitten room writing as the crawl all over me, writing with the computer! Back to painting in a minute.

loriann said...

Hi Donn and thank you. I do like tea, even though it has no bubbles~

loriann said...

Hi Katherine. Do you glaze? Thinned Galkyd works? Good for you giving up caffeine. I am not a coffee drinker- chai tea and my daily afternoon diet coke. I will try.

Karen said...

Hi Loriann, All sorts of veggie/fruit juice combos (carrots/leafy greens/fruits, etc.). I'm a total convert...better skin, less cravings, more energy, feel better in general...

the maroger gets sticky in a few hours, thin layers dry probably overnight. It's more of a gel than liquin with beautiful translucent. yes it's worth the turp smell!

loriann said...

WHich Maroger do you use? From which company do you order it?

Jala Pfaff said...

I don't like carbonated drinks, so can't help you there.

As for the glazing medium, you know I highly recommend the M.Graham Walnut Alkyd Glazing Medium. No fumes at all, totally non-toxic. But it doesn't dry as fast as Liquin et al. The tradeoff is so worth it, to me.

Jala Pfaff said...

P.S. Nice painting.

P.P.S. I demand fluffinmuffin photos.

loriann said...

Hi Jala, I am ordering some Walnut oil alkyd and maroger. More experimenting. Fluffernuttin photos will be tomorrow, just for you!

Brian McGurgan said...

Loriann, you asked if I really like Galkyd. I'd say I like it better than Liquin (especially the Lite version) but - and it's a big "but" - I've had little experience with anything else. At some point I plan to try M.Graham Walnut Alkyd Glazing Medium. Jala mentioned it above and Reid (in our class with Deborah) also has recommended it.

Karen E. Lewis said...


I have tried all these mediums, and they all have pros and cons.

The problem with the old stand oil, marogar mixes is they also have solvent (that's what gives you the headache) and they yellow over time.

Alkyds are chemical mixes that, if left on their own, will dry really fast. So manufacturers put solvent in the mix to keep the little molecules from bonding in the bottle. You paint it out, and the solvent evaporates, and the molecules then bond quickly. M. Graham's Walnut/Alkyd medium uses an oil instead to separate the molecules of alkyd. This is what gives it its peculiar properties: a very oily, slick finish (so oily that you get poor bonds painting one layer on top of another if you use very much of it) and fairly slow drying time. Walnut/Alkyd is flyable.

Another choice is to go with adding oil to your paint. Either linseed, poppyseed, or walnut oils are choices. Here again, you get fairly slow drying times and an oily, slick finish (depending on how much oil you use.)Oil mediums are flyable.

Another way to go is to use a less toxic solvent. Gamblin's mediums are made using their Gamsol odorless mineral spirits, which according to their safety data sheets is significantly less toxic than other solvents. They make a wide range of mediums, including one that behaves a whole lot like liquin, called Neo Megilp. You can send to them for a medium chart or just check out their web site for info on how the different mediums behave, and take your pick. They are all really reliable mediums, and some are even flyable.

W & N's liquin, while very popular, has mad a lot of artists sick. If you're getting headaches from it...STOP! They must be using a very toxic solvent in the mix,though you'd have to check their data sheets to find out exactly.

Also, you can clean your brushes without solvent... do you know how to do that? That will help.

If you have questions about this, please send me an e-mail. I probably won't check back here for comments.

I teach an oil class in a tiny room, and we use M.Graham's Walnut/Alkyd and clean without solvent.

In my studio, I also use Neo Megilp and Galkyd Slow Dry.

If you want to do a lot of glazing, I'd recommend Neo Megilp. It's a gel, and you can layer to your heart's content. And paint with good ventillation, because it's still a solvent.

loriann said...

Hi Karen! Thanks for taking the time to write a lengthy informative comment. I will try neo meglip, as I try other things.
For brushes. I leave no solvents open in the studio at any time. I simply wipe my brushes with tissues, and use many brushes. Later, after the painting day is done, I use turpenoid natural to clean them. The next day I clean off the turp natural with OMS (which is always capped tightly in the studio.)
The liquin is the only open offending substance and that is a dropper full in a small cup...powerful stuff.
Thanks again!

loriann said...

Thanks Brian, I will consider Galkyd as well.

Karen E. Lewis said...

If you wish, you can find a thing I wrote on cleaning brushes without solvent here:

loriann said...

Thanks Karen!

Lynne E. Windsor said...

Sorry Loriann... a bit late to contribute to this... you seem to have received some good advice... I loved maroger, although very expensive and very toxic too... but love it. Sadly I don't have any over here in the UK. You need so little Liquin for it to work. Maybe do less glazing? As for the drink... water... not what you want to hear though! Your paintings are looking good.

loriann said...

Hi Lynne,
It's good to hear from you. Late is fine!!! I have loved seeing your paintings from the UK and can see why you find the land so inspirational.
Lately I have tried so using a little dropper for my liquin and ordered maroger and walnut oil alkyd.
On the water front... I am now drinking much more herbal tea.... my compromise to water.

Sonya Johnson said...

Loriann - don't know if you'll see this comment, as it's la bit late, but wanted to advise against cobalt drier. I tried it, at the suggestion of a gal who uses it with success, mixed with W&N Glazing and Blending medium.

I only used it a couple of times, and very sparingly, but I found the paint got tacky on my palette in less than 30 min. It did dry completely to the touch within 24 hrs, though - even titanium white areas. Plus, it is extremely toxic - it's the only painting product I've seen that has a skull and crossbones on the label!

I used Liquin for the last couple of years I was working in mixed media sculpture and painting in multiple, ultra-smooth and thin layers. I love it for that! Since switching to oils on canvas, I'm still experimenting with different mediums, and use W. Graham walnut oil (which speeds up drying time).

All of the oil-based mediums [save for oils] or solvents have some degree of VOC content and that means they are toxic...I used to only use the Liquin in the studio when I could have the windows open.

It looks like you've gotten some great suggestions, but I did want to warn against using the cobalt drier.

loriann said...

Thanks Sonya! I am going to throw that bottle away!

Sarah S said...

Hi Loriann! Great post. I am a long time liquin user and have no problems at all, though I hear others are highly sensitive to it. It's turpentine that just kills me. I have a few things to add, I would also advise against a cobalt drier. Walnut alkyd still takes a long time to dry I found, I didn't like it. Galkyd didn't appeal to me compared to liquin and also didn't dry as quickly, I never tried the megilp but heard its similar to liquin. Rublev makes a nice fast drying medium with leaded crystal glass that makes beautiful glazes, venetian medium. The lead speeds drying. The best way to dry oil glazes quickly is through the power of the sun, through photo- oxidation. I use shallow frame boxes with glass or plexi on top to avoid dust. Glazes dry in a day. Rublev also makes oleogel with added alkyd but this dries slow. I did drying tests on different mediums and the oleoresgel was the slowest of all. Alkyds are great to replace resins in mediums, but they only dry fast because of added driers so maybe there is no added drier in it. Driers can yellow over time. As for Maroger, the resin in that can darken and yellow too.

loriann signori said...

Great, well researched additions Sarah. Thank you for taking the time to write them. I only use the wax medium now. I cover my gamsol when in the studio...taking the time to open between use. now that I am down to one lung and a bit I have to be super careful. I really appreciate all your info. Your work is beautiful!

Sarah S said...

Hi again Loriann~~ thanks! You know I'm such a big fan of your work! Just read this morning that oleoresgel has no drier to remain solvent free so I was correct. There are so many solvent free alternatives these days, I hope you find something that works for you and your painting practice.