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painting the figure


module 1: supplies

g: clean-up

b. Disposal

i. Brushes

With proper brush care, your brushes can and should last years! However, once they have been worn out(won’t hold shape anymore, hairs are destroyed), they can be thrown away.

ii. Dried Paint

What I do with my dried paint scrapings from my palette is first put them in a plastic container. The container can then be emptied into a separate receptacle. I have a galvanized steel trash can with a lid that I empty the scrapings into. You can then take that receptacle (or a bag full of the contents) to the proper waste facility.

iii. Rags

Rags full of solvent/paint/oil should be put into a bin with a lid that prevents oxygenation. I use a galvanized steel trash can in my studio. Without oxygen, the likelihood of spontaneous combustion is next to nil.

A chemical’s flash point is the lowest temperature that the chemical will ignite. Typically the lower the flash point the more of a fire hazard it can become. Gamsol has a flash point of 144 F(62 C) , so definitely don’t light it on fire, but it is very unlikely in normal circumstances to spontaneously combust. Linseed oil much less so, with a flash point of 432 F(222 C). You have more pressing problems if you end up in a situation where that’s the temperature. However, turpentine’s flash point can be as low as 86 F(30 C) making it much more volatile in heat, meaning that you should be very careful with rags soaked in it. Better yet, don’t use turpentine with any regularity.

iv. Solvents

Solvents that havent evaporated into the air can be recycled and used over again. After a few days, gravity will leave a sludge of oil and solvent at the bottom of your cup, and the solvent sitting on top of it.


Get two clear jars. Pour the dirty solvent from your palette cup into one of those clear jars. Scoop the sludge out of your palette cup into the other jar. Because the pigments are much heavier than the liquid of the solvents, they will eventually separate themselves to the point of being almost clear of each other. You can use that near-clear solvent again in your palette cup. The collected sludge can then be taken to your local facility equipped to dispose of it properly, along with used rags.