Author Topic: Making oil paint sticks  (Read 6903 times)

Offline Gone

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Making oil paint sticks
« on: April 09, 2010, 03:49:30 AM »
I am experimenting with making my own oil paint sticks lately.  I am using Daler Rowney oil paints and beeswax.  I melt the wax and oil paint together and then pour it in a mold.  I am wrapping them in aluminum foil to keep them from drying out.  So far so good.  I only started making them a couple weeks ago so am not sure how they will hold up over time.  Usually oil paint sticks form a skin at the ends that protects them from drying out.  I've been keeping them in refrigerator to slow down that process.  I haven't made a lot of colors yet, mostly because I seem to have misplaced some of my oil paints.  Once I dig them out though I will be making a blue.  So far I have white, black, yellow ocher, napes yellow and scarlet lake.

The first stick I made was round, like all the oil paints sticks I have bought or seen.  So I made a round one too. I made a round mold out of a short piece of 1/2 inch pvc pipe.  I lined it with paper to make a wrapper.  I sealed one end with a lump of clay.  Then I poured the melted wax paint mixture in the tube.  Waited 10 minutes for it to cool and then pushed it out of the tube with a paint brush handle.  It came out easy.

The next ones I made are square.  I made a very simple mold out of a 1 inch board with another board screwed on top along the length.  When I want to use it a take a 2nd length of board and clamp it along side the first board on top, but spaced about a 1/2 inch apart.  The 2nd temporary board creates an open U channel space.  Then I line that open U shaped channel with aluminum foil.  Plug both ends of the U channel with clay.  Then pour the oil wax mixture.

After it cools I unclamp the temporary board and remove it.  Then I can easily remove the oil paint stick from the mold/board.  Remove the clay from both ends and wrap the aluminum foil on around the oil stick.  It is easy to peel off more aluminum foil when using the stick to expose fresh paint stick.

I kind of like the square shape better than the round sticks since I can get a better line/edge with them.

One nice thing about making your own sticks is you can mix any oil paint color you want to and pour it as a stick.  I haven't made any custom colors yet but it would be simple to do.

See, I don't do absolutely nothing in my spare time! So there!   :headonwall:

Offline Jesse

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Re: Making oil paint sticks
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2010, 08:22:37 AM »
What a fun experiment.  I'd love to see some pics of the process and the results!

Offline BarryS

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Re: Making oil paint sticks
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2010, 12:22:06 PM »
Cool.  I bet you could use your own dry pigments if you came up with a beeswax/oil base mixture and it might be less expensive.  Beeswax has the most incredible smell--I'd like to make some waxed paper negatives and do a little encaustic on photos just to play around with beeswax.
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Offline Gone

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Re: Making oil paint sticks
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2010, 05:01:51 PM »
Jesse

I might make some more this weekend and take pics Jesse.  I gotta find my blue oil paint first though.

Hi Barry,

Yep, I could mix up some pigment and linseed oil or safflower oil or walnut oil I guess.  I haven't used my oil paints a few years though and figure they are ready to go so that's why am trying those first.  I do have a collection of pigments that might be interesting to try.  I've got some metallic mica and others that might be nice.

I looked up waxed paper negatives on Wiki and found a little info on them.  It sounds like that feller Talbot made some waxed paper negatives, but also coated some of his paper negatives with wax.

I use cera colla quite a bit with oil pastels.  It is a liquid wax emulsion with water.  I use it to make a separation layer on my oil pastels so I can add more color without it blending into lower layers.  So it can allow a glaze type effect, which is otherwise hard to do in oil pastels.  I also use cera colla as a final protective layer.  It is a white liquid that you paint on or lay on with a roller.  After it dries (the water evaporates) I fix/fuse it with a hair dryer.  It is cloudy (whitish) until it dries and is fused.  Once fused it becomes totally clear.

You can also mix pigments into cera colle to make wax paints.  Then you paint it on and fuse it.  Cera colla is a very old wax medium for painting that has been around about 2000 years.  Some people say the Fayum mummy portraits were done in encaustic, but others think they were made using cera colla.  I don't know which is true.  Both mediums can make similar effects, and they both are wax and pigments.

The advantage of cera colla over encaustic is you are working with a cold wax medium, so you don't have to rush getting the wax paint in the right place before it cools off.  The disadvantage is you don't see the final results until it is fused and the whitish cast goes out of the wax.  You also have to wait for the cera colla to dry, which can take 15 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness and humidity.

So cera colla might work well for your wax negatives.  I think it would be good for washes over areas.  Once you have a clear coat of wax in place you could use oil pastels over that also.


Offline roybitaon

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Re: Making oil paint sticks
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 04:26:54 AM »
hay  :]
 
im tring to find how to make oil stick my self, i was thinking as well that bee wax would do, but how do u know the amount of the wax u have to put. i was thinking as well to make qubes from aluminium papers and make them stronger with paper tape so as well u can just leave the oil stick inside and u can unfold it bit by bit.
i would be very graitfull to hear ur experiance about the amount of wax u put [sorry for the grammer problems and for the bad english im not from us ]

Offline Gone

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Re: Making oil paint sticks
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 09:08:58 AM »
Hi Roy,

It takes around 10 to 15 percent oil paint to wax.  The more oil paint the softer the oil stick will be.  Wrapping them like you said sounds good.  I just wrapped them with  plain paper and taped the paper on.  The nice thing about making your own is you can make any color you want.

Offline roybitaon

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Re: thank u
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2012, 02:27:42 PM »
i wanted to share my experianses with u

im trying few things, if im puting only oilpaint and wax exactly as u said about 15 % they come out good, i tryed to put damar , like ,making the oilpaint and the damar together in away that they will be more liquid, so when i make the whole mix i can spill the whole mix in one time, that was actually good , it comes out more stiff and i like it ,im looking to feel the oilstick in my hand when im painting i dont like it if its to smooth but the problem is that u loose the spark of the oil wich i gess with the right amout of varnish u could give it back to it, when i was puting turpentine' it wasnt good' i think its ruin abit the wax so it wont get harden, my main problem today is that the stick r working more as wax sticks then oil stick so the dont dry totaly, i think u wrote something about it how to make the bars totaly stiff when u finish the painting, i looking as well for new materiall that will mix well with it, may be industrial lacquer, or other industrial sruff, maybe industrial paint, u know that one, u paint banisters with it, i use to paint for a while with it, it was intresting experiment, the smell thow not that much, i found out intresting ways to make round sticks, syringe, u cut the top of it with a japanees knife, so after u fill the whole thing u can just push it outside with the stick, works nice actually.

i will be happy to here if will find away to make the sticks dry totaly like regular oil, i i will find more intresting stuff i will tell u

 :biggrin:

Offline Gone

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Re: Making oil paint sticks
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2012, 03:08:07 PM »
Hi Roy,

It's nice to hear your experiments are working out!  If the oil sticks are too wet/soft, you can lower the amount of oil in them.  You can put piles of oil paint on a stack of newspaper or paper towels.  Leave the paint on the paper for 15 minutes or so and the paper will absorb some of the oil out of the paint.  So the oil paint stick will be less oily.

Putting damar in the oil stick is an interesting idea.  The oil sticks won't be as hard as regular oil paint though, because they are mostly wax, not oil paint.  The wax is naturally soft.  The damar should help harden it some though.