"Can anyone tell me a good non-toxic solvent for oils? I use an odourless solvent but goodness knows what that's made of..." I notice Richard uses walnut oil as thinner - I'll try that but for cleaning brushes etc?

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Best non-toxic (or least toxic) solvent for oils is Gamsol from Gamblin.  Check out www.gamblincolors.com for some information on what it is and why.  You can also just soak your brushes in vegetable oil and clean with water and soap or get some linseed oil soap from Jack Richeson.  The more you wipe the paint off your brushes before cleaning, the less solvent you will need.  Stay away from turpentine because a lot of people develop respiratory and skin allergies to it (like Richard).  Stu

Thanks a lot Stuart - I'll look into it! I used to use gum turps then odourless solvent - whatever that is. Hope your painting is going well!

Ruby, I use Galkyd lite from Gamblin with a little Gamsol. I will usually brush this on the canvas, wait about ten minutes and take most of it off with a paper towel. I paint into this and wet my brush in a little of the same mixture. This accelerates drying. I either use store bought canvas panels or make my own (canvas mounted on 1/4" plywood or hardboard) or stretched canvas. I give the canvas a couple more coats of acrylic gesso and tone them with acrylic paint or oil paint. I also paint on textured panels with brushed on acrylic modeling paste or thick gesso and then further coated with gesso. Stu

Ruby, check out Galkyd and Gamsol at www.gamblincolors.com.  It is a very useful website for oil painters.  There are some "studio notes" that explain a lot of different methods and use of materials for painting in oils.  A lot of my information comes from their website.  They are in Oregon and probably do not have the international sales of Winsor Newton, but they are available through many of the online art suppliers like Jerry's Arterama and Cheap Joe's.   Stu
Ruby said:

Thank you for your reply Stuart. You are very clever :)  I have not heard of Galkyd nor Gamsol. Shall therefore have to read up on it a bit. Will take forever to get as clever as you though. :))   All the best

I switched to water soluble oils. so now I use soap and water to clean up.

Hi Eric - What is the brand name of those? I didn't know there was such a thing. Is the texture the same?? And what is the drying time like?

When painting with oils I use baby oil  for cleaning brushes. Works fine. 



The least expensive baby oil you can find cleans brushes beautiful!  Walnut all is too expensive for cleaning brushes.........smiles  dor:))

Sorry to take so long to reply, Annie.  I use Windsor and Newton, Artisan Brand Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour. I haven't tried other brands simply because my local art supply store doesn't carry them.

Hi Annie,

I have been using Windsor and Newton water mixable oils like Eric, but also just bought some Duo Hoblien to try out. Read that it has a nicer consistency.  More like actual oils.  Will keep you posted.

Annie Cullen said:

Hi Eric - What is the brand name of those? I didn't know there was such a thing. Is the texture the same?? And what is the drying time like?

Hi Annie: I wanted to try the Duo Hoblien brand but the store where I shop doesn't carry them. Where I live there's not a lot of choice:( The Artisan paints are good and the colors are fine so I'll stick with them for now. How are the Duo Hoblien working out?

In case anyone is still following this - I've started using Walnut oil (bought it online - the Graham and Co one) and love it - got rid of all the fumes in my studio! works for thinning oils and for cleaning brushes.

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