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  1. #1
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    transparent oil glaze?

    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. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck1 View Post
    What is this transparent oil glaze and has anyone ever used it?
    Chuck
    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. #3
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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 Whiteymorange; 12-13-2006 at 08:09 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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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.

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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

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    Wait! I think I found it

    http://www.dickblick.com/categories/.../#copalmediums

    There are a number of different products here, and while I don't want to highjack this thread, I too would like to know more about how there were, and can still be, used in photography.

    - Randy

  7. #7
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reellis67 View Post
    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

    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. #8
    reellis67's Avatar
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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. #9

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    Coincidentally, I was just reading about "Marshall's photo oils", a line of transparent oil paints and clear media for glazing and tinting photos.
    http://www.dickblick.com/zz004/26/
    http://www.dickblick.com/zz004/26b/

    Frances Schultz uses them. A tinting example: it's the last photo, near the bottom of the page: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/materials.html

  10. #10

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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

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