Traditionally, resins for use in painting are extracted from trees. A resin is tree sap. When petroleum-based solvents were introduced into the art world, traditional resins would not work. Thus petroleum-based resins (alkyds) were introduced instead. The problem with petroleum-based resins is the lack of sustainability and too often problems with toxicity. At this point, there is a global interest in developing high performance sustainable biobased polyols – or resins, as a replacement for petroleum-based products.
In the near future, expect to see biobased resins appear for use in high performance art materials! They will be superior in terms of solvent compatibility, solubility, lightfastness, rheology and viscosity. The world is pursuing more sustainable raw materials that do not compromise performance, and at the same time satisfy the need for environmental and artist safety.