HOW DOES LINSEED/FLAX OIL DRY?
Science proves linseed oil does not dry by evaporation, but
through oxidation. The following quoted excerpts are from an
period of exposure to air. …. The term "drying" is actually
somewhat of a misnomer …the oil does not harden through the
evaporation of water or other solvents, but through a chemical
reaction in which oxygen is absorbed from the environment ……
The "drying", hardening, or, more properly, curing of oils is the
result of an exothermic reaction
... One simple technique for monitoring the early stages of the
drying process is to measure weight change in an oil film over
time. Initially, the film becomes heavier, as it absorbs large
amounts of oxygen. ……Then oxygen uptake ceases, and the
weight of the film declines as volatile compounds are lost to the
Moisture generally refers to the presence of water, often in
trace amounts… Moisture is also sometimes used to refer to the
liquid form of solvents other than water… http://en.wikipedia.
… A solvent is a liquid that dissolves a solid, liquid, or gaseous
solute, resulting in a solution. The most common solvent in
everyday life is water. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solvent
Mucilage is a thick gluey substance produced by most plants
and some microorganisms…Mucilage in plants is thought to aid
in water storage and seed germination …http://en.wikipedia.
[ end of academic source quotation]
My tests show that exposing linseed oil OUTDOORS to HIGH heat
and DRY ventilation of summer sun will create a FAST drying (
within 30 hours or less) viscous oil ( the moisture in the oil is
evaporated by the heat). And, my tests show that exposing
linseed oil INDOORS in the shade, to no HEAT of sun, and
ventilation that is not dry, will result in a slow drying viscous oil (
the oil continues to retain its natural moisture). The article
above describes the ABSORPTION of oxygen as the oil is
‘drying’. We know moisture has mass and WEIGHT. We know
oxygen contains certain amounts of moisture, depending on the
humidity ( the oil absorbs it and gains in weight).
And, we know moisture will EVAPORATE from the oil ( causing
the oil to lose weight).
|WASHING CLEANSING ARTISTS LINSEED OIL/ FLAXSEED OIL OF ITS MUCILAGE
'THE REBIRTH OF THE OLD MASTERS' SUPERIOR OIL'
THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF OIL PAINTING
IS THE CLEANSING OF THE UNREFINED FLAX OIL of its MUCILAGE
|LINSEED OIL and FLAX OIL are in our modern
world, NOT ONE AND THE SAME,
even though both are pressed from the same
IT IS ABOUT "TRUTH-IN-LABELING" LAWS,
HERE IS WHY:
GROUP ONE IS LABELED: LINSEED OIL
There are NO 'LIN' seeds in nature. Linseed oil is pressed from 'FLAX SEEDS."
The oil with the word, 'LINSEED OIL", is sold for industrial purposes, such as for
waterproofing wood, boats, etc, and for making artists tube paints and for making
mediums. It is sold in hardware stores, and some is sold in art stores for artists to use.
GROUP TWO IS LABELED " FLAX OIL" or " FLAX
The oil with the label, "FLAX OIL", is sold in health food stores and is traditionally
intended for human consumption...now..ARTISTS have discovered its important
SUPERIOR properties that are missing in the highly processed and refined art store
'Linseed oil". UNREFINED FLAX OIL is closest to the natural oil used by the Old Masters.
This oil is UNREFINED and must be cleansed before it is used by artists. It is the
"SUPERIOR /LINSEED/FLAX OIL" of the Old Masters, once it has been organically
cleansed and slowly sun thickened.
The label must say it is Unrefined, unfiltered Cold Pressed. Though I
know this oil is subjected to up to 110 degrees F., by the machinery
used during pressing of powerful machinery, I believe this low
temperature for a few hours does not harm the oil.
IN FACT, after it is cleansed at home, the oil will be placed in hot
summer direct sun rays for 30 continuous days, with temperatures
varying from 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This HIGH QUALITY oil is
much less expensive than ALL the industrial linseed oils. Like all
unrefined oils, it MUST be cleansed before sun thickening.
