After a long absence, I return to talk about PEL and oil painting solvents.

After a long absence, I return to talk about PEL and oil painting solvents.

I have neglected this blog. I really have too many blogs. But then I have too many domain names (dot com, dot net, or in this case, dot biz). So what can be done, other than to add a new post to this blog? 😉 I am here to talk about PEL, or “Permissible Exposure Limit” of oil painting solvents, or in this case, Gamsol vs. Turpenoid brand odorless mineral spirits. Among all my artist friends, Gamblin’s Gamsol has always seemed like the best, most safe odorless mineral spirit product out there. It had a higher flashpoint than competing products, and was “safer” to ship (due to this higher flashpoint). However, it’s still a mineral spirit, and as such is harmful if swallowed. But now we have a new product. Turpenoid is now available in a new variation, “Turpenoid Light.” (See above picture, bottle on the right.) After doing some research on this, it appears that the difference between Turpenoid Light and Gamsol is that Turpenoid Light has a higher flashpoint (200 degrees F) compared to Gamsol’s 145 degrees F. The other detail is that Turpenoid (both regular Turpenoid as well as this new Turpenoid Light) has a PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit) of 500. (Higher is better.) Gamsol’s PEL is apparently 300. From my understanding (which admittedly is limited) PEL pertains to how fast the solvent evaporates, and how much of the solvent’s harmful elements are in the air to possibly cause us harm after lengthy exposure. The slower the solvent evaporates, the less exposure we get to its vapor. So, the higher the PEL (slower evaporation) the better. I’m not an expert on the technical issues of all of this, so I’ll not pretend to speak from any authority. You can download Gamblin’s document regarding Gamsol here (direct link to PDF file) where they explain more about PEL, as well as confirm that Gamsol’s PEL is 300. I’ve used both Gamsol and regular Turpenoid, and found them both to be acceptable and very useful in my oil painting. Neither of them stink. They both seem to thin my paints equally well. I can use either and be happy. However, I love trying out new products, so of course I’ve ordered some bottles of Turpenoid Light! It seems like it’s going to be giving Gamsol a run for its money in both its diminished harmful effects as well as higher flashpoint. This is very exciting! Of course, it must be said that neither Turpenoid Light or Gamsol are “harmless.” They are still solvents and shouldn’t be ingested. Lengthy exposure to their vapors could eventually create problems for some people. Which brings us to Turpenoid Natural. It’s not actually an odorless...

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Crazy Cat Lady—It’s business!

Crazy Cat Lady—It’s business!

I’m turning into a crazy cat lady! I’m turning into my aunts, who have cat trinkets, doo-dads, and tchotchkes! Anything related to cats, they have! But what I’m doing is getting cat t-shirts, like the above design from 6dollarshirts.com, because it’s so hilarious. And it’s only $6. But I also figure that wearing these type of funny cat t-shirts fits with my artistic persona, aka the “Painter of Cats.” So I have an excuse, see? I have to wear the cat t-shirts, see? I haven’t posted any cat paintings here lately, so here are a few (from my other blog).   Share this:Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)MoreClick to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on StumbleUpon (Opens in new...

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Elegant Lady (temp title) DAY TWO

Elegant Lady (temp title) DAY TWO

So I did this yesterday. Along with finishing up a little portrait, which can be found on my “main” personal blog. So I didn’t do anything today (well, technically, yesterday, Wednesday) because it was busy with lots of errands and I was worn out. So all I have is Wednesday’s effort. I’d better be able to do some more studio time today (Friday), dammit! The drawing is still whacked in parts of this, but so far I’m having fun with it. I especially love pushing the warms and cools. I’m using a lot of Charvin’s pastel custom mixes (either Fine or Extra Fine oil colors). Charron Blue, Julia Pink, Celadon, and a lavendar, other pale greens…they’re all fabulous. I mix them as a sort of pseudo “white” (meaning I lighten my mixtures with these pastel colors) and they just seem to work very well for me. Especially Charron Blue. That is an absolute must-have. I’m bummed that Jerry’s has raised the prices on their Charvin Fine colors. It used to be around $10 for a 150 mL tube, now it’s up to $14 and you really have to buy in bulk to get down to $10. Sure, I know they have sales, but this rise in prices looks like they aren’t going to get down to $10 all that often. Oh well, I do have a nice stockpile of Charvin colors already! Share this:Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)MoreClick to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on StumbleUpon (Opens in new...

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Elegant Lady (temp title) WORK IN PROGRESS

Elegant Lady (temp title) WORK IN PROGRESS

IT’S JUST BEGUN. Maybe an hour of work so far? Some of the drawing is whacked. I’m developing an affection for the 14×14″ size. The best place to find panels in that size is through American Easel company. I have to prime the boards myself. With this one, I used some “Clear Gesso” from Winsor & Newton. I just ordered some Clear Gesso from CheapJoes.com, because I think I like the texture a little better. (W&N is a bit more toothy and rough.) So this is what I have so far. I hope to work on it some more tonight. That’s my update for now. Share this:Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)MoreClick to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on StumbleUpon (Opens in new...

