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  • Beginning Carver raw umber wash

    I began carving a few weeks ago and find it greatly rewarding. So many helpful items exist on line for instruction and inspiration, including Doug Outside; I recently found this forum also. I found Bob K's simple Santa recently and decided to give it a go. It is really nice to find simply carvings to work with.

    I wanted to give the carving an antique wash but the antiquing (Folk Art) I used on my other carvings was too heavy. I tried Gene Messer's BLO with raw umber on this one and have two issues:
    1) the antiquing is not as dark as I like - I used about a 3" squeeze from the raw umber oil paint with a pint of BLO. I dipped the carving into the container and left it for a couple of minutes before blotting it off.
    2) the raw umber did not all mix well in BLO - I had a few small speckles of raw umber that created dark spots on the carving.

    Am I close in correct ratio or BLO to raw umber (or does correct even exist)?
    Any help in getting the raw umber oil paint to mix better? I did shake the container a great deal over a period of several hours.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    Good questions...Gene's mix is basically Mike Shipley's mix. Mike was/is a professional carver that now is a tool maker. I use a good paint stir stick, and while I do get some oil paint dots, I can usually wipe them off with a rag. I think that MIGHT be a bit more oil paint than what Mike uses, now that I think about it. I think I used 3" in a gallon of BLO.

    I like this mix, as I don't get a dark antiquing. It softens the acrylic colors.

    I think others have used Bri-Wax to antique, Arlene Zomer uses mineral oil and I think Raw Umber acrylic to antique, and Doug uses an acrylic antiquing method.

    You might just have to try various methods to get it to your liking.

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    • #3
      If you use artists' oil paints, stay with the extenders and driers and oils that are marketed by the same company.
      Grumbacher, Stevenson, Binney, Windsor & Newton, daVinci are all good brands.
      Baby food jars and brushes would be more economical for small carvings.
      I'd carve some "play sticks" with textures to experiment on. Notes and keep for reference.

      I use Grumbacher and daVinci acrylics, they make a colorless extender medium that's the perfect mixer, never water.
      Brian T

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      • #4
        Try mixing the paint with a small amount of BLO first, mixing until thoroughly dissolved, then add more, thoroughly mixing, etc., until all the BLO is added. Alternatively, dissolve the paint well with the same brand of turpentine, then add to the BLO. Worth a shot if you want to stick with Gene/Mike's technique.
        Arthur

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        • #5
          Thanks all for the input. This is good information. I never thought about keeping brands the same - not sure how important that is but I might give it a try. I did try to first mix the oil paint with a small about of BLO before adding to the bigger volume. I might try turpentine as solvent first.

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          • #6
            A couple of suggestions: 1) Try Burnt Umber rather than Raw Umber. It will give you a darker finish. 2) Add a little paint thinner to the oil paint before mixing in the BLO. It will help to dissolve the paint. 3) The acrylic antique you used, which is what Doug uses can be easily cut with water. You can cut it to any consistency you like just by changing the amount of water you add to the antique medium.
            Keep On Carvin'
            Bob K.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NeXylem View Post
              I began carving a few weeks ago and find it greatly rewarding. So many helpful items exist on line for instruction and inspiration, including Doug Outside; I recently found this forum also. I found Bob K's simple Santa recently and decided to give it a go. It is really nice to find simply carvings to work with.

              I wanted to give the carving an antique wash but the antiquing (Folk Art) I used on my other carvings was too heavy. I tried Gene Messer's BLO with raw umber on this one and have two issues:
              1) the antiquing is not as dark as I like - I used about a 3" squeeze from the raw umber oil paint with a pint of BLO. I dipped the carving into the container and left it for a couple of minutes before blotting it off.
              2) the raw umber did not all mix well in BLO - I had a few small speckles of raw umber that created dark spots on the carving.

              Am I close in correct ratio or BLO to raw umber (or does correct even exist)?
              Any help in getting the raw umber oil paint to mix better? I did shake the container a great deal over a period of several hours.

              Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
              First off the carving is very good for just carving a few weeks, very good, i mix 1" of Oil Paint to a quart, I get a gallon can and lid and pour 3 quarts of BLO in it, then mark 3" on a piece of wood and run the paint out with the line.I am willing to bet you have a good bit of paint in the bottom of the can, i use an old emulsion blender i found at a yard sale, but also watch for old blenders, they work great also.Id grap a small paint stirrer and check, its almost impossible to mix the paint properly with out some type of blender, hope this helps.Again great job on the carving.

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              • #8
                Like Bob I have had much better luck dissolving the oil paint in thinner before adding to the BLO. I would try the blender but my wife might object to that LOL.
                Have A Great Dat
                Terry
                Have A Great Day
                Terry
                Of all the things I have lost I miss my mind the most!

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                • #9
                  You might try watercolor. I started painting with acrylics, moved to oil and ended up with watercolor. The finishline of my journey was when I took a painting class with John Engler. He paints with watercolor and being a novice with my only experience being painting walls ~ I ended up staying with watercolor and painting with washes. It's a little tricky at first but wonderful for my birds and beasts ~ where almost all color changes are blurred. I have not used it for antiquing but experience leads me to believe that it would be excellent painting "wet on wet" for this technique.

                  I think Robson Valley gave an often overlooked but valuable piece of advice. Stick with one brand of paint. I have used Winsor & Newton for years. When I first learned of QOR I was skeptical ~ but I use several Golden products and agreed to try it. QOR has moved from gum arabic as the pigment base and I think this has improved the product.

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                  • #10
                    Great carving for a beginner! Nice work! I used to use a similar antique method and I would put the mixture in a metal paint can and place it under my drill press with a metal paint stirrer in the chuck. Then walk away and come back an hour or so later but make sure the can is held in place so it doen't walk sideways due to vibration and create a problem. Every time I used the mixture, I would mix it first because when it sits for awhile, it would preciptate the umber out of the emulsion. I like the blender idea. Nowadays, I just use acrylics for antiquing.
                    Terry

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all of the comments and advice. I will continue to pursue this endeavor. Also I found a local carving club - great bunch of people with lots of knowledge to share. I look forward to learning more.

                      Dale

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