transparent oil glaze?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by CPorter, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    I was revisiting some old B&W magazines and was reading the "Spotlight" section in Issue 16, December 2001. The photographer, Victoria Ryan, "adds light layers of a transparent oil glaze to different parts of the print in order to increase depth and separation between the warm and cold tones".

    What is this transparent oil glaze and has anyone ever used it?

    Chuck
     
  2. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Off hand I'd say it is the oil base used for paint.
    It is without pigments and/or dyes. Check your
    local artist supply. Dan
     
  3. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    A painter's two cents:
    Glazing is an old and honored oil painting technique. Applied evenly and thinly, a glaze can alter the perception of a color or surface without being intrusive. Traditional glazing mediums are made with thickened linseed oil, damar varnish and turpentine, with a few drops per pint of copal drier. (Mineral spirits will not dissolve damar and cannot be used) There are lots of recipes and and people who swear at or by each one. There are also many commercially prepared glazing mediums, the most widely known and used of which might be Liquin, by Winsor Newton. This is a bit gelatineous, but very easy to use and, IMHO, the best product out there for most oil painting needs.

    Now the problems. Glazing may impart a gloss on the surface that is quite different from the paper surface, depending on the amount of glaze and the receptivity of the paper. You may also end up leaving brush strokes that will catch light if you are not careful. The traditional way to add thin glazes is to stipple the glaze on with a very soft brush. The key word is "thin." Test, test, test!

    I've used Liquin on fiber paper and on RC. It works well in coloring a B&W print and allowed me to get an effect similar to illustrations made in the 30's.

    Archival in themselves, glazes have been used since the Renaissance and have proved themselves quite stable. The very act of putting linseed oil in contact with paper is suspect. The chemistry of how the emulsion will react long term is beyond my humble understanding. An isolating layer of some varnish designed for photography might be helpful, though I know very few people would go through this additional step.

    There! free advice and worth every cent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2006
  4. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Thw following technique was used many years ago to increase the gloss of matte prints. A small amount of lithographers varnish is dissolved in rectified turpentine, say a 1:7 solution or perhaps even weaker. Both products can be obtained from art suppliers. Do not use ordinary turpentine from the hardware store. A small amount of the mixture is applied to the print using a cotton ball. Once the print is completely coated the print is wiped with a clean lint free cloth until most of the mixture has been removed. The idea is to increase the gloss without having any noticeable varnish on the print. After drying the application can be repeated if more gloss is desired. The lithographers varnish is archival and will not effect the stability of the print.
     
  5. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    My wife is a painter and she has a couple of different things called "Gel Medium" - it comes in different glosses and thicknesses. Here's a link to the products she uses...

    http://www.dickblick.com/zz006/28e/

    Then there is this stuff as well

    http://www.dickblick.com/zz004/56/

    Are either of these what you're talking about by any chance?

    - Randy
     
  6. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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  7. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    These are acrylic mediums, not oil varnishes. They give you a layer of plastic over your work. I would avoid them in photography. Thyere are acrylic varnishes, but the ones that will work for you here are applied by spraying, not brushing. Oil glazes are brushed or stippled on. The cotton ball application that Gerald speaks of is the same idea, but any subsequent wiping away with a cloth would negate control of color and should only be used in large areas or when the only concern is the surface.

    The next reference you give is a good general beginning, but there are lots of mediums there that might work or might not. Stick with glazing mediums in traditional oil or alkyd. They have the same characteristics: they are transparent, though any medium will have some color; they are thin or can be applied thinly; they are self leveling and tend to add some gloss by virtue of the smooth surface they produce when dry.

    This is the material I suggest for a starter, though there are many more. I mix my own. The original formula is the one I use, though the "fine detail" version might work well.

    Get a local painter to give you a bit. A little goes a long way. PM me if nobody around you has any.
     
  8. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Whitey,

    I appreciate your generous offer, but at $5 for 75 mils, I shouldn't have any problems getting some. I info though is superb, thanks! As an archivist/photograpic historian in training I'm very interested in historic techiques of all types. I'd like to work with various processes and print treatments both to be able to better identify them and to satisfy my own interest. If you know of any good books (the older the better) that deal with print treatments of any type I'd appreciate hearing about them. I have good contacts for used books, but it is more difficult to find something if you don't have a title, ISBN, etc. to start with.

