Genesis Artist heat-set Oil Paints – Tips to using without frustration.

Genesis Artist heat-set Oil Paints Demonstration

Recently, I held a demonstration at our local art society on ‘Tips for using Genesis Artist heat-set Oil Paints successfully.’ Maybe my experiences would be interesting to you guys as well. So I’ll just briefly cover everything I went through at the demo.

Genesis Artist heat-set Oil Paints:


This means that the paint is thick until it is mashed on the palette to become soft and buttery in consistency. Even though I new this when I bought the paints, the first time I actually opened a pot I was shocked. How was I to use this hard stuff to paint with. You need to spend a bit of time to get the consistency soft. Then when left again it goes back to its hard state.

Curing agent

The paint will only dry if heated to 130C. Obviously, this means that the support you paint onto needs to be able to be heated as well. Here I’ll mention my experiences with a variety of supports.



MDF board

Is a dense material and I have found it retains heat and hence when heating the paint with a heat gun it is very easy to over heat the paint resulting in bubbled paint. Heating in the oven has been the easiest solution for me when using MDF board as the support. By the way once the paint has bubbled, the only solution I have found has been to scrape it off and start over. I did try just painting over the bubbled section but the fresh paint when heated also bubbled even though I was very careful not to over heat.

Masonite board

Last year I painted on a 30cm x 40cm Masonite board and then chose to stick it in the oven to heat. Well, after 10minutes in the oven at 130C my painting had turned into a bowl! After it cooled, I placed it under some weights but it took it several weeks to stay flat again. So, lesson learnt! Now I heat the paint with a heat gun when painting onto Masonite board.  🙂

Stretched canvas

In my opinion, drying a stretched canvas is the easiest with the heat gun. The heat dissipates quickly out the back of the painting so overheating isn’t a big problem. What I have had problems with is heating in the oven. The stretcher bars shrunk!!! Consequently, the canvas sagged substantially.

Canvas board

I have painted on a number of canvas boards and have only had two problems crop up. Once the canvas separated from the board while I was heating the paint with a heat gun and the other time after drying the painting the paint just wiped off. There seemed to be a greasy film on the board. I haven’t worked out what it was, but at the demo another artist has had the same thing happen to her. Incidently, we had both used a Fredrix brand canvas board.


I have not had any success in painting onto glass. After drying the paint and letting it cool for a few hours, it just wiped off. 🙁


I have successfully painted onto metal. It just takes a very long time to heat the paint and not much danger of over heating the paint in the process.

Support Prep

Crazed-Genesis Artist heat-set oil paints crazed over gesso not dried properly

Genesis Artist heat-set oil paints crazed over gesso not dried properly

Make sure you dry the gesso very well before you apply the Genesis Artist heat-set Oil Paints, otherwise the Genesis Artist heat-set Oil Paints will crack and craze and no amount of paint applied on top will stop subsequent layers from doing the same. After applying the gesso to the support allow it to dry for 24 hours and then heat with the heat gun or in the oven. I have used the Genesis Air Drying Acrylic Gesso as well as Mont Marte Gesso and in both instances if I didn’t dry the gesso with the heat gun or in the oven before applying paint, it crazed the subsequent Genesis Artist heat-set Oil Paints. Very disappointing unless you want a crazed look. Here is a picture of the crazing that I’m referring to. The only place where the crazing occurred in this painting was where the paint was applied thicker.

Hopefully, you’ll find this helpful and not overwhelming. Genesis Artist heat-set Oil Paints are really a wonderful medium once you learn to use them and know the quirks. If you’re interested in try these paints out a good way to start is with the Genesis Introductory System Set Artist Oils with Heat Gun. You can always add more colours later. Happy painting 🙂

Comments are closed.

Powered by: Wordpress