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Iron Gall Oil Paint, Is It Possible Chemically?

iron gall

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13 replies to this topic

#1 scri be

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 12:36

Dear guys,
I'm wondering if it could be possible to have an oil paint with iron gall ink properties,
Adding iron sulphate and gallic acid to linseed oil, will it turn black, or is it only soluble in water? If not is there any way to mix it with oil?

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#2 webgeckos

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 16:05

I don't think it would be stable, long term, and you'd eventually have the paint eat into both gesso and linen or canvass. Maybe you could use it if you did a traditional panel.

Theoretically you can make it into a paint. You need a glass slab and large glass mueller to mull it. Mine is a mueller five inches diameter. If you buy new slab and mueller you have to condition them by muelling with special silicates.

Generally you would chop it up, then grind in a mortar and pestle. Then you move to the slab. The pigment is first ground with a little water. I have never made oil paint, only egg tempera, water colors and pastels. You'd need to research online whether you'd use oil or distilled water. Basically you'd want a thick paste, thicker than toothpaste.then you add in oil.

You oil tubes need to be non-reactive. Williamsburg makes these, you can buy them at Natural Pigments. They shouldn't react to your organic material. But you can query them.

Paint making is fun but also can be very dangerous, it depends on your pigments.

Your ground and support:

This is the 600 year old method.

To make a stable panel most use birch but you can use linden aka lime wood aka American boxwood. It should be air dried at least a year then planed. You want a finished thickness of at least half an inch. Large panels should be cradled.

Size the panel:

With pure mixed rabbit skin glue, age it twenty-four hours in a fridge. You need to warm it to a liquid state. Then paint the glue on to top and sides, let dry. Turn over and paint the glue on the back. All sides need an equal layer of glue. Paint three total coats. I prefer Spanish glue, dried and in powdered form, it doesn't smell like a funeral.

I allow the panel to dry two days after I finish three coats.

You do the glue because each layer of gesso will pull up glue and bond tightly, making a very hard surface when you finish. Also if it is t evenly glued you risk checks and cracks.

Gesso:

My gesso is rabbi skin glue, usually Balongia chalk, marble dust, and titanium white.if it is for silver or gold metallic drawing, I add 350 screen bone ash. I would be leery of the pre made stuff. You can also tint this with pigment dispersions.

Again do three coats, drying between each coat, including sides and back. At this point the panel is stable. After this dries you can just gesso the top surface. I usually do a total of six coats on top, mightily sanding between coats.

When I am ready to work on the panel, the day before I do a thin coat of gesso. When dry I lightly sand with a 1200 grit plastic wet/dry sandpaper. If I paint with egg tempera, then I burnish the surface with an agate burnisher.

It's an arduous month long process and I usually made a years worth of panels at one go.

Edited by webgeckos, 01 March 2016 - 16:25.


#3 scri be

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 20:31

Thanks for your tremendous help!
I was asking if in linseed oil the oil could turn black on its own, without any other pigments.

#4 webgeckos

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 22:17

Are you trying to make Morgars oil?

#5 kwzi

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 20:07

Thanks for your tremendous help!
I was asking if in linseed oil the oil could turn black on its own, without any other pigments.


It can be done.
Just forget about iron sulphate, tannic acid and few other ingredients that were used in making of IG Inks normally.
The other thing is that iron in oil would speed up drying of linseed oil - how fast is hard to say.

Do you want that linseed would be completely colorless and transparent or can it be slightly greenish grey before applying on canvas?
I have a lot of tape - and I won't hesitate to use it!

#6 scri be

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 14:22

I would like it to be black! So it doesn't have to be transparent at first.
What do you mean, when you say to forget about the traditional ingredients? Isn't that how iron gall works, what would you substitute for the chemical reaction to happen in oil?

Edited by scri be, 06 March 2016 - 14:23.


#7 white_lotus

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 14:31

Then just use black oil paint!



#8 scri be

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 18:47

Of course,
Though my question was simply to ask if that would work, IG in oil rather than water! I would like an answer to just that.

#9 webgeckos

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 03:20

I'd think you could grind it in a mortar, then run it through 6-7 muelling son a glass slab. That would get it fine enough. But I've never made oil paint because I don't work in it. I prefer egg tempera and make all my own paint and panels.

