This page is a comprehensive resource on our fine art materials. Please contact us if you have a question that you would like answered.
Q: WHERE CAN I BUY YOUR PRODUCTS?
A: You can find our products throughout the USA including: Jerry’s Artarama, New Wave Art, Blick Art Materials, and Kremer Pigments and others. To find your local store, follow this link: [link]
Q: HOW CAN WE ORDER YOU PRODUCTS IN THE EU?
A: We will be available throughout the EU and UK starting in September 2020.
Q: HOW CAN WE ORDER YOUR PRODUCTS IN AUSTRALIA?
A: Our products are on the shelves of The Sydney Art Store [link].
Q: DO YOU HAVE A SAMPLE-PACK OF PRODUCTS?
A: You can buy our Chelsea Classical Studio Sampler Cube that contains 8 samples, or smaller 2-pack samplers. Check to see if your local art supplier has them in-store, or order online from one of our retailers. [link]
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DISPOSE OF RAGS SOILED BY YOUR PRODUCTS? CAN THE RAGS BE DISPOSED IN THE TRASH? ARE THERE ANY ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS?
A: All normal precautions for using and disposing of oil painting products should be respected and observed.
Q: HOW IS THE CCS LINSEED OIL SO PALE?
A: It is a long laborious process. It takes us 3 months to clean one batch and we lose 1/2 the oil we started with but no chemicals or heat are used to clean the cold-pressed oil.
Q: WHAT IS COLD-PRESSED OILS?
A: Cold-pressed oil is produced without the use of heat or chemicals by grinding oil-bearing seeds in an oil mill. This extraction technique is more expensive and yields less oil than modern processes, but we prefer this historical method of production because the oil is more pure and has stood the test of time in museums for centuries.
Q: WHY COLD-PRESSED OIL?
A: In the words of Sir Charles Eastlake (1793-1865), President of the Royal Academy, "A more refined practice in art, the oil was ‘cold drawn’ chiefly with a view to avoid its discoloration.”Oil that has been extracted through the use of high-temperatures and chemical baths contains impurities that will affect its archival properties. Our method of producing linseed and walnut oil follows the historic precedent of the Old Masters.
Q: WHAT MAKES THIS OIL DIFFERENT?
A: Most art material companies either sell raw, cold-pressed oils that are never cleaned and contain many impurities, or they use harsh chemical cleaning and bleaching processes to refine the oils. At Chelsea Classical Studio we do things differently. Our oils are extracted using the more expensive, time-tested method of cold-pressing, then washed and cleaned using natural processes documented since the Renaissance. Our artisanal techniques naturally purify the oil, lighten its color, and quicken its drying time.
Q: HOW LONG IS THE DRYING TIME FOR THE PALE LINSEED OIL?
A: The exact drying time depends on the quantity used, the paint layer or ground below, temperature, humidity and pigments, etc. However, under the same conditions our naturally pale linseed oil should dry faster than generic alkali-refined oils.
Q: HOW LONG IS THE DRYING TIME FOR THE PALE WALNUT OIL?
A: Given the same conditions,walnut oil dries slower than linseed oil and it is recommended for passages of painting that require evenly blended gradients.
Q: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PAINT FAT OVER LEAN?
A: Fat-over-lean is a fundamental technique that every painter should be aware of if they wish to prevent cracking, delaminating, imperfect drying, and uneven gloss in their painting.
Q: HOW DO YOU PAINT FAT OVER LEAN?
A: Fat over lean means to paint so that each successive layer of paint is fat and contains more oil than the lean layer preceding it. To paint fat over lean, begin by using our lean medium and simply add more fat medium each successive day of painting. Or, if you would like complete control over your painting medium, add your own ratio of oil and/or damar varnish accordingly.
Q: IF A PAINT LAYER IS THICKER THAN THE LAYER OF PAINT BELOW IT, BUT IT DOES NOT CONTAIN VERY MUCH OIL, DOES THAT STILL FOLLOW THE FAT OVER LEAN PRINCIPLE?
A: Don't be mistaken, a fat layer of paint has nothing to do with the thickness of the paint. Fat over lean refers to the amount of oil in the most recent layer of paint relative to the dried layer below it.
Q: WHAT ARE THE PROPERTIES AND INGREDIENTS OF
THE FAT AND LEAN MEDIUMS?
A: Chelsea Classical Studio's Lean Medium consists of linseed oil and lavender spike oil essence – a historically documented, alternative solvent for painting that is safer to breathe than turpentine. Lean Medium will thin the paint and make it dry faster. It is recommended for early stages of painting. Chelsea Classical Studio's Fat Medium is a mixture of linseed oil, lavender spike oil essence, and damar resin. Fat Medium will make the paint more glossy and dry faster. It is recommended for later stages of painting.
Q: WHAT IS LAVENDER SPIKE OIL PAINTING SOLVENT?
A: Lavender Spike Oil Essence is a historically documented alternative to turpentine. It can thin oil paints and mediums, and dissolve resins to make varnishes.
Q: HOW DO I USE LAVENDER SPIKE OIL PAINTING SOLVENT?
