What’s in the box?

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Contents of this box: a small canvas, walnut oil, and two kinds of brush cleaner.

This is all I use to thin my oil paints. I use A LOT of it.

This is what I use to clean my brushes. (At least part of the concoction I use.)

This is why painting can't just be my hobby. $56.45 for a box of four boring, yet crucial supplies.

I’m getting ready to do a small painting of another house later this month. I originally  thought I would use one of the 12″ x 12″ canvasses I have in stock, but the more I looked at the photo, I realized the painting really needs to be a rectangle.

So I ordered a 16″ x 12″ canvas size for this project. Since I had to order the canvas anyway, I thought I should get a few other things I was running out of.

Unless it’s an Art Supply Emergency (meaning I didn’t plan well and ran out of something,) I order all my art supplies online from Dick Blick. They have great customer service and carry everything I could possibly want.

I try to be as eco-friendly as possible in my painting methods. To keep my not-so-healthy medium of oil paints, as healthy as possible, there are a few things I NEVER use.

I do not use Turpentine. I do not use Mineral Spirits. I do not use any kind of Painting Medium or Glazes. They all smell terrible, and I don’t want to breathe in those fumes.

Maybe that’s why my oil paintings are almost always mistaken for acrylics. Apparently my method does give different results, or I wouldn’t be asked this question at every show I’ve ever done.

But I care about the air I breathe, and my health, so I’m sticking with my unorthodox approach to painting with traditional oils.

For thinning my paints, I just mix in Walnut Oil until it’s the runny consistency that I like. I’m told that you can eat or cook with the Walnut Oil. Whether that’s true or not, I think it’s as healthy as I’m going to get without switching to watercolors.

My brushes probably don’t last as long as if I were cleaning them with Turpentine or Mineral Spirits. But the long-term health risks I’ve read about (and even experienced for a couple of years) are not worth the reduced cost.

The times I’ve been in art supply stores and talked to the sales people for help in selecting a product, I can tell they always think I’m crazy.

But this one particular sales person I keep running into always has a stuffed up nose. But since I’m never sick anymore… who’s the crazy one?

2 thoughts on “What’s in the box?

  1. What is the typical drying time for your paintings, and do all brands of paints respond well to the walnut oil in your opinion?
    Still experimenting…….

    • I have only ever used Gamblin Oil paints and Gamblin Walnut Oil, so I’m not sure how it work with other brands of paint. Drying time varies depending on color of paint and thickness. I know that doesn’t really answer your question… Blues take about a day or two to dry when put on thinly. Whites and reds take longer. For the whole painting to be dry enough to move without getting ruined, I’d give it about 3-4 weeks to be safe. But it’s usually much sooner that I can move them around my studio from one drying rack to another. Does this help?

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