Dammar (or damar) or soft copal varnishes are soft, very flexible, and transparent but dry slowly. These varnishes have a bright appearance and a faint pale yellow color. The color may be varied from golden yellow to yellowish brown by gamboge, dragon's blood, and asphaltum.
The proportion of the different ingredients varies between:
Boiled linseed oil
50 to 120
Spirits of gum turpentine
200 to 500
The dammar is pulverized and dissolved in spirits of turpentine, and boiled linseed oil or linseed oil to which a liquid drier has been added is run into the solution.
If the harder kinds of dammar are used, they may be more soluble in linseed oil by adding a small quantity of soft dammar.
Based on the text from John Geddes McIntosh, The Manufacture of Varnishes and Kindred Industries, Based on and Including the "Drying Oils and Varnishes" of Ach. Livache, Vol. 2, Greenwood & Son, 1908, p. 163
George O’Hanlon is the technical director of Natural Pigments, and executive director of Iconofile, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting understanding of sacred art. George received his fine arts education and apprenticeship in Mexico. Upon return to the United States, he worked as creative director for advertising agencies in Silicon Valley, working on such major accounts as Sony, Hewlett-Packard, and Ricoh. He founded an agency later acquired by the chemical giant, Shin-Etsu. There he served as vice-president of U.S. marketing. In 1992, he studied traditional art techniques abroad. Then in 2001, co-founded Iconofile and in 2003 Natural Pigments to promote an understanding of these practices. Since that time he has formulated hundreds of artists’ paints and materials, including Ceracolors, a waterborne wax paint...
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