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I want to keep you guys healthy and oil painting throughout your very long lives. And I want to do this by removing all solvents from your painting process. But, there are some of you out there that still think you need solvents and you’re looking at lavender spike oil or other solvent alternatives. 

Arguably the best two solvents on the market is Gamsol by Gamblin and Lavender Spike oil by Chelsea Classic Mediums

In fact I’ve pointed several artists to the lavender spike oil medium thinking that it was much better than gamsol but after doing more research I was wrong.

After comparing the safety data sheets of both Gamsol and Lavender Spike oil it looks like they are on par with each other, but for different reasons. 

Both have the same Aspiration toxicant rating. 

Lavender spike oil is not as flammable as Gamsol but it has skin irritation and allergic concerns and it’s listed as being very toxic to aquatic life. 

It’s not that lavender spike oil is bad, it’s the concentration of it that is the problem. It’s the concentration that allows it to work as a solvent.

Kinda like my diet and nuts, a few nuts are healthy, but I could eat a whole bucket! A few nuts are great for me, but a bucket of nuts will send me way over my calories for the day.

Checkout the links in the description for the safety data sheets. In addition I added links to Refined Linseed Oil and solvent free gel by gamblin as a great comparative for real non toxic mediums.

But, if you MUST use solvents, I would suggest finding a balance between what keeps you creating consistently and what keeps you healthy. 

You solvents sparingly and always keep a container of solvents covered. And keep your studio well ventilated to protect you, your kids and your pets. Even if solvents work well for your current painting process, keep trying the non solvent alternatives. Through experimentation you may find a small change in your process will achieve the same results with much less health concerns. 

In the end, my ultimate decision is going to be the removal of all solvents, even lavender spike oil. I feel they are completely unnecessary even while observing the fat over lean rule. You can watch my previous video on how to do that.

Thanks for watching!


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