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Black Oil & Linseed

Black Oil & Linseed

The Longevity of Black Oil

Rubens was one of many masters to utilize the versatility of Black Oil.


Black oil is best known for its ease of use and archival quality. It improves paint flow, increases translucency  and enables paint to dry "to the touch" overnight.Old Masters Black Oil is made with cold-pressed linseed oil and litharge. It does not have a tendency to yellow which makes it a highly reliable mixing oil.

"The black oil forestalls future darkening of paintings. As linseed oil is boiled with litharge, as in the case of Maroger mediums, the subsequent oxidation process may be minimized because the chemical bonds which would normally be available for oxygen, are not available. This prevents mediums from discoloring and other forms of degradation.*" Charles H. Olin, former director of the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American Art and Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education.

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Linseed Oil - The Key Ingredient

 John Singer Sargent painted almost exclusively with Linseed Oil.

linseed-oil.jpgThe introduction of linseed oil was a significant advance in the technology of oil painting.  (The oldest known oil painting dates back to 650 A.D.) Linseed oil improves flow, enables brush work and increases translucency. Ideal for glazing techniques, it is the strongest binding vehicle used in oil painting.

The purest form of linseed oil bares the name 'cold-pressed,' which simply means the oil has been pressed directly out of the flax seed without the use of heat. Old Masters only uses Cold-Pressed Oil, unlike other companies which resort to cheaper refined oils. 

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By John Bannon




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