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brushstrokebliss



Posts : 19
Join date : 2010-05-10

PostSubject: Ventilation   Wed May 09, 2012 12:06 pm

Finally started painting again after a long break. With all of your help, I have gotten over the trials and ttiulations of how to use these paints and am enjoying painting with them. The Holbein Duo and Cobra paints seem compatible and work well, I can use water in them as a wash if needed, the linseed oil/water mix Janet suggested as a medium does work, and the cobra glazing medium doesn't seem to get me sick. Hooray!

Took some drawing classes and got bored immediately if not sooner as I missed mushing colors. Drawing with charcoal or pencil does not feel the same as painting so I stopped obsessing over the drawing part and just have at a canvas. That is the fun part. Although I am trying to get proficient at painting flowers (of course, I always go for the roses and peonies), I am doing still life setups in my studio (office and studio together). Designing them usually takes a while and then I get side tracked on the computer looking for ideas. Eventually, I do get busy. Nothing is "finished" but I now have quite of few canvases in slots on a shelving rack.

That gets me to the subject: ventilation. Although I do have a window in the room, it rarely gets opened (don't ask). I do smell the paints now that I am actively using them in the space. It doesn't help that I have a bunch of canvases drying and my palette open. The whole first floor seems stinky to me - I am really sensitive.

I understand that I am not using solvents, but their still is an odor. And the pigments I am using (love those cads, cobalts and chromiums) are deadly if eaten, absorbed or inhaled. I stopped using pastels for that reason at this point as I am afraid of the dust and the pigments.

I'd like to know if any of you have any ventilation systems in your painting space. My first floor has no duct work as it is not air conditioned like upstairs and the heating system is baseboard - ugh and ugh again. Never lived in a house that wasn't forced air before this one. I've looked on Wet Paint and not too much on the subject. There is an out of print book that is almost 30 years old. Any ideas folks? You all are so creative and so many of us here work with W/S oils because of allergies. Maybe we can come up with a solution?

Thanks so much in advance. I've missed you all!

Bliss
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judyfilarecki
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Posts : 2685
Join date : 2009-11-16
Location Location : Northern NY and Southern Arizona

PostSubject: Re: Ventilation   Wed May 09, 2012 4:55 pm

So glad to see you back. It has been a busy time for all of us. I don't have any special ventilation, but I do live in a warm climate so I can open doors and windows if I need to. I do keep my palette in an air-tight container and always close it when I'm not using it. I dispose of any paper towels that I have used during the painting session. They get put in the garbage can outside of the house.

You mention that you use the wso linseed oil with water that Janet suggested. With my allergies, I have to stay away from linseed oil as much as is possible which isn't 100% when some of the paints have it in them. I always use the walnut oil instead, and this definitely keeps down the irritating smells and vapors that bother me.

Hope that helps. I'm sure others will have suggestions.

Welcome back,

Judy

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watermixableguy
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Posts : 972
Join date : 2010-06-11
Location Location : New Brunswick, Atlantic Canada

PostSubject: Re: Ventilation   Wed May 09, 2012 8:12 pm

Hi Blis
My wife and I paint in our unfinished basement. We have an air exchanger, which runs constantly in our new construction. Well, new house as of 2005. So the basement air is slowly exchanged outside, which helps keep paint odor down.

We don't tend to work with the windows open, as we hear lawnmowers, or pool motors, traffic and other neighbourhood noise, depending on the season. Plus, we don't want dust and humidity coming in either.

We paint with the palette sheets open and exposed, and notice some odor, but not excessive.

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brushstrokebliss



Posts : 19
Join date : 2010-05-10

PostSubject: Re: Ventilation   Thu May 10, 2012 9:28 am

Thanks for the replies. Good to be here again Judy and hi watermixableguy.

I rarely and sparingly use mediums, saving them for towards the end of a painting when the paint is not that wet and needs a little something in it to get it moving and blendable again. Also with fat over lean rules sometimes the medium will be used for that reason as well.

It is not just the smell from the paints and the medium themselves that bother me. They are certainly a concern as I have asthma. However, my paramount concern is breathing in anything toxic or irritating as I do use pigments that are not safe such as the cads, cobalts and chromiums.

In my search I have seen contraptions for glass painters, etc. who are using torches and heavy chemicals. They have hoods, exhaust fans and other kinds of things in their studios. They are a necessity with that kind of work but do not seem to be a good solution for me. These things tend to be directly over their work space. As I paint all over my room on different tables or easels at any given time, that would be problematic. And if I am using pastels, anything blowing in the room would create problems. They also have the added problem of dust and the toxic pigments. Wearing a mask is too uncomfortable as are wearing gloves for me. And using fans would not be a solution either for my space. Do any of you use an exhaust system and what kind is it?

I'll leave this up for any additional suggestions or comments.

Thanks again, bliss
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watermixableguy
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Location Location : New Brunswick, Atlantic Canada

PostSubject: Re: Ventilation   Thu May 10, 2012 6:10 pm

Bliss, I wonder if you have looked into workshop ventilation systems. Woodworkers use them to clear out sawdust and so on.

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