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The healthier alternative! Archival Odorless Mediums and Solvents evaporate much more slowly than turpentines, resulting in a minimum of vapor during painting sessions. Archival Mediums are based on fast-drying alkyd resins, which outperform "traditional" mediums and are healthier to use.
Odorless Fat Medium
Recommended for experienced painters who work all day on the same painting, this syrupy, heavy-bodied liquid medium contains high solids to promote faster, more thorough drying of oils, and increase gloss and flow for enamel-like effects. It can also be added to Lean Medium if a more glossy effect is desired. Odorless Fat Medium generates very little vapor, resulting in healthier and more pleasant painting sessions.
This is a gel that helps move oil paint around easily while retaining texture and brush marks. Use a 50/50 mix with paint for thick impasto (15-60 mm). It’s also useful for those who desire less extreme applications of paint to dry quickly and retain marks and texture, while still being brushable and easy to manipulate. It also blends wet-in-wet when worked in with a brush or knife.
This is a general-purpose, odorless solvent that can be used instead of gum and mineral turpentine to thin paints and clean brushes. Very little vapor is generated, resulting in healthier and more pleasant painting sessions.
This is a loose gel that liquefies when brushed and stays in place when at rest, making it useful for developing new techniques. It can also be blended easily until it dries (within three hours). It also can be brushed over lightly for wet-on-wet techniques.
Odorless Classic Medium
This is a modified stand oil-based medium for painters who prefer slower drying. It’s ideal for thinning paint while maintaining a rich, luminous finish when dry, lends greater control for detail work, and offers longer manipulation time for over-painting, glazing, and wet-in-wet techniques. It can be used throughout a long painting process or for slow glazing on top of fast underpainting. Do not use fast-drying mediums over the top of Classic Medium, as the tension between the paint layers caused by the different drying times may be strong enough to crack. Odorless Classic Medium generates very little vapor, resulting in healthier and more pleasant painting sessions.
This is a variation of Smooth Gel that contains ceramic beads for a gritty texture to add aesthetic appeal to thickly applied paint. It moves easily when mixed, then firms up on the painting, which is useful for keeping oil color separate wet-on-wet, or blendable for wet-in-wet techniques.
Odorless Lean Medium
This is a very fluid, general-purpose alkyd resin medium that can be used to increase the flow and transparency of Chroma Archival Oils, as well as for glazing and other thin applications. Its fast-drying properties allow a variety of techniques beyond what is normally possible with traditional mediums. Odorless Lean Medium generates very little vapor, resulting in healthier and more pleasant painting sessions.
Health and Mediums — Oil paints are relatively non-hazardous when used by themselves. The main reason why artists develop allergic reactions to oil painting is not because of the paints but because of the toxicity of traditional mediums, which evaporate very quickly, releasing toxic vapors that can cause health issues. As a result, the use of aromatic solvents such as gum or mineral turpentine may adversely affect the health of an artist after years of use. Using toxic solvents and mediums in shared spaces can be compared to passive smoking — ultimately, it's best to avoid these types of solvents.
Archival Mediums use Odorless Solvents with Low Toxicity — Paint companies do not invent odorless solvents — these solvents have been in existence for many years. Supplied by oil companies, they are petrochemicals, with the aromatic fractions removed, making them much less toxic to use than gum turpentine, mineral turpentine, or white spirits. Odorless solvents evaporate at a much slower rate than turpentines, so that very small amounts of vapor are generated during a painting session, a fact that is more important than the lower toxicity itself. Odorless solvents will, however, evaporate over time, and drying racks and work spaces still need to be well-ventilated. Those artists who paint in lofts should not recirculate their studio air into their living and sleeping quarters, as a slow vapor buildup could become toxic over time.
Archival Mediums are Flexible like Archival Oils — Only Archival Mediums should be used with Archival Oils to avoid the creation of brittle layers. When used together, Archival Oils and Archival Mediums offer artists an array of techniques beyond what is possible with "traditional" mediums. The flexibility of Archival Oils when used with Archival Mediums is such that overpainted layers can stretch to accommodate movement as the painting settles down and cures — allowing great freedom of technique. All Archival Mediums (except Classic Medium) are very fast-drying.
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Using Archival Gel Mediums — Gel Mediums, including Flow Gel (which liquefies when picked up on a brush), can be conveniently placed on a palette. It is best not to dispense a larger quantity of any Archival Medium than can be used in one day, however, because of the quick-drying properties. Many artists use Archival Gel Mediums to speed up the drying process of their paintings, which means that pure paint on the palette remains usable longer. As well as being interchangeable, Archival Gel Mediums are designed not to increase gloss levels, avoiding unwanted glossy patches on paintings. Artists who use thickly applied oil paints should use a gel medium, as using thick paint alone increases drying time from 6 to 18 months after application. Archival Mediums stabilize the oil paint, resulting in proper curing of thick slabs of paint without stress or wrinkling. Using Archival Mediums is economical as well, if used with highly pigmented paints such as Archival Oils.
Archival Gel Mediums and Wet-on-Wet Application — Archival Gel Mediums offer another important benefit when used for wet-on-wet applications. All of the mediums, when mixed on the palette, are softer than the paint that has "settled in" on the painting, making wet-on-wet application very easy. Simply work the fresh paint in with a brush or knife, resulting in greater control over paint application.
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