|Lashley's oil demo at a recent workshop
GETTING STARTED: Here
is a comprehensive list for those who want to know more about painting on location and if you want to invest in more items
for a workshop or in the future. Supply list is for workshop painting on-location, or classroom.
Go To Dick Blick Sample Cart: Fresh Style Oils (Traditional oils)
Go To Dick Blick Sample Cart: Fresh Style Oils (Water-mixable oils)
Go To: Resources and Web Store Links
Water-mixable Oils Vs. Traditional Oils
I get asked so often what the difference is between
the water-soluble oils and the traditional oils. I paint with both types of oil paint (water-mixable and traditional). One
big difference is that the water-mixable dries faster (about half the drying time of traditional oils). But, once the painting
is dry there is hardly any difference visually or archivally.
Overall I find that I enjoy the super buttery quality of M. Graham traditional oils, but I still use the water-mixables
to start the drawing (first layer). For more information on how my no-solvent painting works you can read my OPA blog
post on water-mixable oils.
NOTE ON TRADITIONAL
OIL: Yes, I do like traditional oils. But I can't use solvent, due to chemical sensitivity. To avoid using solvent, I have
been using M. Graham traditional oils (made with walnut oil) for several years. I love them. I have tried many other traditional
brands too (most made with linseed oil). M. Graham paints are extra buttery, some would say almost greasy. An added bonus
is that they are made in the USA.
To continue to avoid solvent,
I don't clean my brushes. Instead, my used brushes are put in the freezer for the next paint session. Freezing stops the oxidation
of the paint drying, so this is an easy solution. This is best if you are painting at least once a week. To prepare for freezing,
pinch off excess blobs of paint with a rag (leave paint residue in the brush), wrap in a plastic bag and freeze. You brushes
will also thank you by retaining their edge, and not splitting from excess washing. Take brushes out of the freezer and you
can continue to paint.
On occasion I will clean my brushes
and this can easily be done with Master's brush cleaner.
For Water-Mixable Paints:
ABOUT YOUR MATERIALS:
There are several major paint manufacturers of water-mixable oil paints: Grumbacher (Max - nice, great colors, but can be
stiff, caps of tubes can crack and break over time), Holbien (Duo - creamy, nice, a bit more expensive) and Winsor & Newton
(Artisan - can be smelly, contain 'hue' colors, and I think less pigment load, inferior), and Royal Talens (Cobra - newer
brand, nice and buttery, yet some colors are 'off' such as too-pale cadmium yellows and a too-vivid French Ultramarine, has
both small and jumbo tubes of colors). Newer brands have come on the market: such as Weber (sOil), Lukas (Berlin), and Reeves,
I have not tried these as the other brands listed above have been around longer and are varied degrees of 'artist grade' so
I prefer them. Brands say they can mix with other brands and some even go as far as saying you can mix with acrylic or watercolor.
I would be cautious of this mixed media approach, yet think the mixing of oils with oils is fine. I would rate Max, Duo and
Cobra as superior. A good book for an overview of water mixable oils is: Painting with Water-Soluble Oils by Sean Dye. (Note:
several paints will not be in this book as they are newer.)
PALETTE - There are several choices
for palettes you can buy. Wood palette or plexiglas, (for the studio: a sheet of heavy-grade glass that has the edges finished.
You can have a glass shop do this, or instead use lots of tape. Or buy a palette of tempered glass). You can also use tin-foil
taped to cardboard for a disposable option. Pochade boxes have a built-in palette, some artists like to cut plexi to fit in
their pochade box (I have this).
EASEL - For outdoor classes
you will need an easel. Good options: a french half or full easel, or a pochade box (see below for source), metal easels can
be OK also, but you will probably need a tray or tiny table for your paints, etc. Artists with strong arms can just use a
metal easel and hold their palette.
TO PAINT ON - Many choices... You can paint on paper, panels, or canvas. Paper must be prepared with gesso first
to prevent the oils from seeping into the paper and ruining it. For quick paper studies (non-archival) Thunderbolt Kraft 80#
paper is useful. A great support (especially for travel) is multimedia Artboard (www.multimediaartboard.com). "Pintura" panels are archival and rather inexpensive. Cardboard panels are not archival,
but ok for student work. Dick Blick sells some basic panels. They work great with the water-mixable oils and have some 'tooth'.
Jerry's Artorama (web art store) has 'Creative Mark' or 'Centurion' pre-streched canvas that is high-quality at a decent price.
Any store or web site will sell 'student' grade panels, these can also be used but are not archival. RayMar is a favorite
choice of professional artists, get the 'feather' weight panels for travel.
BRUSHES - Traditional
oil brushes made with natural hairs are fine for regular oils (ie: china or boar-bristle, sable, etc.). But these get too
floppy with water-mixable oils, and then they can't carry and mix paint. Synthetic brushes are the way to go with the water-mixable
oils. Silver Brush Bristlon is a fantastic brush. Get a sampling of styles and sizes to know your preference. I use flats
more than rounds, filberts or brights. Suggestion: Flats size: 2, 4, 6, 8 (it is nice to have 2 each in these sizes for the
OTHER - Paper towels, or rags. Baby wipes. Plastic bag for trash/used rags. Smock or apron.
