Over the years I have heard so much dogma spouted concerning the abhorrence of alkyd paint and mediums. Mostly it came from the manufacturers of traditional mediums. I can safely say I have done due diligence and I have tried about everything under the sun. I have painted with real copal and amber varnishes, I have painted with megilp and Maroger’s. I have even boiled my own linseed with litharge, made my own mastic varnish and made my own Maroger’s. I have purchased the “Secret” mediums of the “Masters” from Studio Products, Alchemists, Natural Pigments, Old Masters, James Groves, and a handful of other do it yourself’ers. I have even collected wax from bees, glue from fish and rabbits, marble dust from white marble, and exotic and arcane pigments such as real ivory black made from burnt ivory. (very expensive) I have collected the flakes of Lac, and made my own shellac. (Which by-the-way is far superior to anything you can buy pre-made in the store) I have made my own paint, pastels, watercolors, pencils, paper, and have crafted with my own hands wooden palettes of every shape and size.

After doing all the above, I have discovered one thing. It isn’t the medium. It is the artist’s clarity of vision, attention to values, shapes, and temperature that makes the best paintings. It really doesn’t matter what the hell you paint with. Now, that being said, there are some that make life A LOT easier. Any hard resin, copal or amber, dissolved in oil does wonderful things to oil paint. So, now I still have this problem. Despite all my wonderful oil paint and mediums, I still don’t have the ability to paint in oil and have it dry in a day…until now.

Now, I’m not saying the Alkyds are the end all be all. But, they work alright. And, they dry…fast. I did 4 sketches today. The longest drying time was 8 hours- and it is raining out. Pretty good. I think I have found my baby for the road. One item off the checklist at least.

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