White siccative

I’ve written plenty of times about my medium. My medium is perfect for me but there are some corner cases. The medium is darkish and for the high-key colors, it can be too strong.

White siccative is not found in the literature as much as the dark variety that I am used to, siccative Courtrai. The latter is made with lead or other metal-derived substances. White siccative varies considerably in its composition. One popular 19th-century variety was made with some type of drying turpentine. Also, lead can be used without darkening it. About a decade ago, Doak offered something he called ‘liquid lead,’ which is a clear liquid made with turpentine or mineral spirits.

I prepare my own oil by placing it in a lead tray. The process makes the oil drying without darkening it.

This unfinished painting, Woman with a White Handbag, shows the use of the white siccative in the handbag and lighter flesh values. I sometimes use sun-thickened oil in the lights for extra body, although I don’t plan to use that in this painting.

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