A: Spike oil can thin and mix with paints and mediums as well as fully dissolve resins to make varnishes. Its particular virtue for contemporary artists is that, unlike Turpentine or Odorless Petroleum Mineral Spirits, it is considered less-toxic, non-carcinogenic, without a record of chronic health risks, and still functions as an exceptional solvent for oil painting.
Q: ARE THERE ANY OTHER USES, BESIDES OIL PAINTING, FOR YOU LAVENDER SPIKE OIL?
A: Besides its use in oil painting, lavender spike oil essence is used in perfumes, soaps, aromatherapy, and other holistic medicinal practices. Also, we're told that it is excellent for blending colored pencils!
Q: HOW LONG IS THE DRYING/EVAPORATING TIME FOR THE LAVENDER SPIKE OIL?
A: It evaporates at a similar rate to turpentine. Like all solvents, its evaporating time depends on the quantity, temperature and humidity.
Q: WHY IS THE SCENT OF LAVENDER SPIKE OIL SOLVENT SO STRONG?
A: Spike lavender has a sharper smell than other varieties of lavender. Furthermore, lavender spike oil essence is an essential oil, so the aromatic elements of Lavandula latifolia are highly concentrated.
Q: WHAT IS LAVENDER DAMAR VARNISH?
A: Lavender Damar Varnish is a solution of damar resin and lavender spike oil essence. We dissolve damar resin in our proprietary CCS Lavender Spike Oil Essence™ to make a picture-varnish. When applied to a surface it dries to form a hard, glossy surface.
Q: WHAT IS LAVENDER DAMAR VARNISH USED FOR?
A: Over time, paintings are exposed to dust, debris, stains, and sometimes smoke. Lavender damar varnish is a protective coat that is applied to completed paintings in order to protect them from these environmental hazards. This protective coat can be removed and reapplied at any point throughout the painting's life-cycle in order to “clean” the painting without destroying any of painted image.
If you would like your painting to have a deeper tonal range and glossier surface, lavender damar varnish can also be used throughout the painting process as an ingredient in your painting medium.
Our damar varnish can also be dilluted with lavender spike oil essence to form a retouch varnish.For your convenience, we also manufacture a ready-made retouch varnish.
Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR YOUR LAVENDER DAMAR VARNISH TO DRY AFTER APPLICATION?
A: Our lavender damar varnish dries at a similar rate to turpentine-based varnishes. The exact drying time depends on the quantity used, the paint layer or ground below, as well as local temperature and humidity.
Q: WHAT IS LAVENDER RETOUCH VARNISH?
A: CCS Lavender Retouch Varnish™ is a solution of damar resin and lavender spike oil essence. Because it is made with lavender spike oil essence, our varnish does not cause the chronic health effects associated with the inhalation of fumes from turpentine or mineral spirits.
Q: HOW DO I USE LAVENDER RETOUCH VARNISH?
A: Lavender retouch varnish can be used to touch-up passages of painting containing damar resin that have already dried as well as spots of painting where the color has dried with an uneven gloss. It can also be mixed into your painting medium to make them glossier and dry faster.
Q: WHAT IS LAVENDER BRUSH CLEANER?
A: CCS Lavender Brush Cleaner is a safer, natural alternative to turpentine, petroleum mineral spirits, and other toxic solvents. Use it to clean paint from brushes while painting, and to thoroughly clean brushes after painting.
Q: WHAT IS LAVENDER & OLIVE OIL SOAP FOR BRUSHES?
A: CCS Lavender & Olive Oil Soap for Brushes™ is a handmade soap that cleans, moisturize, and preservers brushes in excellent condition.
After cleaning your brush with one of our brush cleaners, use the Lavender & Olive Oil Soap to wash and moisturize your brush hairs so that their spring, resilience, and ability to hold paint are preserved.
Q: DO YOU MAKE CLEANING PRODUCTS FOR BRUSHES THAT USE ACRYLIC OR GOUACHE?
A: Most of our products are intended to be used with oils, but if you have a beat-up brush you can use our brush cleaners to remove old watercolor, gouache, and acrylic from your brushes. Also, many painters that use watercolor, acrylic and gouache enjoy our Lavender & Olive Oil Soap!
Q: WHAT IS CITRUS ESSENCE BRUSH CLEANER?
A: CCS Citrus Essence Brush Cleaner is made from 100% natural distilled citrus fruit. It is a safer, natural alternative to turpentine, petroleum mineral spirits, and other toxic solvents.
Use it to clean paint from brushes while painting, and to thoroughly clean brushes after painting.
Q: IS THE CITRUS BRUSH CLEANER SUITABLE TO USE AS A SOLVENT, OR IS IT ONLY SUITABLE FOR CLEANING BRUSHES?
A: The short answer: yes, it can be used the same way.
The long answer: keep in mind it's a strong acting solvent so, “a little goes a long way.” Too much solvent without more oil in the medium can prevent the formation of a strong paint-film. If you decide to use the citrus brush cleaner as a solvent in your medium be sure to add more oil than solvent. Monitor that your paints aren’t sinking-in, flaking-away, or brushing-off your canvas or panel as you paint.
Health & Safety
Q: HOW DO I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON THE SAFETY OF CCS PRODUCTS?
A: Health and Safety is a primary concern at Chelsea Classical Studio. To ensure complete transparency- you can find all of our Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for the following countries that our products are available in: