My New Love: Water Soluble Oils

Jill teaches art in Highland Park. Read Jill’s past posts.

For those of you who’ve painted in traditional oils, I’m sure you’re aware of the pros and cons of this medium. I’m very excited about the newer water soluble, sometimes called water miscible oil paints.

Some Pros of Traditional Oils:

Superior blend-ability and a rich, buttery texture.

Slow drying time allows you to return to your work hours or even days later.

A great variety of affects can be achieved with this beautiful and versatile medium. Techniques such as scumbling, glazing, palette knife painting and more can be utilized with beautiful results

Some Cons of Traditional Oils:

Some people have allergies, either to breathing the odor (one of my students had to stop oils and switch to watercolor because of her asthma) or allergies from having the paint touch the skin (gloves can be used).

Clean up of brushes, stains on clothes, floors, etc can be arduous and time consuming.

So now to my new love: water-soluble oils! Some companies have come out with this fantastic and relatively new medium. They have found a way to emulsify the linseed oil with water, so the paints my be thinned with water, without separating or losing brilliancy.

* “Recent advances in chemistry have produced modern water miscible oil paints that can be used with and cleaned up with water. Small alterations in the molecular structure of the oil creates this water miscible property.”

The clean up is fantastically easy and brushes clean effortlessly. I don’t recommend to anyone with severe allergies to linseed oil, but these paints are deemed more ecologically friendly and most are AP non-toxic approved.

That great blend-ability you get from traditional oils is still there. The seven paintings I’ve completed so far in this medium have dried with a lovely, oil rich sheen. Drying time is faster than traditional oils, but still far longer than acrylic paints. So you can usually return to the easel within 2 days (depending on the thickness of the paint) and still modify your work and blend. Definitly within the same day. I actually find the slightly faster drying time advantageous.

One note, this is a new technology, and although I have had no problem thus far with cracking or peeling we don’t know yet how they will stand the test of time. Oils have been around for centuries, although traditional oils notoriously crack and peel as well. In fact, they keep a lot of experts in the business of restoration.

Perhaps no medium is perfect. Acrylics have only been commercially available since the 1950s. A scary thought: what if they all start peeling away at the hundred year mark? Well, let’s hope for the best and trust in newer technologies to come along to find better ways to RESTORE art works.

In the meantime, I wish you a happy time creating!

* Wikipedia

Salting In Watercolor Painting

Jill teaches art in Highland Park. Stay tuned for Leora’s attempt at a “salty” painting.

Salting is a fun technique for adding texture to your watercolor painting. It works by absorbing water and pushing away the pigment around each grain of salt. You just use regular table salt, but the larger grain Kosher salt can offer you further texture possibilities.

Salting works best on darker and fully saturated color. You lay down paint on the area, then throw salt where you want the effect while it’s still wet. Working quickly is of the essence, so have all your paints and tools ready to go. The secret is too not over do it with the amount of salt. If you put on too much you won’t see where the individual grains have absorbed the water and pushed away the color around it.

It looks particularly nice for representing snow or ocean spray in a seascape, but also just a good general textural device. You can experiment with larger amounts of salt just to built various textures. Fun stuff.

Salty Night

Enjoy, and I’ll post more techniques soon.

Art Teacher Jill

Green Dining

recycling imageNo, this is not a post about the importance of eating your veggies (although you probably should). It’s about the huge amount of waste produced from those styrofoam take-out containers. It’s a real pet-peeve of mine and I actually go so far as to bring my own containers! The wait staff usually rolls their eyes, but I think it’s worth it.
One day a few weeks ago I went out to lunch with a friend and forgot my container. I had a half a sandwich left and asked the wait person to please just put it in a piece of foil because I don’t want styrofoam. Well, they put my little half of a sandwich into a huge container and in a plastic bag!

As I was leaving, I felt the urge to talk to the manager. I didn’t want to get the individual waiter in trouble, but wanted to ask about alternatives to this wasteful practice. The hostess looked at me like I had two heads as I explained my environmental concerns. Then the manager came over and told me he was concerned about this topic and would talk to corporate.

I don’t know if he really meant it, but I was glad I did it anyway. Maybe if more people brought it up, things could slowly change. Until then, I hope that people consider bringing their own reusable containers and withstand the eye rolling and blank stares. It’s many people making little changes that really can make a difference.

What is Art For?

Introduction: Jill Caporlingua teaches art in Highland Park. Welcome, Jill!

I’ve often wondered what drives people to create. Maybe it’s different for me because art is my profession and such an integral part of who I am, so I can’t even imagine not doing art. Still I wonder, what makes my students and others who aren’t creating art as their livelihood feel the urge? Is it for relaxation? Recreation? A form of therapy? A way to communicate with others or express feelings and ideas? I’d be happy to hear anyone’s comments on this topic…

I’ve heard some artists say they believe it should ONLY be for a certain “higher” purpose. Some grand quest for knowledge or to express a political or social message they deem worthy.

Well, this is my blog and I have to say: I disagree whole-heartedly! I think art should be accessible to everyone and can benefit anyone, for whatever reason they are driven to create. Throughout history, it has not just been Michelangelo and Picasso who have something to say. Art can enrich the life and spirit of all of us. Look at the drawings on caves from thousands of years ago, the amazing so-called primitive art, naive art, folk art, and outsider art. These are art forms born from artists without any formal training, and I highly recommend looking them up. The work is incredibly inspiring.

Of course, as an art teacher, I believe there are great benefits to learning technique, but that’s a blog for another day. Until then, for whatever reasons drive you, and whatever your medium: keep creating!