 

Earth and mud were ground into pigments ( Green Earth, Raw and Burnt Umber and Sienna are soils, or were soils.) The other colors were ground stones (Lapis, Malachite etc) or were so toxic as to be deadly dangerous (vermilion is from mercury, lead white from stack lead.) The other color, also fugitive, is Caput Mortum (violet) which is just gross. It's ground up people from Mummies, with the bitumen tar, to make this black-purple.

 

But even if you can get it black, with iron and an acid, it is always going to be a fugitive color. There isn't a way around that. I think once you make black iron gall ink you could totally dry it out, re-grind it for even dispersion, then mull it in oil?

 

 

Michael Harding, a paint maker in the UK, has some great essays and info  on oil paint making. I think you are going to be on your own. I would be shocked to find paint makers using such a fugitive pigment especially since there are others that are lightfast and stable.

 

NB: The following is from Natural Pigments, which is where I buy my pigments, there and sinopia.  But thus was the western historical palette:

 

Lazurite (Afghanistan Lapis Lazuli)
Nicosia Green Earth (Glauconite cold)
Verona Green Earth (Glauconite warm)
Yellow Ocher Very Light
Limonite
Italian Yellow Earth
Caput Mortum (Violet Hematite)
Red Ocher (Ercolano Red)
Umber
Sienna
Brown Ocher (Goethite)
Bone Black



#10 kwzi

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 12:36

Of course,
Though my question was simply to ask if that would work, IG in oil rather than water! I would like an answer to just that.

 

@scri be

 

This is possible, but why?

 

When I said that you should forget about most of ingredients used in IG inks I thought that you want make IG ink in which water would be replaced by linseed oil - with all characteristics of those inks (like darkening in time, good penetration in the material and etc.). 

That what you wanted would be a true solution - no dispersed solids in the oil.

To achieve that you would have to overcome few problems - standard ingredients used in making of IG inks are rather hydrophilic in nature. While linseed oil is hydrophobic - to make IG ink which would be water based you would have to use equivalents of standard ingredients for IG which would be soluble in linseed oil. 

It can be made, but will be ridiculously expensive to prepare. 

 

If you want to make paint - solid pigment dispersed in linseed oil. Than try looking for iron-tannate, I think it was available as pigment in some art shops. 

If you do not find you can prepare it homemade, by mixing solutions of tannic acid and iron chloride, and than living it to dry - do not use metal vessels during preparation and drying. 


I have a lot of tape - and I won't hesitate to use it!

#11 scri be

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 18:20

Kwzi, that is what I asked,
To have the same properties as with IG ink, only substituting water with lnseed oil.
Would that not work?

Edited by scri be, 09 March 2016 - 18:22.


#12 kwzi

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 18:33

scri be

 

I was writing earlier message in a bit of rush while watching students - my experience tells me that you can not make IG "ink" based on linseed oil with ingredients used to make standard water-based IG inks. They are simply not going to dissolve in linseed oil. You can finely disperse the ingredients used in water-based IG inks, and even notice some color change during that - but it will be far for effect you are aiming for.

 

To prepare linseed oil based IG ink you would at least need to have counterparts of iron sulfate and gallic acid which would be soluble in linseed oil - and this is expensive. It is hard for me to tell exact cost, but the ingredients would cost at least 300€ or more to make around 400-500 ml. 

 

Better try to find or prepare iron tannate pigment and disperse it in linseed oil. 


I have a lot of tape - and I won't hesitate to use it!

#13 webgeckos

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 08:12

KWZI have you ever tried to disperse an iron pigment into oil?  I find grinding minerals pure drudgery when mulling it into a water dispersion. I'm just wondering if its easier or harder than oil.



#14 kwzi

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 12:36

By iron you mean iron oxide pigments?

I have very limited expierence with grinding pigments - I work wirh different things and everything depends on type of what you want to grind and disperse, what you will add to stabilise your paint.

I can imagine that grinding with mortar and pestle is very hard. ..
If I had to prepare water or oil pants often than I would invest in ball mill or rotor - stator homogenizer.
I have a lot of tape - and I won't hesitate to use it!





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