¿ Qué es un color al Óleo ? Explicado por un fabricante
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What is an Oil color? Explained by a manufacturer

Oil painting is a very old and very traditional painting technique, the hobby and usefulness for this painting has not been lost. But do you know how it is manufactured? What characteristics does it have and chemical composition? In this first entry of our blog we explain from the point of view of chemistry and as manufacturers, what are oil colors.

An oil color is a mixture of a binder,  a vegetable drying oil, traditionally linseed, and a pigment, which is the cause of the color and which is dispersed in the binder medium.

We distinguish two dyestuffs; pigments and dyes.

Pigments are those that are dispersed in the binder medium, achieving a homogeneous paste, which is the paint, in which each pigment particle is surrounded by oil. Unlike pigments, colorants dissolve in the binding medium and the risks of having a non-homogeneous mixture are very high, the use of colorants for the manufacture of oil is synonymous with poor quality.
Pigment is the dyestuff used by most manufacturers of fine art products. We discern two types of pigments; inorganic and organic, generated by the chemical industry, which can be of natural or artificial origin.
Nowadays, with these pigments it is possible to achieve an oil with a large number of nuances, a great pigmenting power, a great fineness, an excellent shine, etc.

Another part of the formulation of an oil colour are the additives, which allow to improve and vary the characteristics of an oil colour. These additives are added in tiny amounts, ensuring that the entire mixture is in harmony and there are no imbalances in the composition. As manufacturers, we must try to reduce the amount of additives used to offer a high quality product using the qualities of the raw materials

The most commonly used additives are the following:

                   Dispersants - Humectants. They facilitate the dispersion process, in which the pigment particle is enveloped by the binder medium and therefore the paint, when ground by the rollers, becomes extra-fine homogeneous. It also prevents problems with the pastiness, homogeneity and the pigmenting power of the color over time.

Dryers. Allows you to manage the time it takes to dry an oil painting. Without this additive the drying times of a full range of oil colors could not be matched. This allows you to work with the oils knowing that they will dry together.

Thickeners. The thickener manages to give the desired pastiness to the oil. The quality of the thickener is one of the ingredients that will determine the duration of the pastiness of the oil.

Creamy solids: they are chemically designed so that the oil paint has a good brushstroke and the paint does not adhere to the brush or spatula, it allows a good creaminess of the oil.

There are more additives on the market that allow many more effects to be achieved in oil painting, such as; achieve a specific odour, avoid yellowing, increase resistance to light, etc.

Our procedure when formulating and manufacturing MIR oil colours is to minimize the number of components in the formula, with the aim of obtaining higher performance colours, colour purity in the mixtures and the highest pigment concentration.

In many cases, to obtain the highest performance of pigment purity, we try to include only 1 pigment, they are called mono-pigment formulations.

Examples of Mono Pigmented colors are, for example, our MIR Titanium Whites that only contain highly concentrated Titanium Dioxide with Index PW6 colour.

Our Lemon and Clear Cadmium Sulfide Yellows of Index PY35 color, of great purity, concentration and excellent covering power

I hope you liked this blog post by Pinturas MIR


MIR Pinturas Team


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