Using dorland's wax medium on a stretched canvas support
  • Hi,
    I was wondering about using Dorland's wax medium with my oil paints on a stretched canvas support. Some researhed has said wax is too brittle to be used on canvas and should be used on a rigid support like a panel so cracking does not eventuate. I was wondering if this held true for Dorland's or if it was safe to use on either support

  • Excellent question, Jonathan. Dorland's wax, like most waxes, does become somewhat brittle on drying, which does make it prone to cracking on flexible surfaces. That said, many oil painters use Dorland's on supported or small canvases; as long as there is not TOO much give, it is pretty safe. For the most part, a well stretched canvas will be taut enough to prevent cracking. But if the canvas is large, loose, unsupported or very flexible, you may run into problems... Oil painters tend to play things safe--and understandably--so it is not surprising that a disproportionate number of artists prefer using Dorland's on panels as opposed to canvas. However, people use Dorland's successfully on a variety of surfaces.
    I hope this has been helpful!
  • If using a very rigid support, can Dorland's wax medium be used with only dry pigments (without oil paint)? Would this be archival?

  • Dear Winter,

    Dorland's is perfect for use with oil paint. It works well with most any pigment, dry or oil.
    And yes, it is archival.

  • Hello, I notice some comments about wax medium's brittleness on a stretched canvas.
    How is it when mixed with traditional painting media composed of linseed oil and damar? With alkyd media such as galkyd?
  • Hi Bets,

    I think the best advice I can give you it to check out a couple of good oil painting/painting forums. is one that I found.
    I also found this site - which might be of help.
    I did read somewhere, as i was tooling around that galkyd increases flexibility and sheen, but can't for my life find it again...
    hope this helps some