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Old 01-04-04, 04:06 PM
iconwriter77373 iconwriter77373 is offline
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Default handling (literally) toxic pigments

Hello all;

I am new to this forum, and appreciate all the great information on it. I am an iconography student of several years and have been using the petit lac method for laying down initial layers of pigment. But I'm trying to learn alternatives, and I appreciate the clear information on the "Techniques" page of this site! Thanks!!!!!

One question: with earths or nontoxic ochres etc., I can see squeezing the brush between the fingers....but what do you do when you're using more toxic pigments? I don't have very many pigments that are toxic.... vermilion and malachite are the only two I really worry about..... but I am wondering if y'all use a different way of squeezing out that brush when you use toxic pigments?

Again, many thanks for this site. Very, very helpful!!! :grin:

Jan
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Old 02-04-04, 03:47 AM
turlogh turlogh is offline
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Default Re: handling (literally) toxic pigments

Quote:
Originally Posted by iconwriter77373
One question: with earths or nontoxic ochres etc., I can see squeezing the brush between the fingers....but what do you do when you're using more toxic pigments? I don't have very many pigments that are toxic.... vermilion and malachite are the only two I really worry about..... but I am wondering if y'all use a different way of squeezing out that brush when you use toxic pigments?
I don't know of any pigments that penetrate skin. If I have cuts on my hands, I wear gloves while painting. Other than that, I don't eat, drink, touch my face, lick my brush, etc. while painting. I wash very thoroughly with soap and water when I am done. With these precautions, I do not worry at all about getting paint on my hands.

If you can't bring yourself to get paint on your hands, wipe your brush on a lint-free cloth. It is less convenient for drybrushing, but is a workable alternative.
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Old 02-04-04, 01:34 PM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
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Hello Jan,
I keep a short stack of sheets of typing paper next to my palette. After charging the brush, I "discharge" the excess paint and shape the point with a few careful strokes on the paper. It works about as well as using your fingertips.
Dennis
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Old 02-04-04, 02:26 PM
realgesso realgesso is offline
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Quote:
I don't know of any pigments that penetrate skin.
The only one I know that will, at least according to the MSDS is vermillion (mercury sulfide). The cadmium colors, and lead compounds such as Naples yellow are pretty much only hazardous if inhaled or ingested.
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Old 02-04-04, 04:01 PM
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I usually discharge my brush between my forefinger and the palette. That way you don't loose any paint on typing paper ( sounds like a costly excercise Dennis ! ) and only one finger gets dirty :!:

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Old 03-04-04, 12:58 AM
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"Charging," "Discharging"... This sounds like a National Rifle Association website.
Dennis's method has the advantage that when he becomes famous, people will pay big bucks for those discarded typing paper sheets.
I've been "discharging" pigment through my fingers for twenty years. No obvious negative effects except that I'm writing posts like this.
Phil
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Old 03-04-04, 05:18 AM
iconwriter77373 iconwriter77373 is offline
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Default handling (literally) toxic pigments

Or a Society for the Study of Lightning....

I thought I remembered that vermillion is absorbed through the skin. When I clean my palettes after using it, I always get an old skanky brush that I just about only for this purpose to scrub it up, then wash the sink too afterward. Maybe I'm paranoid <chorus from family: yes she is!> but with health problems already, I'll do a paper towel or typing paper brushclean on at least the toxic stuff.

As I said, though, I keep toxic pigments to a minimum anyway. Thankfully, my children are too old to be tempted to eat the pretty red powder, and my dogs only like tubes of acrylic (although my cat watches for anytime I mix up Ivory Black....the idiot loves the stuff, cleans the palette from it. Yuck.) But my "studio" nowadays is about a quarter of a not-very-large bedroom, so obviously things like orpiment or lead white are not in my repertoire.....

Thanks, all. I'm having a blast experimenting at this. :grin:

Jan
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Old 03-04-04, 08:34 AM
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Phil,
Dennis is famous. Only a famous person could wear a hat like the one Dennis wore in NYC last month!!
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Old 04-04-04, 04:53 AM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
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OK, OK. I'm digging all my discharge papers out of the trash bin. Might get a show at Tate Modern, where you can wear any old hat you please.
Rob, my one regret from the NY trip was that I didn't photograph you in any compromising outerwear.
Hmm. how to get this back on topic...?

There once was a tempera painter
Whose stroke went progressively fainter,
When after a dip
And a pinch on the tip;
If only on paper he'd laid 'er.

With apologies,
Dennis
(I do mean the brush...)
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Old 04-04-04, 05:57 AM
peter kashur
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Default Re: handling (literally) toxic pigments

....but what do you do when you're using more toxic pigments? I don't have very many pigments that are toxic.... vermilion and malachite are the only two I really worry about..... but I am wondering if y'all use a different way of squeezing out that brush when you use toxic pigments?

Again, many thanks for this site. Very, very helpful!!! :grin:


...an ex tempera student of mine complained to a colleague that she believed her use of cadmiums was affecting her health...his reply to her was that 'it would be a noble death'...

peter (try hospital gloves.....)
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