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Hi/Poppyseed Oil Question/Oil of Spike Lavendar/er


(Rachel Magnusson) #1

Hi, my name is Rachel, I’m pretty new to art. I’m not that new in human years I suppose (47). I’m a mom and widow and have two dogs that help me keep a sense of orderliness :grinning:. I live in Sonoma, CA, USA, near Napa, where I was born. It’s a nice place to live. It’s not clear how much longer I’ll be able to stay though.

My story is sappy and interesting and I kind of feel like I should tell it to establish myself as a real human just trying to interact. I’m super-introverted so I know very, very few, if any people I can ask questions of regarding art. But have a lot of questions. And I’ve kind of dug myself into a hole here. I’ve isolated myself and find that I now want to see people’s artwork and ask them about how they did what they did.

In 2015-16 I took a drawing then an oil painting class–I had to go through disability resource dept at the school to get through them and it was one of the more rigorous things I’ve done in a long time. But I’m so glad I did. I didn’t know even how to draw more than a stick figure. And had never considered creativity of any kind for myself as a possibility. Some key things happened after my dear husband’s passing that brought me to my knees and to art.

I got brave enough to take the two classes at the local community college. I learned great stuff to get me started. I just have lots of questions that continue to come up because I’ve continued to paint and draw. What I’m painting is three different portraits of my daughter, my son, and my niece, in oil. Then I have one I just started in acrylic that I want to try and keep acrylic if I can do it–of a rose. I’m hoping to make the background abstract-ish. That’s certainly easier said than done.

I’ll keep my question to the “Old Holland” Poppy oil refined. Please would anyone be willing to tell me, can I use it as a medium with oil paint by itself? Or should I mix it with something? I just bought it at Dick Blick and realized I know nothing about it. There isn’t a clear answer on the web that I’ve found.

Also, has anyone used Oil of Spike Lavendar/er? The idea appeals to me–is it good for just plain-old oil painting? What I mean is, I just paint for myself. No one critiques anything. My dogs are with me a lot and if it’s natural I might want to save enough to get some.

Well I guess I told some of my story. But I hope to participate. This seems like a great forum. I can’t remember the name of the member, but I noticed there’s one specific person who asks really great questions and seems to keep people thinking. Anyway, thank you!


(Jacqueline Davis) #2

Hi there Rachel,

Welcome to Art Talk and welcome to painting!

I have never used either Poppy oil or Lavender Spike Oil but I will just tell you my experience of using mediums, perhaps it will help.

The most traditional oil painting medium is linseed oil. I use it pretty much exclusively - in that I do not mix any kind of solvent (turps, turpentine substitute or OMS) into it. I have been trying safflower oil too which is quite similar - it’s a little clearer in color than linseed oil (less yellowing, so probably better if you are using a lot of white in the painting) but seems to dry slower. I understand it is similar to Poppy oil. I would think like most mediums, there is no requirement to mix Poppy oil with anything unless you want to for a specific reason…
Just this week I painted with another artist who uses M. Graham Walnut Alkyd Medium, which is a fast drying medium. I tried it for one painting but I found it dried way too fast for me - it felt like it made the paint ‘sticky’. So for the next painting I decided to just add a small amount of the Walnut Alkyd to my usual linseed oil and found this to be a happy compromise. It speeded up the drying time, but still allowed me the freedom of movement I am used to with the paint.

So my advice would be to just try them out and see what you think. Try to complete an entire painting (a small one) with each medium to get the full experience of using it. One medium is not going to suit every artist and it depends what you are trying to achieve. If you paint particularly fast, a faster drying medium might be more suited to your painting style and vice versa. If you are a beginner, I would suggest just starting with linseed oil and move on from there.
Good luck.


(Mary Schiros) #3

Hi I have used the Oil of Spike Lavendar, it is almost like using an oil-solvent mix, doesn’t take much to then the paint down. I love the smell but it is strong and if your going to paint for a long period with suggest a fan or open window. My favorite in general is the M. Graham Walnut Alkyd Medium because it does help dry faster. Poppy oil is very slow drying and I have heard it also darkens a bit like the linseed oil, haven’t used it though to know for sure.