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Using solid oil colour in a "paintstick" form to paint with oils
Source: Author: Updated Date:09 Sep 2009

Using solid oil colour in a "paintstick" form is a convenient way to paint with oils. Paintsticks always stay fresh and moist by 'self sealing' to form a protective film within 24 hours, so the colour won't dry out. This film is easily removed by peeling it away with a paper towel, or gently rubbing it off. Paintsticks can also be sharpened with a paring knife for a finer point. When the stick has begun to wear down to the edge of the sleeve, simply loosen the sleeve and push the stick forward. Press the sleeve back in place for use, and then repeat as needed.

Solid oil colours are the same as tube oils, so all the same techniques, mediums and surfaces can be used, including finishing varnishes. They are non-toxic with no offensive odour. Most colours dry in 24 hours and all colours fully mixable. Soild oil colours are compatible with other oils and mediums and are permenant when dry.


Drawing with solid oil colours

When working on paper, wood, canvas, and other surfaces, simply hold the paintstick as you would a pencil. Great for use when roughing in your work. A colourless blender can then be used to smooth the outlines and blend the colours. Use a paintbrush dipped in turpentine or a thinner to make your strokes become a 'wash' for a watercolour look. Solid oil colours cover rapidly. To create a built-up effect, simply apply more pressure to the stick. Applying pressure also makes the paint texture creamier.


Mixing solid oil colours

To create additional colours, simply draw one colour over another directly onto the painting. It's best to use the lighter colours first, then blend the darker colour onto it. You may also mix the colours on a palette then apply the colour to your work surface with a brush. Try using Titanium White to remove or lighten a colour simply by painting directly over it with a little pressure.


Cleaning up after use

Paintsticks can be cleaned up with soap and water while still wet. Afterwards, use an odourless thinner.


Fabric decorating with solid oil colours

Before applying the oil colour, wash fabric to remove sizing. Do not use fabric softeners or bleach as these will reduce paint adhesion. Be sure the fabric is not stain resistant, as this makes it paint resistant as well. Experimenting first on a scrap of fabric is recommended. After painting the fabric, let the paint cure for 3-4 days before heat setting and washing. The longer you wait, the more permenant your colour will be. Use the iron setting recommended for the fabric. Place waxed paper over the design and iron for a few seconds. Launder as usual, then hang dry or use the air-dry setting on your dryer. Dry cleaning is not recommended.


Stenciling with solid oil colours

For all types of stenciling, solid oil colours are the medium of choice for crafters because they are so convenient. Prepare your stencil by spraying with a repositionable adhesive. Press the stencil onto the design surface. Draw around the edge of the cutout design, holding your stencilling brush at a vertical angle. Using a circular motion, gently pull the colour from the edge onto the article. The more pressure you use, the more intense the colour.


On Fabric


Pre-wash fabric to remove sizing. Do not use fabric softener. Place a heavy piece of cardboard under the cloth for a rigid work surface and to prevent the oil colour from bleeding through. To keep the fabric taut, use clothespins or paper clips around the edges. Let the paint cure for at least 3 days and then heat set as above. Launder, then hang dry or air-dry in the dryer.

On Walls & Floors

Plan and measure your design. Walls and floors should have a matte finish. After stencilling, allow the colour to dry for 3 days, then spray lightly with a coat of clear acrylic. Wait 36 hours, then coat the area with a scuff-proof vinyl acylic or polyurethane varnish.

On Wood

Sand the surface, then prepare as desired by painting, staining, crackling, or leaving the surface raw. The surface should be matte. After applying the oil colour, allow the surface to dry 3 days, then spray with a clear acrylic to set. Finish with a varnish or urethane of your choice.


Stamping with solid oil colours

Stamp a colourful pattern quickly and easily on fabrics, walls, canvas, and decorations with solid oil colours. You can use rubber stamps or try stamping with leaves, flowers, lace, coins and other objects with a textured surface. Apply the oil colour directly to the stamp object. Dip a brush in thinner and blot it on a paper towel or rag. Stroke the brush over the colour you have applied, allowing the colour to blend and form soft edges. If your object is absorbant, you may need more thinner. Align the stamp to your design area. Apply firm, even pressure while trying not to move the stamp position.  Non-porous objects used to stamp with can be washed with thinner. Porous objects such as lace will be permenantly stained.

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