Binding Media

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In the artistic context, the Oxford English Dictionary defines “medium” as: “A liquid (e.g. oil or water) with which pigments are mixed, with a binder, to make paint.” We use “medium” in the same way but expands the definition to include materials like mica, talc, waxes, and solvents like mineral spirits and gum turpentine. Media can be added individually or combined to paint to change the paint’s appearance and properties such as flow, drying times, transparency, etc. For oil painting specifically, any resinous, oil, and solvent medium applied for amending purposes should be used sparingly and judiciously to avoid their potentially ruinous impacts such as excessive yellowing and darkening and film channeling.

Grinder's Oil is a processed linseed oil (refined, dewaxed, and bleached) used to help grind difficult to wet pigments like Alizarin, Van Dyke Brown, and Prussian Blue. A siccative, it’s used to make oil paint, varnishes, and as a medium to thin pale colours. Not for acrylic paint.

Alkali Refined Linseed Oil is the most widely used medium to make commercial artist oil paint. It has low acidity, dries fast, and light colour. Not for acrylic paint.

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