Discover the Benefits of Damar Varnish for Your Art
Oil paintings can truly come to life with the addition of damar varnish. Derived from the resin of Dipterocarpaceae trees found in tropical rainforests, damar varnish is a versatile medium that offers several advantages for artists. When mixed with oil paint mediums, this varnish thins the paint, increases transparency, and accelerates drying time. As a top coat, it not only seals your artwork but also imparts a glossy finish. Whether you prefer ready-to-use liquid form or want to create your own resin using crystals, it’s essential to ensure your painting is completely dry before applying the final varnish. To help you navigate the world of damar varnishes, we’ve curated a selection of top-notch products for your oil-painting needs.
Grumbacher Damar Varnish – The Protective Top Coat
For those seeking a reliable and protective top coat for their oil paintings, Grumbacher Damar Varnish is an excellent choice. Crafted with high-quality damar that boasts a consistent body, this varnish deepens the colors of your pigments while providing a transparent and high-gloss finish to your compositions. By applying a layer of this varnish, you can protect your precious works from dust, dirt, smoke, scuffing, and moisture. However, it’s important to note that this top-tier product requires patience. You should wait at least six months after the paint has fully dried before applying it as a final varnish.
R&F Damar Resin – An Affordable DIY Option
If you’re looking to save some money and explore the process of making your own damar varnish, R&F Damar Resin is an excellent choice. The process is relatively simple: wrap damar crystals in cheesecloth, dissolve them in turpentine for a day or two, and then strain the mixture to remove impurities. R&F offers convenient one- and five-pound bags of damar crystals at a reasonable price. While this resin is specially formulated for encaustic painting, it also performs exceptionally well as a varnish. It allows paint to flow effortlessly and imparts a beautiful translucent sheen to your artwork.
Richeson Shiva Damar Varnish – The Economical Choice for Educators
For educators, classrooms, workshops, and other group settings, Richeson Shiva Damar Varnish is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality. This ready-to-use varnish is more affordable than Grumbacher’s varnish and is available in sizes up to a quart. While it may not achieve the same brilliance and purity as our top pick, it still adds a significant shine to colors, resulting in surfaces with a moderately high gloss.
Utrecht Damar Varnish – The Ideal Choice for Students
For students and artists experimenting with damar varnish for the first time, Utrecht Damar Varnish is a fantastic option. Made from Singapore white damar gum, this varnish provides a high-gloss finish that offers protection against scuffs. What sets it apart is its versatile formula, which comes in both bottle and spray forms. The spray option ensures an even application with a lower risk of disturbing pigments, making it ideal for beginners.
Williamsburg Damar Crystals – Premium Quality for Discerning Artists
If you’re a discerning artist seeking the highest quality damar crystals, Williamsburg Damar Crystals are a top-notch choice. Sourced from Indonesia, these natural crystals are renowned for their exceptional cleanliness. When dissolved, they leave behind minimal residue in the resin, resulting in a pristine varnish. It’s worth noting that these crystals are available only in a 16-ounce size, and while they come at a slightly higher price point than R&F’s crystals, their superior quality justifies the investment.
With the right damar varnish, you can add a captivating gloss to your oil paintings while providing them with essential protection. Explore the options we’ve highlighted to find the perfect match for your artistic needs. Enhance your artwork and unleash its true potential with these exceptional damar varnishes today!