In the current workshop series, “The True Story of the Paints,” Professor Yoshiaki Aoki stated the phrase “Think about the mediums more than paints!” Therefore, this article features a workshop which was about oil-based mediums.
His lecture started with the painting, The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck.
As you may know as an art enthusiast, this piece is believed to be the first work in the history of Western art that was painted with oil-based mediums only. Although oil paint takes time to dry, Jan van Eyck used it due to the humidity in the 15th-century Flanders where the artist lived was so high that the paintings were prone to mold.
Everyone was fully focused on Professor Aoki's explanation and this showed how knowledgeable he is.
Moreover, he explained the following three types of mediums and their characteristics in order to understand how oil paints have been made based on these historical facts.
① Raw drying oil
② Black oil
③ Stearic acid in oil
People who joined the workshop got to experience kneading the oil paints.
They were surprised how color, viscosity, and texture are different in spite of using the same pigment.
At the end of the workshop, Professor Aoki gave us a demonstration of making emulsions by mixing oil paint with water.
Oil paint cannot generally be mixed with tap water, however, when it was mixed with hard water or hot spring water with high pH, the paints turned into semi-oil-based.
Professor Aoki explained that European painters in the past did not only use oil paints to create their works but they also adjusted their mediums including water-based and oil-based to achieve a variety of expressions as we see today.
"Oil painting" or "Western-style painting" are categories people tend to put together, however, this workshop delved into the medium from PIGMENT TOKYO's perspective.
The next workshop will be about a semi-oil-based medium mentioned in this article and we welcome all who are interested in it.
[Special Event] The True Story of the Paint
- Think about the mediums more than paints! -
13:00 - 16:00
*This workshop is no longer available.
Find the latest information about our workshops here.
Translated by Atsumi Okano and Nelson Hor Ee Herng
PIGMENT TOKYO Art Materials Experts