Al Young Studios Newsroom

Containers for paint medium

Both Al and Elspeth favor M. Graham Walnut Alkyd Medium for use as a drying agent. It's fast drying (one to two days in our dry desert climate) without causing the oil paints to lose their capability to be worked using wet-in-wet techniques, neither does it strip the texture of the paint down to an acrylic-like consistency as some drying agents seem to do.

Our favorite supplier for the medium is Merri Artist in Oregon because they carry the gallon container (to say nothing of their excellent customer service). Even 16 oz. bottles don't last long at our Studio, and the medium tends to dry more quickly over time and become thick and viscous when stored in the smaller plastic containers in which the 4, 8, and 16 oz. bottles are sold.

The only trick to a gallon container is there is no easy pour spout. One solution that works reasonably well is to use a darkened glass bottle and stopper designed for storing herbal tinctures, etc., purchased at a local natural foods store. When the medium gets low in this container, it is easily cleaned and refilled. The small bottle is airtight enough to keep the medium from drying-out during the month, and means we can quickly and easily drop a few drops of medium onto the palette or into a palette cup without the hassle of gummed-up pour spouts or funnels.

The small metallic container pictured to the left of the eye-dropper bottle was a thrift store find purchased for a few cents. It's actually part of camping paraphernalia, but works beautifully as a cup for medium or brush cleaner.

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