Despite this rant, I am not against the use of technology to make art. I don’t think we should go back to horses for getting to landscape painting spots (though moving slow and being high up is great for scouting), I love looking at the new wave of digital artists I see online, and I will incorporate technology into my own working method to experiment with new ideas. I’ve written before about using video rather than photography for portraiture , experimenting with carbon fiber and Dyneema composites fabric to lighten my plein air painting equipment, and I use weather, map, and sun-tracking apps to plan my outdoor work. I’ve also used Photoshop on occasion to make compositional decisions quickly, rather than doing lots of studies, as seen in the gif below:
Once the oil is extracted, additives are sometimes used to modify its chemical properties. In this way, the paint can be made to dry more quickly (if that is desired), or to have varying levels of gloss , like Liquin . Modern oils paints can, therefore, have complex chemical structures; for example, affecting resistance to UV . By hand, the process involves first mixing the paint pigment with the linseed oil to a crumbly mass on a glass or marble slab. Then, a small amount at a time is ground between the slab and a glass Muller (a round, flat-bottomed glass instrument with a hand grip). Pigment and oil are ground together 'with patience' until a smooth, ultra-fine paste is achieved. This paste is then placed into jars or metal paint tubes and labelled.
Generally, you can’t tint a primer very much and the reason is because it would require too much pigment, therefore rendering the primer, well, not really a primer anymore. The main difference between paint and primer is that paint is mostly pigment, whereas primer is mostly binder. That’s a very rough, superficial comparison, but accurate. Whenever we do a distressed piece, we don’t use primer for that very reason – unless we are painting black or white, in which case, no big deal because the primer will be one of those colors.