Do you ever notice this about Hollywood celebrities? The ones who play, say, doctors, start giving medical advice? Often a company will use them in an advertisement. Like when an insurance company used doctors from a popular T.V. show to pitch us getting regular checkups.
Why not use real doctors? Well, no one would recognize them as doctors. But wait, they aredoctors, and the celebrities aren’t. I’m already confused!
This happens all the time. An expert in one discipline claims to know more about another discipline than they do. Or, worse, an expert lends his credibility to another person.
A competent, should I say, master artist writes a book. In the book, he refers to another “expert” who gives out questionable advice. Because the master artist is not an expert, he accepts the information and publishes it.
Does that make sense to you?
You know what medium is, right?
In case you’re not sure, here’s how Ralph Mayer* defines it.
“The liquid constituent of a paint in which the pigment is suspended, or a liquid with which a paint may be diluted without decrease in its adhesive, binding, or film-forming properties.”
Medium is the oil manufacturers use to make oil paint. Artists also use a medium to mix with paint to thin it. There are other uses for mediums which we’ll address in future emails. The point is you use it a lot in painting.
If you’re going to use it a lot, shouldn’t you know all about it? As an artist, you should become knowledgeable in paint and medium.
Here is a phrase I saw in the book. The artist wrote about using a particular type of medium. (See if you can guess which medium it was.)
When in doubt, ask
To the painter’s credit, he turned to a museum restorer for advice. By printing the information in his book, though, he lent his credibility to the restorer’s statement.
Here’s the line from the book that interested us.
“It may yellow slightly (our emphasis), particularly when a picture’s been stored in the dark. However, exposure to north light (not direct sunlight) for a few days will quickly bleach out most of the yellow.”
Here is the next line.
“Of course,” he says, “no medium is completely nonyellowing (our emphasis again). No matter how careful you are, your pictures will “ivory” to some extent.”
One more line and please pay attention to what’s NOT said.
“This change isn’t necessarily a fault; sometimes it unifies and mellows raw colors in a picture.” Did you catch it? Do you see what’s going on?
What’s going on here?
If what this restorer says is true, why haven’t Leonardo’s paintings yellowed in over five hundred years? We know why Leonardo’s paintings are still bright and beautiful.
We put the secret of Leonardo’s paintings in our crystal clear oil. Alexander Magic Clear™ will never yellow because we don’t use what the restorer recommended.
But, heck, don’t take our word for it. Buy a bottle for yourself and see.
Compare our oil medium to the medium you’re using now. That difference is going to be on your painting.
Want to use the same kind of medium that Leonardo, Michelangelo, Titian, and Raphael used? Try Alexander Magic Clear™. Leave a lasting legacy (like Bill urged you to do). Use the clearest medium on the market — Alexander Magic Clear™.
* Ralph Mayer – “The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques.”