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My never-ending saga with Vince & Natalie

My never-ending saga with Vince & Natalie

Yes, I know this was supposed to be a “daily painting” blog, and it’s been anything but. But I don’t care, here I am, back again. With some long pontificating posts which no one will ever read! HA! So I must tell the story of the Natalie and Vince. It’s not a story that’s yet completed. I asked some some artist friends, a married couple, to model for me. I took a lot of pictures, and started some paintings based on a few of the poses. First, I did some “comps” (rough sketches) of what I wanted to paint. The comp of Natalie, I decided after looking at it that…naw, I didn’t like that. I decided to use a different photo of her as reference. With Vince, I decided I wanted a more vertical (rather than square) composition. So here is what I have of Natalie right now. And it’s not yet “right” or finished. But close, I hope. I warned them that the likeness might be not quite right (because these are not commissioned portraits or anything). And I lived up to that! This is not an exact portrait of Natalie by any means! Then, I started with Vince. This was a troubled, tortured, difficult portrait.  It had been slated to be shown in a local art show, and I was rushing and burning the midnight oil to get it done in time. But the night before the show I had an epiphany, and that was that the painting was dreadful. It needed to be turned to the wall in shame. But a funny thing happened. When I next went to my studio (several days later), the Vince painting, while still quite bad, wasn’t quite as dreadful as I had first thought. Probably, in my weary, frenzied state trying to make the deadline for the art show, I had overreacted. So it will still be turned to the wall for a while, but I don’t think I’ll be painting over it. There may be some hope for it yet. Though, I predict that in a few years I’ll look at it and still cringe. Ah, such is life. I had forgotten something, and trying to make the deadline for this art show reminded me of it again. I HATE DEADLINES. I do not work well when I am sweating bullets trying to squeeze in right under the wire. I lose my perspective! The Vince painting was a good exercise for two reasons: I tackled fabric (something I haven’t done in a long time) and it was a larger format than I’ve worked in for ages. (I usually work small, like 6×6″, with 12×12″ and 12×16″ being the “largest” I do on average.) I...

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My first acrylics atelier class assignment

My first acrylics atelier class assignment

Yeah, so much for posting “daily” to this blog! We see how well that worked out! But I have something to post today. And I still have plans for this blog; no really, I do! 😉 I’m taking an online class (atelier) from fabulous acrylics portrait artist, Chantel Barber. So I have my first assignment, a small acrylics sketch. I won’t describe the assignment in too much detail, because it’s Chantel’s class and if you want to know what her specific instruction is, then take her classes yourself! 🙂 Oh, how I struggle with acrylics! That’s why I am taking this class! The colors in the painting look more subdued than in the photo ref. I don’t know what to say—my iPad seems to cool colors down, because I saw a lot more pale, subtle colors on the iPad, including some green in the forehead area and around the mouth. It’s not so evident in this photo, displaying on my desktop computer. Oh well. Share this:Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)MoreClick to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on StumbleUpon (Opens in new...

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Another little sketch from life, and some rambling and ranting

Another little sketch from life, and some rambling and ranting

Another post, this one written while at my studio. Elijah I did this sketch about a year ago, while attending a local figure drawing group’s life drawing session. We’d meet every week, sometimes more than that, to have the opportunity to draw a live model. Elijah was some fellow that Ben (the guy who runs the figure drawing group) just happened to meet while out and about. Elijah agreed to post for portraits and shirtless. (Some models pose for us nude, some pose clothed.) Ben has a talent for getting models! Elijah is a remarkable young man with many talents and interests, and some fascinating stories to tell. We had a wonderful drawing session with him. I took some photos of Elijah during that drawing session, and plan on doing a painting based on this approximate same pose. Should be interesting! Blogging, blogging, blogging Since this is my daily rambling art blog, I’ll discuss that a  bit while I’m here. Google decided to start measuring how well all our web sites work on mobile devices. So some of my old, old, old sites (like 14+ years!) aren’t up to snuff. They were designed and created for a whole different type of technology, old 15″ 600×800 resolution monitors, and 56K modems! Yikes! So I’m trying to create some more content with the WordPress (blogging) format, in the hopes that it’ll conform better to future advances in technology and with whatever we are using to get online in another 14+ years! (I shudder at the thought!) So I was setting up some blogs and doing some fiddling. It is an arduous task, I must say. My studio companion Often when I go to paint at my studio, I bring along my mom. She reads aloud to me as I paint. She’s always been a ‘great reader’ (to quote Jane Austen) and you can’t stop her! Her reading aloud to me and my siblings as we were children are a major reason why we all are ‘great readers’ ourselves! She reads with a lot of expression and emotion and makes everything she reads much more interesting as a result. She’s retired and her life has slowed down a bit. Reading aloud (and having it appreciated—as I truly do!) gives her so much joy and a feeling of accomplishment. We’ve gone through many books this way. I am painting, and she is reading. I hope we can continue this practice for a long time. I always feel like I get an extra blessing and my paintings turn out better when she is with me, reading. If you have a senior in your life who likes to read, ask them to read to you...

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