Reviews

RGH vs Utrecht

A reader asks wether I prefer Utrecht flake white or RGH’s. To answer the question directly: I prefer Utrecht (barely). Utrecht covers better and has more body. To demonstrate this, I share a simple side-by-side comparison. (Note: I currently have some of RGH’s extra fine white. The extra-fine paint is ground in safflower oil, which…

Grove’s heat-polymerized oil

It’s true that I’ve used the same medium for several years. That doesn’t stop me from trying new materials–far from it! My invariable practice provides a baseline to which I can compare the new materials as they come into my hands. I can quickly determine if a new varnish or whatnot makes it into my…

RGH Atelier Series oil

I bought a small 4 oz-bottle of RGH’s Atelier Series of refined linseed to oil to test. According to RGH’s website, the Atelier Series is “…clarified, hand-washed, cold pressed linseed and walnut oils. No heat, chemicals, or bleaches have been used. We have used historical methods for washing these oils. … The end result are…

Alchemist’s alchemy

WHAT WAS THE SECRET OF THE OLD MASTERS? THE ALCHEMISTS KNEW…AND SO SHALL YOU! That bold claim was printed on the (hilarious) instruction sheet tied to the products sold by the Alchemist. The Alchemist no longer uses that hokey marketing gimmick directly, but that message still pervades their website. Claims to possess the secrets of…

Goop nope

After talking with Robert Doak, I followed his recommendation and purchased some of his Painting Goop. I shouldn’t have. I normally stay away from thick painting mediums, but I enjoyed my far-ranging conversion, and everything I’ve purchased before was top-quality, I thought, “Why not?” Goop is thick, resembling toothpaste. When thinned with turp and worked…

A look at Rublev oils – video review

Link to the review on Turpentine diaries YouTube page. Last week I finally got off my behind and started podcasting, and this week I’ve produced my first video. In this video I look at two oils from Rublev: Sun-thickened Linseed Oil, and Sun-bleached Linseed Oil. Rublev produces a lot of art materials, some good, and…

Review: Eyewitness Views

The Cleveland Museums of Art’s Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe is the best show I’ve seen at the museum since I started my near-weekly visits six years ago.  As good as the show is, however, the theme–artists as eyewitnesses to history–is a stretch.  The paintings are souvenirs of public events in (equally important)…

Review: Groves’ Cole’s Copal Varnish

My painting medium consists of oil, essential oil (turpentine), copal varnish, and driers.  I like my medium, and it’s suitable for everything painting-wise except a few corner cases.  For the corner cases, I add a small amount of this or that, depending on the case.  I like my medium, and I’m happy with it, but…