OIL PAINTING - Materials List
A successful painting can be made with two pigments or twenty. I often vary my palette depending on the subject and conditions. This list is a good basic set of colors for studio work, but you don't have to have all of them, and you may bring others.
White (Titanium, Titanium-zinc, or flake)
Genuine Naples Yellow Light (Vasari)
Cadmium Yellow Light
Cadmium Yellow Deep
Indian Yellow (Gamblin)
Transparent Earth Red
Cadmium Red Light
Raw Umber (Old Holland)
Chromatic Black (Gamblin)
Something to mix your paints on. Please don’t use a white palette; it makes judging values very difficult. A wooden palette is fine; treated repeatedly with linseed oil it makes an ideal smooth surface for mixing. Glass or plexiglass is also good; tape a neutral color paper to the back. If you prefer a disposable palette get the gray one from Richeson.
Brushes make brushstrokes, which is what makes a painting. If you’re in need of a good set of brushes, I suggest the David Boyd Jr Starter/Workshop set. If you want just two or three, choose from Rosemary’s Ivory Longer Filberts series.
I use hog bristle brushes from Trekell, flats or long filberts, in a range of sizes, as well as Rosemary’s long rounded ivory flats, ivory filberts and longer filberts, and egberts.
SOLVENT & MEDIUM
A solvent (turpentine, traditionally) dissolves and thins wet paint; we use it to clean brushes and only in small quantities as a medium. Use odorless solvent only (Gamsol). Use a stainless brush washer with a basket and a gasket lid that clamps on.
A medium is used to change the consistency of the paint. I use Flemish Maroger and Venetian Wax Medium from Old Masters Maroger (available at oldmastersmaroger.com).
A support is a surface to paint on, and a ground is the primer, usually gesso, used to coat the support to prepare it for painting. Paper is a good support if coated with shellac, and I frequently do small studies on treated paper. My favorite support is homemade muslin panels (see video here).
Size and quantity of supports depends on the student—sometimes you’ll want to do a sustained study and sometimes several starts. Better too many than not enough.
Tone gessoed supports with a light-to-middle-value warm neutral. Use a little solvent and a neutral combination of paint (my favorite is Old Holland Raw Umber plus a little white) to cover the board. Then use a paper towel to remove excess and create a very thin, even tone.
A palette knife, or painting knife, can be used for mixing and for applying paint. A three-inch offset blade with a long, graceful shape is the most versatile. Scrape dried paint off with a razor blade.
PAPER TOWELS & plastic trash bag
PORTABLE EASEL (unless the venue provides easels)