Oil Painting Mediums each have their own purpose and the artists chooses which they will use based on their particular need. The mediums will thin or thicken oil colour, make it dry faster or slower, glossier or more matte. All mediums contain oil or resin that fulfills the basic oil painting rule of ‘fat over lean’, meaning that if you paint in layers you should add more oil or medium to each successive layer to insure a good structure that will dry properly and will not crack.
At Jackson’s Art Supplies we understand that artists are looking for the best materials at the best prices. To answer this need we have created ranges of our own brand art materials. The Jackson’s brand means good quality and excellent value. Our range of six painting mediums for use with oil colours is no exception.
Artist Hannah Ivory Baker has painted using all the different Jackson’s Oil Painting Mediums in order to help describe them and how they perform so other artists will know what they can expect from the products. Read all the reviews.
This review is of the Jackson’s Alkyd Oil Medium, which is available in two sizes of tin.
Hannah Ivory Baker reviews
Jackson’s Alkyd Oil Medium
I had not really thought about getting this medium before being asked to review it and now that I think about it, I’m not quite sure why. I think it’s just one of those things I’ve overlooked in an ever increasing list of mediums on offer for use with oils. I haven’t painted much using Alkyds so other than having a vague idea that they are fast drying, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. So, my considerations in using this medium came down to a few basic things:
• Drying time
• Finish – increasing / decreasing need for oiling out and varnishing.
• Whether paint consistency was significantly reduced / increased
• Matte finish / gloss increased or reduced
I felt it was best to try it out on a simple image that used strong darks and lights so that I could assess its performance based on a general set of considerations, as I didn’t want to get drawn into a really detailed composition. So I sketched out a still life similar to the one I did for the gloss gel review.
My findings were as follows:
• Fast drying – started to get tacky in an hour or so, semi-dry areas could still be blended. In my opinion this makes it great for plein air.
• Even tone to finish no dull areas.
• Doesn’t over thin the paint – still retained good, strong colour. Was able to spread colour well whilst maintaining strong tones.
• Doesn’t increase gloss
• Can be used (in small quantities) even when applying thicker layers of colour.
• Using a soft brush no visible brush marks are left on the canvas (unless I wanted them to be visible)
• I imagine both impasto and glazing would be achieved in considerably less time than when using oils alone.
Again, I have only been using this medium a short while so I’m not sure of its effects over time but I genuinely enjoyed using this one and it’s certainly something that I will continue to buy and use as it fits with my general method of painting. It didn’t over-thin colours, I felt they became something that resembles the consistency of a thick ink. I did not feel confined to using it just for the purpose of washes or an under painting but instead felt its versatility allowed it to be used throughout the entire process. I have always found Jackson’s products and mediums to be of great quality whilst being reasonably priced, this one is no exception. I would actually go as far as saying that it was my favourite of the mediums that I have reviewed!
For anyone who works with oils if you’re not using it then please give it a go and let me know your thoughts. I’m always interested to hear the findings of others and to share and compare notes so, whether you’ve been using this medium or ones like it for a while or have just started working and experimenting with it, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment on any of the product reviews and share your thoughts.
Hannah Ivory Baker has work in a group exhibition on at the moment:
‘Summer Farrago’ at
Highgate Contemporary Art
27th June – 6th September 2014
Click on the underlined link to go to the current offer on the Jackson’s Oil Painting Mediums on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39 or more.