Reusche’s Water-Based Painting Medium (D1368)

Plus a free design for you to use

I’m glad the post on blistered paint (and how to stop it) was useful to you.

Afterwards, Ron Prondzinski made a really useful comment about Reusche’s water-based painting medium (D1368).

My response was:

What special uses does it have?

I mean, why use a manufactured medium rather than just plain water which we can all get from the tap?

I also thought:

I’m no dinosaur but

Why haven’t I tried it yet?

Moment of truth

Reusche's water-based painting medium

I’m no dinosaur …

Now you know how it is.

Some days you just have to take a good long hard look at yourself.

And you just have to ask yourself, “Why haven’t I done this before?”

Maybe I am a dinosaur?

So we gave it a go.

And here’s how it went …

Reusche’s water-based painting medium – nice!

David placed two teaspoonfuls of Reusche’s Violet of Iron on the palette. Made a well in the middle. Then used the shaft of a brush to add some D1368 – just enough to make a thick paste, all ground together with the palette knife.

Next he cut off a small amount of paste and, elsewhere on the palette, and mixed this with neat water to a nice consistency.

Then away he went:

On bare glass

On bare glass

As you can see, you can make many different densities and thicknesses of strokes with it – yes, you can even flood with it.

You can also use it as an undercoat, then dry it e.g. on a radiator, and trace on top:

Reusche's water-based painting medium D1368

Also good for undercoating, copy-tracing and reinforcing

Also good for highlights

Not only that, but it’s also great for highlights:

Reusche's water-based painting medium D1368

Lovely highlights

The one thing we couldn’t make work was “softened lines” – you know, where you paint an undercoat, then copy-trace and reinforce a line, then apply a second wash and turn the traced lines into shadows.

Even with the addition of gum Arabic, the traced lines and undercoat broke down altogether. This may be a failure in our technique or it could be the medium just isn’t made for this.

But it really doesn’t matter if softened lines don’t work with D1368 – it’s great for other things:

It’s gives you the elegance of working with a brush as if it were a nib or pen at the same time as behaving very much like an oil.

Which is wonderful.

Unlike water, it dries out extremely slowly on your palette, which lets you focus on other things

And it’s easy to “model” a line e.g. to make it thick in parts, thin in others, or dark in parts and light in others: very useful.

Here’s the kind of image I reckon would work really well:

Bird design

Bird design – good for Reusche’s water-based medium D1368

And if you’d like a high-resolution PDF of this design and another one, please just click and download these stained glass bird designs with our compliments.

Free! Just click here.

Thanks to Ron for his comment.

All the best,

Stephen ByrneLike this article?

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10 thoughts on “Reusche’s Water-Based Painting Medium (D1368)

  1. On the subject of painting mediums … have you tried Reusche 1903A? It gives a dense and sturdy line.

    Many also add a drop or two of Propylene Glycol (or better known as RV & Marine anti-freeze – the environmentally-safe anti-freeze – read the label!).

    Also something else used frequently to enhance the flow of paint here in the US is Photo Flow … yes, a product used in photographic dark-room work.

    It’s fun to experiment with these additional goodies! And this is only the tip of the iceburg … there is Water-Friendly Medium, Thompson Enamel A-14, Klyr-Fire – and for some bizarre effects, try hair spray!

    • Hi Karen,
      I used the anti-freeze already, it works well but I was told not to use it with the black tracing paint.

  2. Hello Karen,

    Thank you so much for these suggestions – and Stephen may even enjoy going shopping in Ludlow for some hair spray … because we will definitely try this to “distress” the mock-medieaval inscriptions we must paint for the tycoon’s stained glass skylights.


    P.S. I know you’re working on a “guest post” about screen printing for this site – and that’s very exciting!

    • David – I’ll tell you what: I’ll get the hairspray if you’ll get a haircut!


      P.S. And Ellen Goldman very kindly sent us a bottle of Klyr-Fire (as well as that magnificent Chinese brush we keep fighting over!) so we can also try that. We are indeed fortunate in the visitors to this site!


    Thanks for the continued teaching and more than good advice.

  4. Hi guys! Very interesting article. But if one uses water, doesn’t one run the risk of any chemicals or “nasties” in the water causing a problem in the kiln? Or is there just too little of that kind of stuff for us to worry about?

    Another question I’ve been meaning to ask for a while. How come you never use colours in your painting? Like greens, blues, yellows, orange or mixtures of these colours?

    • Hi Pat,

      You’re right to take an interest in the consistuents of one’s chosen medium or media. In this case, though, as you wonder, there’s just too little to be concerned with here.

      On the subject of colours / enamels: one reason is we’re blessed with good access to beautiful hand-made glass, and therefore we usually design with that rich and natural palette in mind. So we mainly use enamels just to modify glass slightly

      But since we know a lot of folks are interested in enamels, we have a set of paints from Reusche we’ll start testing next week, and then write up and photograph what we discover.

      Hope all goes well for you!

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