Flax- linseed oil sold comes in SEVERAL grades [ see note below]
When the oil is pressed with high pressure, the seeds are ruptured
causing the oil to be cloudy with much 'particulate' ( sediment, husks,
mucilage) included in the oil. The oil is allowed to settle for a period (
the company does not say how long). The dark colored particulate
eventually settles and the clear oil rises. Both are bottled and sold.
The clear oil is the one to buy, but even this clear oil must be cleansed
before sun thickening because like ALL UNREFINED, UNFILTERED
COLD PRESSED FLAX-LINSEED OILS, it contains much particulate and
much of it is microscopic in size and invisible to the unaided human
Do not buy the DARK OIL with added 'particulate', the label says, "
HIGHEST LIGNAN" , as it is unnecessary work for you to cleanse.
DO NOT BUY ANY OIL CONTAINING ANTIOXIDANTS SUCH AS: Vitamin E,
tocopherols, Polypherols, Rosemary etc
DO NOT BUY ANY OIL MADE FOR PET HEALTH. It contains antioxidants.
|MUCILAGE : PROOF OF ITS DARKENING AND BROWNING
The photo on your left shows the freshly gathered Mucilage. It is pale, white opaque that you see on the bottom of the jar. The next photo shows the same jar 45 days later and the Mucilage is becoming brown.
Notice the oil is becoming lighter by exposure to a sunny room with sunlight -NOT due to direct SUN RAYS. The third photo shows the same jar. Now the oil has become almost colorless and the mucilage is
brown. The last photo on your right was taken 12 months after the first photo. It shows the brown umber color of the mucilage. This is the proof of that mucilage will cause oil paint to darken and brown , if not
removed. The Old Masters knew this. Notice the oil is very pale. Notice the very large PURE WHITE COLORLESS oil bubble. This bubble is the thinness used in oil painting layers. ( All Photos on this website
are copyright protected, 2004-2008)
|A BRIEF HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF
CLEANSING THE LINSEED/FLAX OIL FOR OIL
A.P. Laurie, in his book, “The Painter’s Methods and
Materials”, Dover Publications, New York, 1967.
This book has withstood the test of time, and is still
available. A.P. Laurie was a scientist* with a special
interest in Artist‘s materials and historical
Mr. Laurie cites ancient manuscripts on the subject of how
‘drying’ oils were cleansed. He begins with a 5th century account
by Aetius, and mentions the 8th century Lucca Manuscript, then
mentions Theophilus in the 11th century , Eraclius in the 13th
century, and Cennino Cennini in the 14th century, concluding
that linseed, poppy and walnut oils were processed and used
since ancient times. He relates that the extracted oil, by however
means it is extracted, is NOT pure, that it contains impurities,
mucilage, and other foreign matter. He states that fresh
extracted oil dries very slowly and that artists made the oil dry
faster by processing it in a variety of forms; boiling, exposure to
air, and exposure to sun and air. He cites that the bleaching of
oils by sun exposure was known in the time of Dioscorides, and
that boiling oil with litharge was known in the time of Galen, A.D.,
Mr. Laurie states that the method of mixing the oil with water
came much later in history, that processing the oil by exposing it
to air sun and water was a much more recent development that
dates to Padre Gesuato of 1557 and even more recently in the De
Mayerne manuscript of 1620. I note that the dates of these later
developments - washing oil with water- coincide with following
the Italian Renaissance of the early 1500’s when experimentation
and seeking knowledge was the norm.
The industrial revolution of the 19th century,
raw materials of all kinds are processed for the market as
efficiently and quickly as possible. The main force behind the
market is to earn a profit. Under those conditions, the product
frequently suffers, though technology has made modern life
Artist’s linseed oil is produced on a very large scale for a world
wide market. Gone are the days of the Van Eycks and Rembrandt
when the flax seeds were pressed with a hand manipulated
screw press to extract the oil. Even today’s cold pressed linseed
oil is extracted by machinery that inadvertently warms up the oil
because of the friction of the high pressure machinery. I was
assured by a USA manufacturer of flax oil ( which is the same oil
as linseed oil) that the temperature of the oil never reaches the
boiling point. I am aware of only one company that claims to use
no electrical machinery in pressing the oil, and that is the “Old
Holland” company in The Netherlands. They claim to use only
windmill power as was done in the 17th century. Most linseed oil
today is labeled as Alkali Refined Linseed Oil because it is
treated with a caustic chemical called Sodium Hydroxide in their
Alkali Refinement process to cleanse the oil.
