The Oil Painter's Guide to Protecting Yourself and The Environment


winsor & newton, safety, oil painters

Not always the first priority for artists but an awareness of health and safety practises is really important to protect yourself and the environment.  Bones recently discovered in Tuscany are almost certainly thought to be Caravaggio’s due to the alarming levels of lead they contain. Clearly we’ve moved on since then and are much more aware of harmful materials. Their use is either much diminished or vanished altogether. Artists are rarely exposed to the inspections and procedures that keep other businesses mindful of the hazards of toxic materials, so here is an overview on what you should be doing to protect yourself, others, and the environment.



      Whilst at work in the studio


oily rags should be kept in an airtight metal container

  Clean up and disposal  

      It’s very important that nothing goes down the sink. Solvents and heavy metals are toxic and must be disposed of responsibly. Have a good clean-up and disposal system that is as ethically responsible as possible.

Looking for more professional advice? Visit our Tips & Techniques section to learn more.