RECOMMENDED TOOLS AND MATERIALS FOR PAINTING OILS and ACRYLICS
Having the right tools can make all the difference in your pursuit of any hobby or pasttime.
Below are some recommended materials to get you up and running as a painter. In time I will get into more detail about materials but this is primarily about the right pigments to help you hit most of the colors on the spectrum.
Th chart below illustrates a path of what we observe via the visible electromagntic spectrum. The Munsell chart is simply a color system devised by Albert Munsell in 1910 to aid the artist in locating the right Hue, Value, and Chroma in color space. Munsell places ten colors on their chart, which when mixed with a particular gray will assist you in finding the right mixture for a desired color.
This is in its essence, is the foundation for color from the visible spectrum through correlating pigments. We'll get into mixing paints in a future blog but for now, here are some notes on materials.
There are quite a few styles out there: Masterson’s Sta-Wet palettes are made of lightweight white plastic that cleans up easily. The Palette Seal is airtight when closed, which allows paints to last longer.
Palette paper is convenient but you should have a container of some kind to put the pad in
An inexpensive alternative to palette paper is good old fashioned wax paper from your local grocery store.
The best palette is homemade. Go to your local hardware store and purchase the thickest glass available. recommended size; 14×18 or 16×20.
Paint one side with a light gray acrylic coating and you have an excellent palette at 1/2 the price. A thick glass works better and cleans up nicely but you have to tape up the edges to avoid getting cut. A piece of foamcore or cardboard under the glass works best. Avoid plexiglass as it is very difficult to clean.
Avoid generic and store(economy) brands when possible. They’re barely gesso’ed and don’t offer a desirable painting surface. Fredrix brand is acceptable and available in most stores.
Traditionally linen is considered a better quality but today the cotton canvas measures up just as well, and are less expensive. Also experiment with polyester canvas, it's inexpensive and a very smooth paint surface.
There are an endless variety of paint brands and colors on the shelves which is good and bad for the artist. On the good side, there has never been such a variety of pigments and brands in the history of painting. On the bad side there has never been such a variety of pigments and brands in the history of painting!
I think the best advice is to experiment with different brands to find which one works best for you. For instance I don't like a white that is too thick but I found certain brands too oil and runny. I may use a white from one company and other pigments from others.
Here are some brands I like and are top quality;
Winsor & Newton
Rublev by Natural Pigments
The key is to have a pallette of paints that are consistent in quality and in availability since they vary in color brand to brand.
Titanium White, Lemon yellow, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red light, Napthol red, Quinacradone Magenta, Dioxazine purple, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Thalo Green, Ivory black.
If you search online there are millions of artists with millions of palette suggestions! Fortunately for you, you have the correct one, saving you lots of time and lots of money!
The colors recommended coincide with the color spectrum as broken down via the Munsell color system. Yellow Ochre is not on the color spectrum but it's an excellent utility color that is useful in prtraits, landscapes, and seascapes. There are other colors I'll add to my palette depending on what I'm painting. For instance I'll add Burnt sienna and Burnt Umber for portraits and viridian for seascapes. The colors recommended are a jumping off point and not etched in stone.
I recommend Robert Simmons brand, simply because they are a good quality value for your money. There’s an economy line called Simply Simmons, great price and holds up well.
I also like Rosemary & Co. great quality brushes.
The economy sets will get you by but they tend to shed a lot.
I recommend Flats as they are an excellent all-utility brush. Filberts are good to have in you collection as well. Sizes should include 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16. (Most but not all brushmakers conform to the same standard in brush sizes)
SOME PERSONAL NOTES:
-When buying colors, always avoid Hues. They’re cheaper but there is less color pigment which makes color mixing inaccurate.
-Don’t skimp. Buy the best materials and tools you can afford, as they will make the painting experience more enjoyable and will pay for themselves in the long run.
Here is a list of online suppliers:
Local: Jerrys artist outlet, West Orange, Dick Blick, Paramus, AC Moore Crafts, Clifton, Michaels, Wayne