Mixed Up Mediums: A Review of Oil Painting Mediums With Some Basic Tips

This article reviews some of the more popular oil painting mediums, their purpose, and some tips on how to use them. The purpose of adding these substances to your oil paints is to change the behavior of the paint during application and affecting results after the painting dries. Behavior refers to how the paint comes off the brush and glides on the surface, how it covers either the surface or succeeding layers, and just how it feels as you apply it.

Brands of paint act differently and mediums help you control the paint the way you want it to act as you use it. Some paint brands—and here I am only referring to the artist grade paints rather than the student grades—are stiffer right out of the tube. Student grades have less pigment and more fillers like extra oil and just do not perform well. If you use those paints that are stiffer out of the tube, but want more versatility in how they handle, or behave, you’ll need a medium. Other artist grade paints are what I call fluffier and go on more smoothly right out of the tube. If you want brush strokes apparent in your final painting, a stiffer paint works better. Adding a refined linseed oil in tiny amounts until it feels right to you will encourage the paint to level out and show less strokes. Less linseed oil and more strokes will show. If you prefer an impasto technique (think Van Gogh), Gamblin Alkyd Gel thickens paint nicely. Always remember to never put a faster drying layer over a slow drying layer of paint. The top layer can dry too quickly and form a barrier causing the underlying layer to be sealed in and could ripple or crackle the surface down the road.

Glazing mediums allow you to apply thin layers of paint and build color and luminosity by having the viewer’s eye mix the colors rather than mixing the paint on the palette or canvas. Using a medium like Liquin by Winsor & Newton speeds drying time while thinning the paint allowing layers to be built without waiting a few days for each layer to dry before you apply the next layer. There are also glazing mediums available like A traditional medium used for decades by many painters is refined linseed oil, a touch of solvent (typically mineral spirits), and a touch of stand oil, and a touch of Japan or Cobalt Drier These ingredients are mixed in a balance to achieve your desired results, like faster drying time, more gloss, etc. Stand oil is just a thicker linseed oil that can reduce brush strokes and increase gloss. Adding Damar varnish to your mix also adds gloss and can speed drying time. Damar varnish is made from tree resin and alkyd is a form of synthetic resin.

Yonex Badminton Rackets

Yonex started in the 1940’s as a producer of wooden fishing floats but was unfortunate enough to be forced out of this production sector due to the advancement of plastic floats in the industry. This prompted founder Minoru Yoneyama to make a commitment that the company would never let technology and innovation leave them behind again and this has formed the cornerstone to the ideals and ethics and business practices of Yonex in the modern day.

In the late 1950’s Yoneyama started to make badminton rackets for other high profile brands and soon established a reputation for producing quality rackets whilst incorporating the latest materials and introducing concepts such as the wide body racket and the isometric head. These new design features would find their way onto the rackets of all the big brand names sports rackets such as Carlton and Prince.

The Yonex Corporation itself was established in California in 1983 and became the world leader in the design and production of golf, tennis and badminton equipment. A bold claim perhaps but it would hold true today that they are without doubt the number one name in badminton – if not quite as renowned in golf and tennis.

From relatively humble beginnings Yonex has created a strong global brand that enjoys a dominance supported by corporate sponsorship and product quality. In today’s professional game over 80% of players have a Yonex badminton racket in their hand when they compete. Major names that Yonex sponsor include Peter Gade, Saina Nehwal, Ana Ivanovic and Lee Chong Wei.

In 2007 Yonex celebrated their 25th successive year as the main sponsor of the All England Badminton Championships and followed up in 2008 by gaining 24 Olympic medals at the Beijing games. A global audience at the Olympics helps to further push the name and reputation as the logo is instantly recognisable on the strings of players rackets

Yonex, through the initial determination and drive of their founder, continue to innovate and invest in new technology and introduced the first generation of slim rackets in 2009. The ArcSaber Z-Slash recorded the fastest ever speed of 421km/h and goes to show how players with a Yonex badminton racket will always have a superb competitive edge and can be inspired by the technology, success and branding behind the production of top quality products. The range incorporates rackets for all ages and abilities, catering for professionals and amateur players alike.

Badminton Rackets Through The Years

When it comes to racket sports, badminton and tennis and even squash share a very similar appearance with regard to the rackets used. Badminton rackets have been constructed primarily from wood throughout their history and into the 1960’s.

These rackets tended to be oval shaped and used gut type strings. The handles that were used were designed with comfort in mind, rather than performance, grip, or style. In the 1960’s, however, metal racket frames began to become popular. These rackets also started to combine wood and metal, which allowed the top players in the world to gain more control of the shuttlecock and points during matches.

Wood by itself had suddenly proven to be limiting, not only in the shape but also in the tension that could be added to the strings. Tension allows a player to have more or less control and also to determine the power of the shots played depending on the tightness of the tension.

In the latter part of the 1960’s, aluminum frames were becoming more popular. This allowed a variety of manufacturers and well known brand names to produce different racket styles more inexpensively. As a result, players were afforded more choices and were then able to find the right racket that would have the best feel for them. It was no longer a one-size-fits-all approach.

During the 1970’s and throughout the 1980’s, carbon composite badminton rackets hit the market and these were lighter than ever. These rackets tended to be less durable than their aluminum counterparts, but allowed manufacturers the opportunity to experiment with different composites, such as part aluminum/part carbon fiber, which ultimately paved the way for graphite in the 1990’s.

When titanium was added to graphite composite rackets during the 1990’s, manufacturers had found a great blend of the lightest materials with the best durability. Players were able to increase power and control as well as add speed to their game. The stronger composites also allow for tighter string tensions, though not quite as tight as aluminum would allow. With just the right combination of composites and strength, any player could find the ideal tension that suited his or her game perfectly. These advances have allowed the major sports racket manufacturers to produce a wide range of badminton rackets to suit all levels of player ranging from the beginner to the professional tournament competitors.

It’s interesting to see how similar the progression has been with regard to badminton rackets and tennis and squash rackets. Innovations within one sport have carried over to these other racket sports allowing many top brands and well known names to produce high quality rackets for tennis, squash and badminton.