The Modern Industrial Alkali Refinement of Linseed/flax oil has
removed important molecular components of the oil and caused
it to become a very slow drying oil. Knowing this, I have sought
out the pure cold pressed Unrefined, Unfiltered linseed oil.
Unrefined linseed oil requires cleansing, but cleansing as the
Old Masters did it…without caustic chemicals.
|CALCITE SUN OIL
CLEANSING UNREFINED FLAXSEED- LINSEED OIL
OF DAMAGING MUCILAGE
IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION IN OIL PAINTING
WASHING THE OIL WITH EASTLAKE'S 19TH CENTURY METHOD IS INEFFECTIVE.
WHETHER SHAKING THE OIL WITH WATER... OR WITH WATER AND SALT ...
OR WITH WATER , SALT AND SAND...IT IS A WASTE OF TIME, A LOSS OF GOOD OIL , AND INEFFECTIVE.
To test Eastlake’s method, place a jar of oil cleansed by his method in a refrigerator overnight at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the oil is truly cleansed of mucilage, it will remain fully transparent no matter how long it remains in the refrigerator .
DO NOT judge oil cleanliness when the oil is at room temperature. Even oils full of mucilage are fully transparent at room temperature.
But, oil containing mucilage becomes cloudy in the coldness of the refrigerator.
|SEE MY HOME PAGE ON
HOW TO RECEIVE
A FREE DVD
CSO OIL PAINTING
|BEWARE OF THE OIL YOU BUY
The photo shows three different oils in a cold refrigerator.
1. Barleans cold pressed unrefined FLAX oil [ USA]..
2. Leandro Casiano's home pressed FLAX seed oil [ Norway].
3. Kremer's Swedish cold pressed LINSEED oil.
PLEASE NOTE THIS IMPORTANT FACT
All unrefined cold pressed flaxseed oil becomes CLOUDY when in a refrigerator.
The same unrefined oils will be transparent in warm weather.
DO NOT BE FOOLED just because the oil appears crystal clear and transparent in
warm weather, it does not mean that the mucilasge has been removed!. Place your
oil sample in a cold refrigerator to determine if it has MUCILAGE.
PLEASE NOTE that the Kremers LINSEED OIL is very clear and transparent - see the
bottom of the jar- while the other two oils are cloudy. THIS is an indication that while
the Kremers oil is COLD PRESSED- it has been exposed to some type of yet unknown
refinement. I have written a letter to Kremers and have not yet received a response.
THE NEXT PHOTO is taken immediately when removed from the refrigerator.
NOTICE how clear the Kremers LINSEED OIL is fully transparent, while the two FLAX
SEED oil samples are cloudy
THE NEXT TWO PHOTOS
WERE TAKEN IMMEDIATELY
AFTER THE OIL HAS BEEN
REMOVED FROM THE
ONLY THE KREMERS OIL IS
THIS INDICATES IT
APPEARS TO HAVE
RECEIVED SOME TYPE OF
It is NOT SOLD AS A "
|THIS PHOTO SHOWS HOW THE OILS WARMED UP AND BECAME
THIS SHOWS HOW CLEAR THE LEANDRO AND THE BARLEANS UNREFINED
COLD PRESSED OIL BECAME AS TRANSPARENT AS THE ...KREMERS OIL
to test if your oil is mucilage free--place it in a cold refrigerator OVERNIGHT
-clean oil remains transparent- unclean oil becomes cloudy
THE CLEANSING OF THE FLAX-LINSEED OIL OF ITS MUCILAGE
For many years I posted full instructions here on how to remove the mucilage from the oil.
