Solvent free oil painting courses - home


In a world where it is increasingly necessary to protect our environment, people have become more aware of their own daily health requirements amd if you are a painter, avoiding hazardous substances may become part of those requirements. In my case I have a slight alergy to turpentine, my face reddens and becomes itchy, so where possible I avoid it and other similar chemical formulas. I 'm not going to go into detail about the tried and tested method of painting with linseed oil and turps except to say that it is a time tested method and used correctly gives obviously artistically beneficial results. However there is a great alternative developed by Louis Velasquez of San Diego, California, called the 'C.S.O.' method. I use this method exclusively and it gives beautiful non hazardous results. The paint film is an archival polymer being both tough yet flexible, all techniques are easily achievable from fine lines and delicate transparent glazes to scratchy scumbles and thick impasto.

Chalk and sun thickened flax oil are combined to produce, when added to pigment, a sumptuous thick, creamy paint. This can be thinned with the C.S.O. Viscous Emulsion made from glair (distilled egg white) and sun thickened flax oil. You can discover all about the C.S.O technique here but if you want to progress quickly and avoid all the student errors than a short course in this technique would be hugely helpful.

My technique is based on my study of the practices established by the renaissance masters. To this end I have expert knowledge in preparing canvas and panel supports, including the techniques of stretching and applying size and chalk gesso. My hand prepared panels for instance usually have at least six fine coats of chalk gesso, which gives a lovely tactile painting surface. Similarly my rabbit skin glue sized canvases (cotton or linen) when gessoed with an oil primer are archival and a delight to paint on. I give in depth practical advice in the support preparation course, well worth taking if this seems a little daunting.