08/2014, Finished R&D Projects

Development of artists’ oil paint, stand oils and water-dilutable alkyd resins with lower yellowing tendency on the basis of dragon head oil

• funding program: ZIM-KF (BMWi)
• term: 01.08.2014 bis 31.01.2016
• project partner: Schmincke GmbH & Co. KG – Feinste Künstlerfarben

Initial position:

Classic oil paints always consist of at least two components, the binders (linseed, safflower and sunflower oil) and pigments. The components are ground with one another until each pigment particle is surrounded by vegetable oil. In order to accelerate the ink drying siccatives may be added.


The aim of this research project is the development of pale colored artists’ oil paints on the basis of linolenic acid-rich vegetable oils, which are characterized by rapid drying and a lower tendency to yellowing compared to oil paints based flax oil. For this purpose, the dragon head oil (Lallemantia oil) will be investigated due to its high content of linolenic acid up to 70%. This high content suggests that it could also be used without the addition of siccatives. The oil to be won has to have a high purity and a light color since it shows a greenish tinge after the recovery. To make this possible, purification technologies of vegetable oils (refining) are developed or existing technologies will be adapted. The suitability of the use of purified linolenic acid rich Lallemantia oil will be tested by the project partner H. Schmincke GmbH & Co. KG – finest artists’ paints as part of a formulation development.


The pressed dragon head oils were first purified according to traditional chemical refining procedures. Using a special temperature regime combined with adsorption processes, almost colorless dragon head oils could be produced, which were used by the project partner for the production of low-yellowing, light-toned artist paints. In addition, various water-dilutable alkyd resins have been synthesized on the basis of the specially treated dragon head oils, which have also been tested by the project partner.

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