Mediums used with oils modify the character of the paint. I personally like to not have my paint dry too quickly, unless it is an underpainting, and with a medium I have more control over this factor. I prefer to work wet-in-wet whether I return to the canvas an hour later or twenty-four.
Linseed Oil – Made from the flax plant it is the binder used in most oil paints. There are a number of different types due to consistency, color and drying time.
- Refined – An all purpose medium.
- Cold Pressed – Dries a little faster than refined and is considered to be of better quality than Refined.
- Stand Oil – Thicker with a slower dry time, to touch in one week.
- Sun Thickened – Syrupy version thickened by leaving a slightly open container of Linseed Oil in the sun (Is actually a bit more complicated than that, but for our purposes here….)
Safflower Oil – Dries faster than Poppyseed Oil but similar characteristics.
Walnut Oil – A thin oil it makes the paint more fluid. Dries in 4-5 days. It also yellows less than Linseed Oil
Turpentine – Can be mixed 50/50 with Linseed Oil for a medium. Use an artist grade quality and not household. Can be purchased in low-odor varieties.
There are a number of other mediums for oil paint, enough for a book. It is all a matter of personal choice. The point is this is another area that an artist can gain control.