Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Clove Oil, Keeping Oil Paint Fresh Since Sometime Three or Four Weeks Ago



 In all of the artist materials books out there that I have heard of and some that Ive had the pleasure of reading thru state that mixing Clove oil into your oil paints will keep them moist and usable. This usually is followed by the warning that if you mix too much in your paints will never dry. Well, I'm hear to tell you that from what I've heard and recently tested you do not need to mix the oil in, the fumes are what does the job. So if you look in the above images you will see my well used EasyL palette with a palette dipper cup that i glued into the corner (back when you could see the wood grain). well that orangeish chunk you see to the right is a small piece of sponge that was wedged in between the cup and the box wall then soaked with clove oil. This little soaked sponge chunk has been keeping fast dryers like Burnt Sienna skin free. I also have a small container that i drilled holes into the lid, placed a sponge inside and basically did the same thing. it works great! I should say that the container or paint box should be as sealed as possible to make it work as good as possible. Please,  let me know how it works for you.
  In your search for Clove Oil, you will and can find it at your local Pharmacy for a steep price in a small container. One of Clove oils most useful uses is as a temporary reliever of toothache pain. You can get it on Ebay for about $5 for a 4oz like the one pictured above. Good Luck!

10 comments:

Chris Gillis said...

Thanks for the tip Dan - I'm going to try this out on the new box I just built.

Greg Laderer said...

Dan, I've been mixing clove oil into my plein aire palette paints for years, and you're right, for some of the colors they never seem to dry. I'll try the sponge idea - sounds promising!

Jim Serrett said...

Definitely have to try this out.

mea said...

I have never heard of using clove oil. What a useful idea, especially since good paint isn't cheap. A 37ml of cobalt blue can go for 40 bucks, and that's just a little tube. Thanks for helping our paint last a little longer :)

Dan Corey said...

Hey Chris, yeah, make sure the wood is sealed up with some sort of polyurethane so the oil isn't absorbed out of your paints and I would recommend to anyone, place the sponge near the fastest drying paints. After few weeks burnt sienna was just starting to get a skin but that's probably because I didn't moisten the sponge more then once. Good luck.

Dan Corey said...

Hey Greg, its great to hear from you here! I think some colors could have it mixed in and be fine for drying but others like Alizarin Crimson for example would never and really mean never dry with even one drop of clove oil. I hope this works well for you!

Dan Corey said...

Hi Jim, great, good luck!

Dan Corey said...

Hi Mea, yeah they get pricey for sure! You could also whip a couple drops of poppy oil into colors like cobalt blue and they will stay wet on the palette quite a bit longer but dry just about normal in a mixed paint film with other colors. Happy painting!

Cecelia (Artistic Chaos) said...

My painting Instructor ants me to use this oil. Never heard if it but I'll give it a try. Love the idea of the sponge in the container. I don't understand why he has me using fast drying paint, just to send money on things to keep it from drying out.

Anonymous said...

I just last night did a search for this very subject. I found some great little trays that are for cookie dough with sealed lids and little cups that I thought would be great for paints. My plan is to put a strip of cotton soaked in clove oil in between the cups. Looking forward to this. I waste far too much paint! Thanks!
http://progressiveintl.com/products/pop-out-cookie-dough-keeper (That's what I plan on keeping paints in)