SONSI member Glendon Mellow has written a fine overview of the material properties of oil paint on the Symbiartic blog site. I’d guess that for many of us who don’t work in oils, the technical challenges of the medium seem overwhelming. Glendon doesn’t minimize the difficulties posed by the long and differing drying times, but stresses how layering and glazing, when successful, can create an unparalleled depth and glow, providing a diagram of light bouncing off pigment grains to illustrate his point.

This piece is one of a series Glendon has been posting on the Symbiartic site: “the blog dedicated to the exploration of the intersection between science and art, between nature and the visual representation of it.” With co-host Kalliopi Monoyios, Glendon writes about art and artists on the web, discusses how electronic communication is changing concepts of copyright, and presents work by other artists in a variety of domains: art, illustration, data visualization, design, cartoons, photography. Glendon and Kalliope also maintain their own blogs, The Flying Trilobite and An Eye for Science respectively.

Symbiartic is one of the group blogs on the Scientific American website.