In the comments to this post, Jeff writes:
What would you recommend as a good source for purchasing canada balsam / stand oil / spike?
First let me note that these are natural materials. Any supplier can get a bad batch. That I got quality stuff five years ago does not guarantee that you will get high quality materials from the same company now. That’s the nature of the market.
That being said, if you want to get Canada balsam, spike, and stand oil, these are suppliers I’d recommend taking a look at:
- Studio Products. I’ve purchased all three of these ingredients from these guys and the quality has been excellent.
- Sinopia. Great pigments and other supplies. They are now the sole distributor for the European art supply company Kremer.
- Natural Pigments. They sell some stuff made by Studio Products and many other art supplies, including a line of oil paints made with some very old-school pigments. They also sell heat-bodied oil in various viscosities. Stand oil is one grade of heat-bodied oil. That would allow you to experiment, if you liked.
- Kama Pigments. They have Canada balsam (at a very good price) as well as oil of spike (which they call lavender oil). I have never ordered from them, but have heard good things from others, despite the truly awful design of their web site.
- Robert Doak and Associates. They have various pre-made mediums, as well as balsam, spike, and stand oil. Don’t let Robert tell you what you have to buy from him.
Note that you should not have to buy a lot of medium supplies, because you should not add much medium to your paint. Unless you are making a lot of paintings, which would be excellent.
Please share any experiences you might have with these suppliers or other places to get these materials.