Glazing Tips For Solvent Free Oil Painting

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

2013-09-18T22:55:08+00:00 August 5th, 2013|Fine Art Tips, General, How To Paint, Draw & More|7 Comments


  1. Sharon Will August 7, 2013 at 6:58 am

    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 October 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      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 August 7, 2013 at 8:09 am

    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.


    • Lori McNee October 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Yes, ‘solvent-free’ is the preferred term from Cobra. As artists become more eco-friendly, these oils will become even more popular! Glad you enjoyed this post.

  3. Lori Woodward August 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve been using Cobra about 18 months and they produce beautiful results. I’ll check out the video.

  4. Stacey September 28, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    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.

    • Lori McNee October 1, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Hello Stacey, thanks for adding your tips to this post. I always appreciate the expertise from my blog readers/fellow artists.

      Happy painting,

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