I have removed those recipes and the complete information now to my 2 books:
VOLUME ONE and VOLUME TWO
" OIL PAINTING LESSONS WITH REMBRANDT AND CALCITE SUN OIL"
IF THE AIR PUMP IS USED FOR REMOVING THE MUCILAGE--the Air Pump can be used for up to 24 hours in humid areas.
Use it for 24 straight hours to be safe. The difference in time is due to variables in Temperature and Humidity of various
Only my original "CSO Psyllium Husk / Alcohol method" will not use the Air pump because the mixture must stand still in
the HOT DRY SUN for 10 days - while the Air Pump removes the mucilage in under 30 hours in any weather.
THE THREE CSO METHODS OF MUCILAGE REMOVAL
1. The 'CSO PSYLLIUM HUSK - ALCOHOL METHOD'- [NON AIR PUMP].
I based this method on Pacheco's method of 1649. It uses strong alcoholic liquor. I discovered and pioneered the use of
Psyllium Husk for use of mucilage removal from unrefined flax-linseed oil. This method requires 10 days to remove the
mucilage. FULL instructions are on page 38 of my book, VOLUME ONE : OIL PAINTING LESSONS WITH REMBRANDT
AND CALCITE SUN OIL"
2. The 'CSO PSYLLIUM HUSK ( Velasquez-Tavenier ) AIR PUMP METHOD'.
Created because of the prohibitive cost of liquor in some countries.
An alcohol free method created by myself and Daniel Tavenier of The Netherlands in April 2015. It is the simplest method
of the three and removes the mucilage within 24 to 36 hours.
Please see full instructions in my book: VOLUME TWO:OIL PAINTING LESSONS WITH REMBRANDT AND CALCITE SUN
3. "CSO GEL METHOD"
The full instructions are in my book, VOLUME ONE: OIL PAINTING LESSONS WITH REMBRANDT AND CALCITE SUN OIL"
See page 42.
This method also does not use the AIR PUMP. It requires cooking on the stove
CAUTION: Read the instructions carefully
FRANCISCO PACHECO : VELAZQUEZ' TEACHER
THE SEARCH FOR PERFECTION
Even though an Old Master once wrote that it is not possible to remove 100% of the mucilage, I have never stopped
seeking a method that will remove 100% of the mucilage
from the Flax-Linseed oil. However, there are too many uncontrollable variable factors that interfere with this goal
becoming a reality. Even my tests of modern Alkali Refined linseed oil bought at any Art supply store, have detected some
degree of mucilage in that modern product.
My original CSO method of removing the mucilage
was based on the 17th century method of Francisco Pacheco ( published in 1649).
As you know, Pacheco was the teacher of Spain's great painter Diego Velazquez.
Here is Pacheco's method, word for word, as published and written in Spanish:
LIBRO TERCERO, CAP. V:
“Tomese una redoma de vidrio - y a una libra de aceite de linaza limpio y claro se le echan tres onzas de aguardiente fina,
que llaman de cabeza, y dos onzas de alhucema, o espliego , en grano, y póngase al sol fuerte quience días, meneándolo
dos veces cada dia, y de esta manera queda claro y purificado, y colándolo en otro vidrio …".
BOOK THREE, CHAPTER FIVE
“Take a glass flask – and to a pound of linseed oil that is clean and clear, add to it three ounces of fine quality liquor
spirits, that is called ‘from the head’, and two ounces of Lavender, in seed, and place it in very strong hot sun for fifteen
days, swirling it two times each day, and by this method, it will become clear and purified, and filter it into another glass..”
PLEASE SEE MY FREE YOUTUBE VIDEOS ON HOW TO USE THE AIR PUMP TO THICKEN THE OIL. THICKENING THE OIL
CREATES A FASTER DRYING OIL TO LOCATE THEM TYPE IN 'CSO VELASQUEZ, AIR PUMP OIL'
|ALL IMAGES AND TEXT ARE COPYRIGHT
PROTECTED BY LOUIS R VELASQUEZ 2016
|END OF PAGE