For over 10 years, I have been enjoying the benefits of solvent free oil painting.

I often get asked technical questions on how to use these solvent free oils – also known as ‘water mixable’ or ‘water soluble’ oil paints. Recently, I received a question on my Fine Art Tips Facebook Page about glazing tips. In this video below, Cobra demonstrates how to properly use their glazing medium. I hope it helps! 

For those of you who have tried oil painting, I think you will find water soluble oils less intimidating to use than traditional oils. They deliver beautiful results, and once dry should be treated just like any other traditional oil painting. Plus in using them, I enjoy the fact that I am becoming an eco friendly artist!

I have written a helpful post about water soluble oils to help answer your questions. Water Soluble Oils: Facts, Tips & Why I Use Them. 

After testing the different brands, I believe Cobra Water Mixable Oil Color by Royal Talens offers the highest quality and variety of pigments, and they have developed some helpful mediums to enhance your oil paintings.

PS. You can view my oil paintings on my website, and on Fine Art America. Also let’s meet on  Twitterand on Google Plus, Pinterestand join in the fun at Fine Art Tips Facebook Fan Page! ~Lori

Lori McNee

Lori McNee is a professional artist who specializes in still life, and landscape oil paintings. She is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of Idaho, serves on the Plein Air Mag Board of Advisors, and is an Artist Ambassador to Arches/Canson/Royal Talens. As the owner of, Lori blogs about fine art tips, marketing, and social media advice for the aspiring and professional artist. As a social media influencer, Lori ranks as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and named a #TwitterPowerhouse by The Huffington Post. She is a keynote speaker, has been a talk show host for Plum TV, writes for F+W Media publications including Artist’s Magazine, Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market, Photographer’s Market. Also, Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips & Tricks for Small Businesses. Lori is also a member of the CBS Entertainment Tonight & The Insider Tweet Team.

7 thoughts on “Glazing Tips For Solvent Free Oil Painting

  1. Sharon Will says:

    I appreciate your input on the Cobra paints. I started painting with traditional oils, followed by 25 years of working strickly in Pastel. When I went back to oils a few years back, I went with the water solubles, first with Winsor Newton & then moved on to Holbein. I found the tinting strengh for the most part, better with the Holbein. I love the easy clean up & no fumes with water solubles. The only thing I miss is getting a fluid wash in the underpainting stages that mimicks turps – but its not a deal breaker. I’m now very curious about the Cobra brand & have to try them out! Thanks for your informative posts and beautiful work!

    • Lori McNee says:

      I am behind on comments and hope by now you have tried Cobra! You can also use acrylic paints as a wash for an underpainting. Thanks for stopping by and for the nice feedback.

  2. Carol says:

    Lori, I have been using water mixable oils for nearly 10 years myself and I love them. It is interesting that many artists are still not aware of them. Cobra’s paints are a nice addition to the choice we now have. I have not used the phrase “solvent free” and add that to my vocabulary.


  3. Stacey says:

    Beware: Many mediums meant for water soluble oils have solvents and thinners in them, especially those that are meant for glazing or for improving the drying rate. Check the MSDS before you buy. (Even then, be careful. Some manufacturers list all their products as “safe for normal use,” even known toxins like cadmium and lead.) If you have an allergy or sensitivity to any solvents, it’s best to stick with plain water-miscible linseed or safflower oil as a medium.

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