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Be careful if you include Dammar varnish in an oil painting medium

Watch out for differences of sheen if you use some Dammar varnish in an oil painting medium

For those who mix their own mediums, a popular ingredient is dammar varnish, because it gives richness and depth to dark areas of a painting. A bit like like dipping a pebble in a stream and making all the colours on it increase in vividness.  A typical recipe (although there are many variations on the theme) might be:

  1. 50% Turpentine
  2. 40% Linseed oil
  3. 10% Dammar varnish.
But be careful to use this medium all through the painting process, or at least if you don't start painting with this medium, ensure that at later stages you completely cover the canvas with paint that incorporates this medium. The reason is that the paint containing some dammar will have a surface sheen, and the parts that don't will be dull in comparision. This is OK if you look at the painting straight on, but if you look at it from an oblique angle and it catches the light, you can get a mottled effect like this, and it doesn't look good!

dammar varnish