Sketch pad for quick studies or notes. Palette knife. Tin cup 'palette cup' with lid for water mixable linseed oil. Small
wide-mouthed container for water (a glass jam jar works for the studio). For location: a bottom half of a small plastic water
bottle for your water 'solvent'... (cut the bottle in half with a bread knife, and use the lower half - easy and lightweight).
Easel or pochade box. Hat.
OPTIONAL - Pochade box and tripod. Umbrella. Chair. Drybox or canvas
carrier for wet panels. You will want some Kmar Varnish in a spray canister for when your painting fully dries (sometimes
this can take a few weeks, or longer). Varnish protects art from dust and grime and will unify the texture of your paint surface.
- Colors are sold in medium (37ml), and also white in large (150ml). The ** colors are very important, and can
be used as a limited palette, then the * colors are nice to have... then others can be purchased as desired. I have used MAX
/ Grumbacher colors, but now mostly Duo/Holbein and Cobra, any brand can be purchased (but Cobra's Cad. yellows are not great).
Some brands such as Grumbacher have introductory sets. List below is for Cobra colors with other brands noted.
**Cadmium Yellow Light (Duo) or Cad Yellow Lt. Hue; *Cadmium Yellow Medium (Duo) (note: in Duo get Cad Yellow - not hue, Cobra
colors in Cad are too pale and watery)
Red: **Cadmium Red Light (note: Duo get Cad. Red - not hue), *Cool Red such
as: Madder Lake (Cobra only) or Rose Madder (Duo only)
Blue: **Ultramarine Blue (Max or Duo, do not get Cobra brand
in this color); *Cerulean Blue (Duo is best); Pthalo Blue;
Orange: Cadmium Orange
Green: Viridian Green (Max) (Cobra
does not have this, do not get hue)
Brown: **Transparent Oxide Red (Cobra)... if you can't find this Burnt Sienna in other
brands will work for this color, you don't need both
Other: **Thio Violet (Max)
White: **Titanium White (large
Supplies: http://www.jerrysartarama.com/ ; http://www.cheapjoes.com/ ; http://www.dickblick.com/
I recommend the EasyL "Lite" but with some reservations, I have what used to be the Versa (the name has changed to Lite).
It is a great easel (pochade box, panel carrier, and tripod), and I have had the old one for many years. The optional metal
brush holder tray is great to have. The new 'improved' box has hidden elements that get loose sometimes, this is my only reservation
about the new box. It is fairly expensive. http://www.artworkessentials.com/products/index.htm
Open M boxes are very popular
with professional painters, but are expensive. Coulter boxes and a few new brands have been coming on the market.
A good cheap box that comes with a built in
glass palette for mixing is Sienna Plein Air box. Note there is a Large or Medium box. See which size is best for you. In
class the M box will be fine (supports up to 15" vertical), but if you know you like to paint large, then the L might be a
better box (supports up to 17" vertical).
for little studies on your lap or a table, the cute, very portable "Thumb box" pochade is great for 6 x 8" (horizontal) or
8 x 10" (vertical) studies. http://www.utrechtart.com/
Wet panel carrier if not included
with your easel or pochade box (often these are built on the back). RayMar sells good ones. RayMar.com
Click here to go to online color charts in a water-soluble web forum
For Traditional Oil Paints:
Same basic material as above list, but instead use traditional oils. NO SOLVENTS in my class please, I teach ways to not use solvent for painting in class. Keep your solvent
at home, or clean brushes with Murphey's soap or Master's Brush Cleaner. If you need a jar for solvent get a metal 'brush washer' jug, or silcoil system brush cleaner jar and Gamsol.
PAINTS - Colors are sold in medium (37ml), and also white in large
(150ml). The ** colors are very important, and can be used as a limited palette, then the * colors are nice to have... then
others can be purchased as desired. I use M. Graham paints, except as noted. Graham paint are extremely buttery
(and pigment-loaded), which I adore, some might find them greasy. I've tried many brands: Rembrandt, Vasari, Old Holland,
Blockx, and Gamblin are all OK, (paint has so many variables however, so please ask me if you have questions on brands). If shopping in another brand
do not get 'hue'.
Yellow: **Cadmium Yellow Light; *Cadmium Yellow Medium
Red: **Cadmium Red Light, *Quinacridone
Red, **Madder Lake (Cobra)
Blue: **French Ultramarine Blue; *Cerulean Blue; *Thalo Blue;
Orange: Cadmium Orange
*Permanent Green Light (Rembrant)
Brown: **Transparent Oxide Red (Cobra water-mixable), yes for traditional oil sets, you
will need this or Burnt Sienna in water-mixable, I also use a traditional tube of this color in M. Graham; Raw Sienna
*Quinacridone Violet (I use MAX water-mix Thio Violet)
White: **Titatium White (large size)