After 12 solid days of painting in Scotland (sometime 2 paintings/day) I can start to give an update on the drying time of Cobra Water Soluble Oil Paints. First, they DRIED! I think one of the keys was that the room we kept our gear in, including wet paintings, was very, very warm as it was a sunroom. Honestly, I think even in winter this room would allow one to grow oranges in this haven of Scottish warmth. We were lucky in that the whole time we were painting it was sunny. When I was in warm and sunny southern France, I experienced the same thing. I also changed the material I was painting on from Yes, All Media Primed Canvas to Fredrix Kent oil primed linen.
After a few hours of painting I did find that need to switch my brushes out. I had brought a combination of bristle and bristle with synthetic (Rosemary Classic) and mongoose. After several hours of painting and using water for cleaning my brushes I was finding that the Rosemary Classic hog/synthetics were splaying a bit and not holding a firm edge. I bought inexpensive synthetics, which mimic sables, and have found they worked really well.
I could lay on a light scrub and the paint dried very, very fast allowing me to start building color without picking up the color of the toned canvas. This was a big plus for me as I was toning in the field. I would thinly tone my canvas with paint and water and then set up the rest of my colors while my canvas was drying.
I found that, especially in warm weather, the thinned paint would dry pretty quickly on my palette but I could re-wet it to continue using it. The piles of color, however, would stay wet just as long as my traditional oils did. I also found that when I scraped up my paint at the end of a session and put it off to the side, they were still quite workable the next day.
One thing I really love about Cobra Water Soluble paint is that because I’m not using OMS, I am not getting it on my skin. I don’t like wearing gloves so invariably my hands would have some turp on them. Strangely, if I was spending all day in my studio I could even feel the oil mixture in my mouth. This has not happened at all with Cobra.
If you are using water soluble paints I’m interested in hearing what your experience has been. Let me know!
“Christ on the Cross” painted at a church in Castillon du Gard in southern France
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