Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - Painting - Oil Painting - Binders and Diluents - Drying Oils - Other Oils

Characteristics - Painting Methods & Techniques - Materials and Equipment - Work Space & Storage - Manufacture of Pigments - Protection of the Picture

From: Kay, Reed. The Painter's Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983.

Drying Oils - Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is pressed from the seeds of the safflower plant (Carthamus tinctorius), which is cultivated in India. The plant also yields a fugitive dyestuff. The oil is rather slow-drying, and when it is polymerized by heating, it gels. It has been used in India, under the name Roghan, for decorative painting. The plant is now cultivated in the United States, where the oil is used as a polyunsaturated cooking oil and, in combination with synthetic resins, as a binder for industrial paints. Safflower oil, like poppyseed oil, contains linoleic acid but very little or no linolenic acid, the ingredient that is thought to cause both the yellowing and the strong film-making quality of linseed oil. Safflower oil is lighter in color than linseed oil, and so white paints ground with it appear whiter than do those with linseed oil. Many manufacturers use safflower oil in their white oil paints instead of grinding them in linseed oil or poppyseed oil, claiming that the safflower oil whites change color less than do those made with linseed oil. Since the white paint that the artist mixes with the other colors accounts for a very large percentage of the total paint film of the picture, many paintings done since 1970 contain substantial amounts of safflower oil, although they are thought of as linseed oil paintings. [p. 35]

[Kay, Reed. The Painter's Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983.]



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