Oil of Cloves

I’ve been following a reader’s tip for slowing the drying time of oils. Responding to my complaint about how oil paint in jars dries too quickly, reader Clint Atkinson suggested that I put a piece of cloth soaked with oil of cloves in the jar.

I’ve been following this tip for several weeks and it works well. My jar of lead white from RGH has stayed fresh. Try it.

This photo shows the new, unfinished painting, Self-portrait with a Camera, and my jar of oil of cloves with some of the preserved lead white on the palette.

Another thing I tried recently, however, didn’t work. If oil of cloves can preserve paint in jars, how about the paint on a palette? Sometimes paint stays on my palette several days running.

I store my palette overnight in the butcher’s tray shown in the above photo. The tray lid retards drying somewhat, but the paint still dries. What would happen if I put an oil of cloves soaked cloth in the tray? Would it keep the paint fresh?

Unfortunately, the oil of cloves had no effect. Perhaps the tray is too big.

Anyway, preserving RGH’s oil jars is a boon, especially considering how poor their tubes are.

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