How to use SOMA Oil Painting Mediums

Here are some ideas to get you started. Scroll down for more detailed examples.
– Pre-mix oil directly into colors on the palette for alla prima painting
– Thinly apply to ‘oil out’ a surface for seamless blending on previously dried layers
– 2 Part Painting Mediums
• combine oil with solvent for versatile mediums
– 3 Part Glazing Mediums
• oil, resin & solvent
– Add to Mixed-technique Tempera Emulsions
(oil or water phase)
– Putty Mediums
combine oil with stone powders like chalk or marble
– Handmade Paint
• finely mulled mixture of oil and pigment

Sun Thickened Hemp Seed Oil or Sun Thickened Linseed Oil
A solvent of your choice: Balsam Turpentine, Oil of Spike Lavender or Eco-Solve

Adjust proportions of both ingredients throughout the course of a layered painting to move from a lean medium in the beginning to a fat medium at the end. Starting with a 1:1 ratio, or even more solvent in the mixture, will make a leaner medium useful for underpainting. Gradually reduce the solvent in each layer until using purely oil in final passages. Also, using thinner oils (cold-pressed or hand-refined oils) in the early stages of a painting can ensure that the later layers do not bead up.

HANDMADE PAINT – Using Thin Oils
Liquid Gold Hemp Seed Oil or Cold-Pressed Linseed Oil
Powdered Pigment
Slab & Muller

Add a small amount of oil to finely divided powdered pigment and evenly diperse the pigment into the oil by using a slab (made of stone or etched glass) and a glass muller. A palette knife can be useful to get the mixture started and to return the paint to a pile in the center of the slab when it gets spread too thin. Precautions should be used to ensure that the pigment is not becoming airborne or that toxic pigments are being inhaled or ingested in any way. Gloves and masks are recommended. Freshly prepared oil paint can be used immediately or stored in tubes for later use. Liquid Gold Hemp Seed Oil is ideal for lighter colors and white pigments.

3 PART GLAZING MEDIUM – A Fast Drying, Glossy Medium
Sun-thickened Linseed Oil
Balsam Turpentine or Oil of Spike Lavender
Canada Balsam Resin

Dissolve a small quantity of resin in a high quality turpentine or lavender oil, then add to Sun Thickened Linseed or Hemp Seed Oil and ensure a complete mixture by shaking or applying a gentle indirect heat. Adjust proportions or the resin/solvent mixture to oil for a fatter or leaner medium. Minimal resin is required. All ingredients speed up drying time. Can be added in small amounts to paint on the palette for all kinds of painting styles, or used in larger amounts for general glazes. Canada Balsam dries to a hard, clear finish and resists dissolution by later layers compared to damar resins. Can dry to the touch overnight, especially when using absorbent traditional gesso panels.

Sun-thickened Linseed Oil or 3 Part Medium (above)
Whole egg (minus shell, yolk sac & chalezi)

In this formula the Oil & Egg are well mixed before adding water or it will not emulsify. Use pure Oil for slower drying time or Trinity Medium for faster drying in egg tempera. This is a water-phase medium based on the Max Doerner / Ernst Fuchs Mischtechnik approach, alternating tempera rendering with layers of semi-resinous oil glazes (see 3-Part Glazing Medium above). Thickened oils impart a high film strength to the egg tempera emulsion, ensuring that the following glazes do not dissolve or pick up the delicate tempera layers beneath.

Properties and Advantages of Different Oil Viscosities

“The magic of the craftsmanship of oil painting depends on the physical coefficients of viscosity” – Salvador Dalí

Painting oils range from THIN oils, like cold pressed oils, all the way up to HEAVY thickened oils.
Drying oils for painting are always thickening as they sit in jars and get exposed to oxygen. Thickened oils have initiated the oxygenation and polymerization process, and will continue to become even more viscous over time. What starts out as a light-viscosity oil, will eventually turn into a heavier viscosity oil if enough air is in the bottle, and especially if the cap is left off the bottle over a very long period of time.

In this sense oils are alive and breathing, and they are always changing as they polymerize and dry. It can be useful to have a variety of different oil viscosities on hand to facilitate a more consistent and intuitive relationship with these unique mediums.

THIN OILS – Cold Pressed Linseed Oil & Liquid Gold Hemp Seed Oil
Slow Drying
• Underpainting
• Early indirect layers
• Handmade paint

• Lean & fluid
• Imparts flow
• Slower drying for open workability

Thin oils are the starting point for all thicker oils. Lighter oils can always be thickened further by leaving in half-full bottles or jars without caps or lids. Having a quantity of lighter oil on hand in the studio gives dedicated artists a lot of options. Mix handmade paint for immediate use or combine with stone powders for thicker paint applications. Add in small amounts to thicker mediums to facilitate more fluid brushwork. 

Rapid Drying in thin layers
• All-Purpose Workhorse
• Indirect & Alla Prima techniques
• Excellent in glazing mediums

• Lightly tacky to the touch
• Versatile alone or in mixtures
• Seamless blending

Useful in almost any painting technique, light viscosity oils art the most versatile, allowing for expressive alla prima painting or extensive indirect layers. Thin with solvent for use in early paint layers and add to varnish for glazing mediums. Use as a solo addition to final paint layers. This oil already tends to behave like a glaze medium as it imparts flow, gloss, leveling and fast-drying properties.

MEDIUM VISCOSITY THICKENED OILS – Sun Thickened Linseed Oil & Hemp Seed Stand Oil Medium
Fast Drying
especially when thinned with solvents
• Excellent in glazing mediums
• Used alone in later indirect layers 
• Addition to emulsions

• Dense Syrup
• Imparts Gloss & Glow
• Lightly Resinous

Useful in almost any painting technique, thickened oils can be the most versatile for alla prima painting or layered work. Thin with a solvent of your choice for use in early paint layers, then move toward a pure oil approach in final layers to obey the principle of ‘fat over lean’.

Thickened oils are an ideal base for glazing mediums (see formulas below), or can used by itself in direct painting approaches, like plein air, still life or figurative work from a live model.

HEAVY OILS – Sun thickened Oil, Stand Oil or Heat Bodied Oil
Fast Drying, but thick, Thicker layers slow drying.
• Useful in glazing mediums
• Thinned in order to be workable
• Final layers

• Sticky like Molasses
• Imparts gloss
• Very resinous

Adds maximum richness to transparent colors while providing a very strong, self-leveling paint film in 3 part mediums. Can be used in final thicker paint layers, and mixed into stone dusts for thicker brushwork.

Images Link to Products

Join Our Mailing List

Enter your email address to receive discounts & special offers.

* indicates required