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Airbrushing and oil pants

Discussion in 'General Airbrush Discussion' started by Forrest, May 5, 2017.


  1. Forrest

    Forrest Young Tutorling

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    Your average airbrushing medium is water-based. In my situation as an artist, I prefer to paint large format, where acrylic/water-based paints don't cut it for me. The problem I'm faced with is my want to continue using airbrushing, as I apply certain effects to my works, often times those must be the last layer (or close to it). That won't work with oils (obviously).

    I'm wondering if any other artists here have dealt with this and what solutions you found. The idea of moving to a solvent-based airbrush paint is not appealing to me, especially with the smaller room I have to work in. But I wonder if there isn't some other approach, application or other that I've not been aware of?


    Thanks.
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  2. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    We've got an artist here in South Africa that airbrushes with oil paints. I don't know with what he reduces with but he gets great results.
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  3. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    @RebelAir may be able to help out, he's done some mixed media stuff, not sure if he's done oils and water based airbrush paint though.

    How about you head across to the intro section and say hi, let us know where you live on the globe and what airbrush paint you current have, it will help us tailor solutions for you, sometimes we have a member 'next door' which can be fun . . . .
  4. Forrest

    Forrest Young Tutorling

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    Which forum is the intro, Beginners?
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  5. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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  6. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Is there a particular reason the water based isn't working for you? There may be an additive or technique that could resolve the issue.
  7. Forrest

    Forrest Young Tutorling

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    Well yes, you can't paint water-based over oil-based media. At least, not that I've seen - but there may be some magic additive or something that I've never heard of before that changes that.



  8. Forrest

    Forrest Young Tutorling

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    I've googled around and see reference to folks using Japan drier and even liquin -- yeah, no thank you! Have you ever taken a whiff of liquin before? You'll never forget how noxious it is. I'd like to stay cancer-free, thanks :) But, maybe there is something else I could use -- these days, it's difficult to keep up with new developments. My concern would be for beading of the material (which would depend on the medium) but also adequately protecting the airbrush layer. For example, what if you decided another paint layer was needed -- you'd want to isolate that airbrushing layer first, I'd imagine.

    For the record, I'm from Derry, NH (near Boston, MA region). I have a Iwata HP-C airbrush, a newer (still in box) finer airbrush that cost nearly 400.00 (forget the brand), and an el-cheapo Badger "airbrush" for ceramics that I've not used yet.
  9. twood

    twood Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Is there not some sort of coating (protective layer) you could put over the oil based media, (like a clear) then prep if needed for the water based. I think the saying " oil and water do not mix" applies to this ...lol
  10. Freakaziot

    Freakaziot Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    yes you can use varnish to seal the oil painting so you can go over it with waterbased paints.
    I used a varnish from schminke to seal oil paintings, the main issue is that the oil paint needs to be completely dry before you can seal it.
    the curing time is around 4 months, maybe faster with alkid oils
  11. Forrest

    Forrest Young Tutorling

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    What if you're using liquin as a medium. I paint in reasonably thin layers (no impasto, ie) so they should dry in a day or so.

    I see a couple products from schmincke, can you tell me which one specifically? Also, what about sealing the airbrush layer and painting oils above it, too. The fat-over-lean principle withstanding -- some people bawk at that, but I think it applies more to thicker paint applications.


  12. Freakaziot

    Freakaziot Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    It's the schminke 50084 final retouch varnish. I use it un-thinned.
    (And apply it with an brush)
    I never really used liquin, but straight oils lol.
    Maybe it works never tried it.
    You can paint on airbrush but not the otherwise around.
    Unless you seal it, but the varnish will make your underpainting glossy or mate
  13. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Prob answered above, theres a few ways..Thin your paint more, I just use ordinary thinners for most oil based paints but if ya like the smell, get higher end organic solvents or the like, drying time may be the main desire in choosing ya solvent though and make it more like a wash, pass it through a course siv, then strain some more through cheese cloth or courser coffee filters or hey even a paint strainer works LOL, Pantihose maybe :)..As your I think putting the main body of the paint on with brushes and your more looking I assume for ways to add oomph and perhaps perspective, shade etc to that body so darker more trans washes is what i would use..if ya want an opaque though it may be hard to get good consistency through the gun without higher reductions..So maybe not good technique for lining type work..Or you can change over to water soluble oils?..or as someone mentioned above, clear it and then paint on top with water based paints..But saying that its all about the dryness of the painting..There is absolutely no issue airbrushing water based over a completely dried oil painting but if ya can wait 30 odd years for that curing to happen with some oil thinner mixes then good luck LOL..But if its dry or you paint with solvents that reduce oil drying time, if it is fully set and no longer is exuding any oil or solvent you can paint on it with water based fine..

    It is though no doubt a specific look or fee your chasing, clearing in between may not suit that nor may light washes, I'd suggest just playing around and experimenting on a few old canvases at home to see what effect you may like the most or if it doesnt suit your tatstes..

    You do say that you paint larger formats and that acrylics or water based dont cut it..out of interest what kind of application are you talking about as acrylics and water based no doubt will replace most solvent based paints in the future and are getting much much better and with the right additives equiv to oils so perhaps maybe even re-venturing into looking at acrylics again may also be a good thing and an easier option..

    BTW if sprayin oils based I wouldn't use a detail gun :) and also look into the range of model paints and the like avail that are already perhaps oil based and may better serve your needs over mixing your tubes if thats what ya use..

    Good luck.

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