Non toxic Alternative Oil Paint Products. By Don Finkeldei: Artisan Santa Fe, the art supply store in Santa Fe New Mexico, asked me to try M. Graham paints, mediums. M. Graham products are non-toxic and solvent-free.
I'm not particularly sensitive to petroleum based products products but some artists are. This is a near perfect solution using oil paints instead of water based oils or acrylics.
Normally, I use the highest quality oil paints of the highest series, mineral spirits (or turpenoid) as a cleaning solvent, and liquin as a thinning/drying medium. I clean my brushes between strokes by swirling the brush in a "dirty" Prewash of mineral spirits, a clean wash of mineral spirits and then wring out the brush with a paper towel. I painted several paintings using only M. Grahm's non-toxic products:
- Cadmium Red Light, Series 6
- Cadmium Yellow Deep, Series 6.
- Cadmium Orange, Series 6 (only used with ultramarine blue to mix neutral grays).
- Cadmium Yellow light, Series 6.
- Ultramarine Blue, Series 2.
- Titanium White, Series 1.
- Alizarin Crimson, Series 2.
- Viridian, Series 6.
M. Graham's walnut oil for long drying times (the paints have a fairly thin viscosity. I found it not necessary to use much walnut oil). I used M. Graham's walnut/Alkyd medium for quicker drying times for plein aire painting.
The Brush cleaning solution is multi-part consisting of the walnut oil, The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver, and dish soap/water. This is for cleaning brushes between strokes to remove excess paint and to preserve brushes after painting. Swirl the brush in walnut oil. Swirl the brush in dish soap/water, swirl the brush in "Masters Brush Cleaner", Swirl the brush in dish soap/water. Wring out with a paper towel.
My concerns were:
- Quality of pigment saturation.
- Balance of the tube paints (the ability to mix very neutral gray and other warm and cool grays).
- Drying time variability (using wanut/alkyd).
- Viscosity and consistency of the paint.I use a limited palette with gray modifiers so paints need to be very balanced, highly pigmented, a consistent viscosity (not to soupy or too stiff), and ability for quicker drying times for plein aire painting.
The paints are highly pigmented, very balanced (example: mixing ultramarine blue and orange does cross the neutral gray area), good consistency, good viscosity, and the walnut/alkyd was a good drying medium for plein aire painting.