Thursday, May 5, 2011

Okay, who bought it?

Posted by: Kate

First of all, let me compliment your good taste. Secondly, please get in touch with me to arrange varnishing. The above picture shows the difference between the painting's current, sunken-in appearance and what it will look like once varnished.

For taking photos of works that haven't been varnished yet, Dave and I usually saturate the surface of the dry painting with essential oil of petroleum. That "oils in" the surface but without adding a layer of oil. The essential oil of petroleum evaporates and leaves the surface of the painting unchanged, but for a few minutes I can see the painting as it will look with the varnish coat applied. The next time Dave and I do this for a photo shoot we'll post some pictures of how to do it.


  1. essential oil of petroleum? Is that mineral oil, lamp oil, kerosene or something else. I've tried Mr Google, and he comes up empty

    Beautiful painting.

  2. It's just another petroleum distillate, like mineral spirits, except it's not as strong a solvent, so you don't have to worry about it stripping off the surface of your painting. It leaves barely any (if any) residue on the surface of the painting once evaporated. Unfortunately it's really hard to find right now and Dave and I had to pick up a stash last time we went to Europe. The better brands are Pebeo and Lefranc & Bourgeois.

  3. Pierre Lois Bouvier wrote in his handbook to wash it with water. It also acts like varnish for a short moment. You may try that, And although the oil gives more time to take a photo, water can be very helpfull to take a quick look on the whole.