Speed-drying an oil painting?

ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
So my wife was helping my son with an art project for school. He picked an artist that worked principally in oils (Franz Marc; dude did some cool work), so my wife bought him some oil pants so he could do some work in Marc's style. Anybody who's worked with oils probably knows where I'm going with this.

The project is due in two days and he's supposed to bring it into class for display. Obviously, it's not dry yet, and I highly doubt it's going to be in a couple more days. He didn't apply the paint super thick, so maybe there's some shred of hope, but I'm not crossing my fingers. For reference, this is what it looks like after a little over a day's worth of drying:
TigerSmall_zpsbc8a445f.jpg

Now, I have heard some people (I think it was somewhere in this forum, actually) recommend leaving the painting in a hot area (eg, inside a car) or using a blowdryer to speed-dry it. I've also heard others say that's a terrible idea because the paint will crack. I guess I'm wondering how bad the cracking would really get? This is for a six year old's class project, not for something we want to hang in a gallery somewhere, so if the cracking would be minor (or if it wouldn't occur right away), I think we're cool with that. If the paint is going to, like, fall off the canvas, then we'll have to go a different route.

Our emergency back-up plan is to take a photo and print it out and bring that to class, but that's not nearly so fun as being able to bring in the original.

So yeah - any tips would be appreciated.

Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

I make tweet.

Posts

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Class Traitor Smoke-filled roomRegistered User regular
    edited April 2014
    It has been a long time since I did any painting, but I heard from someone (note that I did not try this myself) that baking a painting can work if you don't go above 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything higher than that and you will discolor the paint. You might want to keep it around 100 degrees just to be sure. You want to make sure the heat is even and controlled, and a hair dryer is not.

    But I would do a lot of research before trying such a thing.

    For future reference (this may be unnecessary) but alkyd paints are supposed to dry faster than traditional oil paints.

    joshofalltrades on
  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    Most of the techniques I remember for speeding up drying times involve adding things like linseed oil to the paint before applying it so that won't help you now.

    I've seen a few people mention placing their paintings under 75 or 100 watt bulbs from desk lamps to speed drying without blasting the painting with direct heat.

    NightDragon
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2014
    I believe "A Warm room with lots of daylight" is the optimal drying conditions for oil. Being super cold slows down the process, but if you warm it up like crazy, it probably wont be great.

    Considering how many wet canvases we turned in at school, I'm pretty sure there is not a super reliable way to dry paintings like, over night without some prior planning.

    Unless you want a car that smells like oil paint, I wouldn't put it in there, either.

    Iruka on
  • DMACDMAC Moderator mod
    I can't stand the smell of oil paints after my experiences with them in university. They trigger a Pavlovian stress response now.

    Acrylics used to be a distant second in terms of quality but have improved pretty drastically in the past couple of decades. I'm sure this has been a learning experience but unless you're spending a lot of time on a painting and need that ability to blend/rework, acrylics are definitely the way to go.

    tynic
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    I used to paint Once Upon an Ago, and I used almost exclusively acrylics because they were A) cheaper, 2) easier, and pi) did not have a drying time measured in freaking months, so when I walked in and saw the little box of oils sitting on the counter there was this protracted, horror-flick nooooooooo moment. I definitely will not be encouraging my children to take up oils any time soon.

    I think I might capture the pic with a couple good photos and then maybe try the slow-bake oven technique. This is going to be displayed where a cavalcade of Riley's fellow first graders can get their grubby mitts all over it, so something that is not dry is pretty much undisplayable, and I don't think he has any great attachment to the work. If it gets ruined and he's sad about it, he can just paint another one that we can then lock in the garage for however long.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
    joshofalltrades
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Class Traitor Smoke-filled roomRegistered User regular
    @ElJeffe

    By the way, that's really impressive work from a first grader!

  • RankenphileRankenphile Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.Registered User, Moderator mod
    Just so you know?

    Your oven is going to smell like crap.

    IrukaWassermeloneNightDragonm3naceCommunistCow
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    I ended up not doing the oven after all, because after testing it the lowest temperature I could maintain was about 240F. Some of the edges are actually dry enough that you can lightly touch it without the paint coming off, so I think we're just going to arrange to hang it out of anyone's reach in the classroom and call it good.

    And thanks, @joshofalltrades!

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
    joshofalltrades
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I ended up not doing the oven after all, because after testing it the lowest temperature I could maintain was about 240F. Some of the edges are actually dry enough that you can lightly touch it without the paint coming off, so I think we're just going to arrange to hang it out of anyone's reach in the classroom and call it good.

    And thanks, @joshofalltrades!

    Yeah... the oven is probably a bad idea. I once tried to speed up the drying of a pine-wood derby car. Ended up with a giant paint bubble on the car. Had to repaint the entire thing in one night.

    I think what did help was putting the car right next to the heat register and covering up the car and the heat register, with space for ventilation.

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