    Thanks again!

    - Randy
     
  9. robert e

    robert e Member

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  10. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    I would like to endorse all the excellent advice Whitymorange has given in this thread.
    I am also a painter and a photographer. and have used the original version of Liquin for many years to apply thin glazes to my oil paintings. Lately I have been using liquin fine detail, which as far as I can judge is just a more runny version of the original. It saves you having to thin the original out with turpentine.
    By coincidence I have just been trying it out on a few photographs in order to apply an all-over colour glaze to create a warm toned image.This worked very well and is easy to do.
    First I mixed some Artist quality Burnt Umber oil paint with Liquin Fine Detail to make a glaze, then I brushed it roughly it all over the photograph. Then I rubbed and dabbed with a clean cloth to smooth everything out. Highlight areas can be rubbed more to take off more paint and lighten them. More colour can be added to certain areas if required.
    I worked on prints made on Ilford warmtome and Forte polywarmtone, both fiber, with equal ease. Both surfaces glossy. Mgd 4 matt was less sucessful.
    The matt surface holds the colour more making it difficukt to wipe it off the highlight areas. This results in loss of contrast.. But when I tried the Liquin on its own with no colour added it worked well on the matt surface, increasing contrast and depth of black.
    Alan Clark
     
  11. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Alan,

    I'd love to see the results. Do you have them on the Internet anywhere?

    Aslo, I've just found an interesting book that goes into great detail on the materials used for various painting media, with special focus on oils, that looks like a valuable resource. It's titled "The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques" (ISBN: 0670136662) and it covers, in great detail, the history and use of many of the materials discussed in this thread. It's a tome and a half, so I've only gotten through the beginning, but it looks like a great resource for this type of work.

    - Randy
     
  12. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    Randy,
    Not yet! I am still experimenting. I've only just started doing this.
    Your book sounds very useful, but if you want to make a start you only need a bottle of Liquin some turpentine and a tube of oil colour.
    You showed a link to some acrylic products. Because these are water based they may cockle the print. I would think oil glazes like Liquin are much more user friendly;and they keep the print flat, and are very workable because they don't dry quickly.

    Alan Clark
     
  13. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    In the 1940's I learned to wax prints which hid some retouching as well as impartng a nice sheen to the print. Waxing is of some help in separating close tones and really is quite nice to look at.

    I still have one last stick of Dorland's Print Wax. I believe it basically is carnauba wax in a small amont of parafin to make it easier to form into a stick.

    I have on occasion used carnauba wax from an auto supplier, but it is getting more difficult to find one without additives.

    Some of the clear glazes mentioned above should work very well is thinned appropriately.
     
  14. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    According to the book I'm reading, which references oil painting using these materials, carnuba is very hard, but that also makes it difficult to remove. I'm not sure if you would want to remove it from a print, so it might be a good choice. I've not yet gotten to the point where waxes are discussed in detail, but there are other choices out there. Someone recently mentioned to me that microcrystaline wax is good for photographic prints, but I've not had the time to properly research that so I wouldn't try it on anything important just yet.

    Jim,

    I'd be interested in hearing if you ever find out what the composition of the Dorland's product is.

    - Randy
     
  15. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    Carnuba wax is used by woodturners. I have a stick and it is very hard indeed. I know that some woodturners mix it 50-50 with beeswax which is soft, to get something that is in between.
    Not sure how I would apply my stick of wax to a photograph.
    When you did it Jim did you melt the wax first, or perhaps soften it in turpentine?

    Alan Clark
     
  16. Gim

    Gim Subscriber

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    You might want to take a look at Renaissance Wax. I used to have some info on it but that is gone now. On the can it says "Refined waxes blended to a formula used by the British Museum and restoration specialist internationally to revive and protect valuable furniture, leather, paintings, metals, marble, ivory etc. Freshens colours, imparts soft sheen."

    I believe I have read that it can be used on papers...and I think it can be used on anything.
    Jim
     
  17. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Renaissance wax is microcrystaline wax- very hard (no fingerprints), very white (as in "not yellow" -clear when applied thinly and polished) and supposedly very kind to antique and delicate surfaces. I have used it on fiber prints over glazes that had dried completely to even out the surface sheen. I have also used it on oil paintings. It is removeable with mild thinner and pretty goof-proof.