How I paint: mediums and thinners

This photo shows painting cups in front of my custom-made palette.  I always use this selection of mediums and solvents when I paint.

In the left-most container is my medium.  My medium is very drying which means, among other things, that it is very rough on brush heads.  Not only does it dry out the brush hairs, it dries paint left in the brush too.  Whenever I put aside a brush or take a break, I dip the brush in oil to prevent drying.  The cup next to the medium contains the cold-pressed linseed oil that I use to keep my brushes from drying out.  I never paint with it.  Whenever I use an oil-dipped brush, I first clean it with turpentine.


Next to the linseed oil is the turpentine that I use to clean brushes.  I use it to clean a color out of brush before loading the brush with another color or to clean the linseed oil out of it.

Finally, in the right-most cup, is white spirits aka paint thinner aka mineral spirits.  I use the mineral spirits to thin the paint as needed.  The odor of mineral spirits bothers me so I use odorless mineral spirits (OMS).  The odor of turpentine does not bother me.

So, this is my setup.  I also keep a rag in my left hand (I am right-handed) to blot excess paint or medium. Rags are essential for the way I work.

At the end of the day, I clean my brushes with oil soap and finish by dipping them into conditioner.

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