Materials Information Pack

Everything you need to know about Oil Painting Materials to get Started

Materials Information Pack

As a fellow Artist, I understand how difficult and expensive it can be to purchase oil painting materials and often we are stuck with the trial and error method of starting. Below, in the Materials Information Pack, you will find information on which materials to buy, as well as my recommended manufacturer and supplier (Where to Buy). I have tried to find the best possible and consistent prices for the recommended materials, but where you ultimately choose to purchase your materials is an individual choice.

I have devised a list of the Basic Starting Materials, and yes some Health and Safety materials too. But you may find that like most artists/painters you will already have a few of these items. I have used these materials over a period of years and understand their value for money but also their value as oil painting tools that will last, but materials do wear out so I have tried to offer a balance between good quality at reasonable prices.

A small A5 Notebook and Pen/Pencil

To record/take notes during the classes.

A3 Sketchbook for Charcoal Sketching

A large block of 120/160 sheets is best. Please do not purchase expensive drawing paper something like Fabriano Accademia Sketching Drawing Paper is perfect or a block of A3 paper. We will be using roughly between 3 and 6 sheets per class. I think a sketchbook is better because it keeps all your sketches in one place and also serves as a surface to lean on.

Oil Painting Brushes

I would recommend Rosemary Ivory Filbert Paint Brushes, they are superb quality at an excellent price. Sizes 10 and 7 are a good start and if you would like a variation in your brushes maybe Rosemary Ivory Short Flat Paint Brushes sizes 12 and 6 to compliment.

Oil Paint Colours

Titanium White, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine are the first three colours you will need. Scarlet Lake, Magenta (Permanent Rose depending on Manufacturer), Cuerlean Blue or Cobolt Blue, Cadmium Yellow and Lemon Yellow is the basic colour palette. I would recommend Windor & Newton Winton Oil Paint. It is a superb student quality paint, great for a range of techniques.

(Please note that Water Mixable Oil Paint or Fast Drying based Oil Paint have different handling characteristics to traditional Oil Paint. You are welcome to use these paints but my knowledge and experience with these types of paint is very limited).

A Painting Medium

Used to thin or thicken the paint depending on your technique, there are dozens of these on the market today all with different functions from various manufacturers. For the class, I would recommend Micheal Hardings PM1 but you may wish to use an alternative such as Zest-it Clear Painting Medium (non-toxic) or the more traditional Cold Pressed Linseed Oil.

We will look at the mediums in more detail within the class.

A Medium Dipper

A small tin or glass type pot used to hold and store painting medium. Artist’s Dipper with lid. (Please do not use plastic, unless it is specifically for painting mediums.)

A Painting Knife

or Palette Knife as they are sometimes called. RGM Artists Palette Knife No. 109 is ideal or the smaller version RGM Artists Palette Knife No. 103.

Kitchen Roll

or Cotton Rags for Cleaning Brushes & Paint Cleaning.

A Flat Mixing Palette

A wooden, plastic or even a tear-away palette is ideal. I use a palette called the New Wave Posh, by an American company called New Wave. The palette is painted in a Mid-tone grey to help with mixing tonal value and colour ranges, extremely useful if you are very conscious about mixing colour. This is an expensive item which can be purchased from Jacksons Art Supplies (Optional), or a standard palette will do Jacksons Art Supplies Palettes.

An Easel

If you choose to use an easel to support your canvas, A Table EaselA French Easel, or a Pochade Box etc, are all more than suitable. Due to storage, I am unable to provide any easels but the room is well equipped with very good sturdy tables.

A Painting Surface

A painting surface is a prepared surface onto which we paint, the most common being a canvas or canvas board. These surfaces need to be prepared in advance with a coloured or neutral ground and dry in time for the class, so preparation here is key. A 12″ x 16″/30cm x 40cm stretched cotton Canvas or 12″ x 16″/30cm x 40cm Canvas Board is perfect.

Material Suppliers

The following is a short list of all my preferred material suppliers. Rosemary Paint BrushesJacksons Art and Great Art.

Additional Materials

Conte Crayon

This is a type of compressed charcoal/hard pastel which is much stronger in structure than willow. Very useful indeed for developing sketching and preparatory drawings. I would recommend the following colours Black, Sanguine, Red, Naples Yellow, Ultramarine, Leaf Green and White.

Oil Colour Pad

This is a prepared paper surface which is suitable for the use with Oil Paint. We use this for recording colours in our colour mixing sessions. Winsor and Newton Oil Colour Pad.

Barrier Cream or Vinyl/Nylon gloves

Some materials are toxic and hazardous but to protect your hands from paint and Turps I highly recommend using either a barrier cream or wearing a form of Vinyl/Nylon Glove for painting.

(Please note that due to the dangers of fumes I do not allow any Turpentine or White Spirit in the classroom. There is very good quality safe and environmentally friendly alternatives available like Zest-it).