Painting on Location
by Donald A. Jusko

Don Jusko American Artist

colour cat

7-8-7 Day35, I found syphoning out the sludge works best, next to freezing it. Batch6, After 3 complete washings I'm still getting a lot of residue sludge in this new batch. The third washing of the small tests did show a decrease in the sludge. That may also be the case of this combined large batch. I won't know for sure until this large batch settles and I get to make a forth shaking with clear water.

7-9-7, Day36, Batch6, The oil is still translucent, the sludge is dense. The thin third level down in the first few washings is now increased in density and sticks to the sides of the jar when tilted.

7-10-7, Day 37, The sludge has crystals growing that completely cover the glass. The white opaque layer above the sludge has shapes in it when tilted, the edges are stuck to the glass like the crystals in the sludge do. The interior of it moves as a mass above the sludge layer and is thicker then the oil. The top uppermost "green layer" is still there, but now it's opaque white. I don't know how to get rid of that yet.

There is no doubt now, the crystals that formed on the glass are still growing in thickness as a mass. At first I thought the crystals were transparent and the sludge was translucent. However, after a month of settling the sludge is clear and the sticking crystals are translucent. The liquid crystalline compound looks like clear water but I'm still calling it sludge, even though all the crystals in the sludge are now attached to the container. This water is as clear as lime water and both make potentially harmful crystals for their media. Lime crystals form within the liquid, oil crystals form on the containers walls.

A photo shows collapsed lime crystals. At one time, after making this batch of lime water and letting it sit for outside for six months the crystals, were big and delicate. I had to move it finally and they collapsed into this pile. Another 6 months passed before this picture was taken, no new crystals formed. That might be because it was kept in the dark, but I'm not sure.

7-10-7, Today I am putting as much oil into one container as I can and am letting it settle. All but batch1, I want to see how thick crystals will form if left standing. From past medium testing I know I like a 50:50 mixture of sun dried and natural linseed oil. So.. I will sun dry half of the oil and let the other half be. How long will it take batch6 to clear before I sun dry it?

7-11-7, Today I added the oil from batch 3 that is now very transparent and almost clear to the rest of the oil that is still translucent, not transparent.. It sank to the bottom! I think it's air that is making the oil translucent. The water is gone. It will sit in the sun today.

10-24-09, I have just finished a Kermer and Gamsol linseed oil water washing (blender used) test started in 7-17-8 and ending 10-24-9 for the Kermer oil. The Gamlin oil hasn't been syphoned or frozen out yet (12-30-12), the milky water is still milky. I believe that what dissolves in water is not oil and should be removed. This final oil is crystal clear. The sludge turns brown, less 1/10th of the oil becomes water soluble. Next I will sundry half of the oil.

1-9-10, I started to syphon the Gamlin oil but forgot to shoot the pictures and have to let it settle again. It should take a few days. (ha ha, more like years)
I won't link this page until the photos are in.
My 2009 photos are in: ~Graphics RCW/washinglinseed ingallons5-5-9/oilwashphoto 10-12-9

1-11-13, I still haven't added the photos, or decanted the 7-17-8 Gamlin linseed oil batch, so this is still an un-connected page. The oil still looks the same and the water is still opaque milky white from colloidal oil or disolved impure aspects of the oil. This is by far my longest running test of washed linseed oil.

I got an interesting email today from Brent Tamatea, he has been making tests on washing linseed oil.
"Donald, I am interested in making linseed oil suitable for car painting as I restore old cars. In the old days they added boiled linseed oil to paints so they would flow better leaving no brush marks. I have found out that boiled oil today is not the same as the boiled of yesterday"

Don Jusko: First they boiled it, today they blow hot air through it, neither way is good for the oil. Although it does paint better and dry faster. It is defiantly a commercial process.

" and when I checked into linseed used in oil painting.. that has been fascinating. I hadn't realized it has been used for centuries. I thought your tips on water washing was really helpful, I also thought this may be of interest to you, that you can use garlic to quicken the drying process. First they boiled it, than they blew hot air through it, neither way is good for the oil. Although it does paint better and dry faster. It is defiantly a commercial process.
I believe that many of the old traditional methods of doing things worked well as they were based on practices tried and perfected over time, thanks for keeping these practices alive.
Regards, Brent, (New Zealand)"

I looked at all your links.
I've been painting my vans for 35 years with a lead based oil sign-painting paint and a little Penatrol added to it. I use a foam brush and there are no brushmarks. I sand it lightly and add a second coat when it's dry. After 2 or 3 years I sand and do it again.

The garlic added is intresting. I'm surprised it lightened the oil. I made drying tests with washed linseed oil and it dried darker :( That's why I haven't been pursuing this course of action as much as I did. If this new tip of yours works, and the garlic-linseed oil does lighten the liquid oil and dries it faster, you really have something. Especially if it doesn't darken after a few years. I'll make a test.

You said, "This technique dates from well before 1800."
Here's a page you might like to look at. It's how they made paint in 1881.

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