Studio Notes

First: As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. Links will open a tab to the product so you can see what I’m referring to without littering the page with images. Below are tips I’ve adopted for my own studio space. Gamsol is the only “solvent” I utilize, as it is odor free, and I keep it in an old pickle jar with the lid on until I need to clean a brush.  You can find it here:   When the jar has too much paint sediment, I start a 2nd jar and allow the old jar to sit until the sediment settles.  I then pour the clear Gamsol into a 3rd jar.  Wipe out the sediment and dispose of it properly, then reuse the 1st jar for the next rotation. Try out Gamblin’s solvent-free mediums.  Here’s a set that won’t break the bank:  A little goes a long way. Murphy’s Oil Soap is an effective brush cleaner for removing dried paint.  I saved many old brushes by letting them soak overnight and gently working residual paint from the bristles. Glass palette: head to your local glass shop and ask them to cut the size you want and ask them to burnish the edges. My palette is rather thick. I remove wet and dry paint with a razor blade scraper such as this one by Stanley and then wipe off the residue with a dry cloth or paper towel.  I stuck felt furniture pads to the bottom so the glass was raised from the table where I sit, and so it is easier to pick up. Clove oil to keep paint from drying too quickly on your palette. This is the product I use, but you could find it at most health food stores.  Place a partially soaked cotton ball in a bottle cap on your palette, then cover with a top. I found a Sterlite plastic bin, slightly smaller than my palette, which I use as a cover when I’m not painting. The fumes from the clove oil prevent most oil paints from drying as quickly;  the oil contains a substance which retards the oxidation process.  I have discovered Burnt Umber dries quickly either way.  Note: Do not mix clove oil with your paints unless you have researched it, as there is much discussion on its uses to slow the drying time.  However, it could backfire if used incorrectly and cause your paints to remain tacky on the the canvas. *This page will evolve – check back periodically.