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  1. #1
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    Advice on oil class materials

    Ok, basically I've been given a list of materials to get for a night course in oil painting I'm doing. They give a list of everything you could get, but don't specify what is actually necessary (they actually did say that not everything on teh list was necessary

    What I wanted to ask is what people would recommend I get/what you think I would need, since I know there's people on here that have done these courses before and might have a better idea than be.

    The list covers brushes, support (canvas, hardboard, etc) and paints. If anybody wouldn't mind letting me know what I would need under these categories I'd be extremely grateful. Thanks

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  3. #2
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    Here's what I would reccommend:

    Oil paint (lay them out in this order) - a large tube of titanium white, small tubes of cadmium yellow light, yellow ochre, camium red light, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue

    You can mix anything with these six.

    Get some decent brushes size 1 - 10 (rounds or flats)

    If your on a budget (like most of us) this is all you need.

    Best of luck. Cheers.

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  4. #3
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    Would it be possible to post the list you got? It's much easier to comment if we know the starting point.

    FWIW, here's the supply list I give out for my class. More gets added as we progress, but this is what I have people start with:

    Paints:
    One large tube of Permalba white (or a similar titanium/zinc mixed white)
    One tube of ivory black

    Turpenoid, Gamsol or other odorless mineral spirits. Not turpentine, not Turpenoid Natural, not hardware store paint thinner

    Palette cups or small cans or jars

    Peel off paper palette (you may use a wooden palette if you are prepared to clean it properly)

    Palette knife: I prefer the kind with a 1 1/2”-2” diamond shaped blade offset from the handle (Richeson 808 or 810)

    An assortment of brushes, the bare minimum of which would be:
    A large (2") housepainter's style bristle cutter
    Bristle flats, 1", 1/2", 1/4"
    Sable (or synthetic sable) flats, 1/2", 1/4", 1/8"
    A #2 or #3 sable watercolor round.

    Stretched canvas, canvas board, prepared masonite panels (not “clayboard”), or gessoed illustration board, min. 9”x12”, max.14”x17”

    Paper towels or rags

    "The Masters" or similar brush soap

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    i knew a guy that used corn oil.... i rolled my eyes everytime we painted together and i had to look over. i hate paper palettes, it encourages cheapness with paint. i find that when you have a wooden palette in a wooden box, you tend to put more paint down on it.

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    i knew a guy that used corn oil.... i rolled my eyes everytime we painted together and i had to look over.
    And of course he probably wondered why his paintings wouldn't dry...
    i hate paper palettes, it encourages cheapness with paint. i find that when you have a wooden palette in a wooden box, you tend to put more paint down on it.
    A valid point.

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    Big Dave: I would reiterate about not using hardware store grade thinners/mineral spirits, even if they are labeled as odorless. They are far more toxic and have lower PEL ratings (permissible exposure levels). Gamsol is one of the safest solvents. There's another one called Bioshield, but the only way I've seen Bioshield available is through ordering it online.

    Also turp containers/brush cleaning containers are very expensive and I don't like using glass jars because they're breakable. A nifty solution is to buy an acrylic or stainless steel cannister that has a gasketed lid on it (the kind used for storing food in kitchens) and putting a smaller discarded soup can upside down with holes punched into the bottom of the soup can as a grill/mesh. Something like that costs between $5-$10 as opposed to a $30 brush cleaner container and you can carry it around without worrying about dropping it or it leaking.

    Try to avoid using Winton student grade paint if possible. I would recommend ordering Lukas studio oil paints online from www.jerrysartarama.com. They're constantly on sale for $2 a tube.

    You could consider using a glass palette and storing used paint on it by buying a Sta-Wet palette tray. It looks like a big Tupperware container with a blue lid. Take out the plastic watercolor palette liner inside that it comes with it and replace it with a sheet of glass that you can get custom cut at any framing store. You can use the glass as a palette and use a glass scraper razor to clean paint off the palette cleanly. The palette tray and glass should come to around $20-$25. You can also use drops of clove oil essence mixed into each color pile of paint to extend to keep the paint wet.

    The more expensive route is to buy what's called a 'French Companion' or 'French Mistress' box. It looks like a wooden briefcase with fold out doors. Again, take out the plastic watercolor palette tray and replace it with a custom cut 1/8 inch sheet of glass. These companion boxes actually work better than the Sta-Wet palette trays for keeping your paint wet over extended periods of time even though they're not air tight. I suspect the wood has something to do with it. Maybe it acts like a humidor perhaps? The downside to this is that these boxes run around the $80-$100 range.

    Last edited by MadSamoan; January 10th, 2004 at 03:50 AM.
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    EricH: Thanks a lot for the list, it *really* cuts down on what they were suggesting

    Jrr: Actually I've got paper palettes, got them for christmas

    Elwell: I think you covered pretty much everything there. Thanks far the palette knife and the list of canvases. Also thanks for reminding me about the soap, I would've forgotten about that.

    MadSamoan: Thanks for the suggestion about paint storage, I'll need to look into it. Sadly I can't mail order the paints ove the internet, the first class is on tuesday and we only got the materials list yesterday.


    Thanks for the advice everyone, this has been a big help, and it'll stop me wasting money on stuff I dont need

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    This isn't relevent to class materials, but are you supposed to have any prior painting experience before you enter your first painting class?

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    AnarchyAo2: No, this class is for beginners or intermediates. Painting experience probably helps, but it's not compulsary to do the class.

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    Palette Suggestions

    I like glass palettes better than paper or wood. Very easy to clean with a razor. Also very cheap. You can go to any glass store and ask for say 12 x 18 piece of clear USED glass and they will sell it to you and usually smooth the edges.

    Take this piece of glass and put it on a piece of foamcore the same size and put duct tape around the edges. When you have extra paint leftover, you can cover it with saran wrap and get more mileage out of it.

    Also, if you can get away with it, eliminate Cadmium colors from your palette. It will save you money and frustration. Many instructors love to grab your cads and squeeze out the whole tube onto your palette if they think you're being too timid with color, regardless if your painting needs it or not.

    Restrict your palette to Permalba, Ivory black, alizarin, yellow ochre, burnt umber, burnt sienna and ultramarine. That way when you paint, it is still a value problem with color rather than a color problem with values.

    Just my .02

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    Re: Palette Suggestions

    Originally posted by Sheff
    Also, if you can get away with it, eliminate Cadmium colors from your palette. It will save you money and frustration. Many instructors love to grab your cads and squeeze out the whole tube onto your palette if they think you're being too timid with color, regardless if your painting needs it or not.
    Just my .02
    haha, if i teachers did that with my paints, i'd smack him/her. any teacher that isn't a lame ass wannabee artsy type knows the value of your pants and won't shit over it by squeezing a rediculous amount of paint out.

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  13. #12
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    One of my favorite teachers, Steve Huston almost did that to me. He thought he was grabbing a cad yellow light. He ended up squeezing out an indian yellow.

    The point of doing that to a student is get them over their fear of wasting materials and to not let being stingy with materials affect the palette and consequently the painting.

    However, most students simply buy all the colors on the lists they're given without question because they're not familiar with paints.

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  14. #13
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    WEll, that's me got the stuff. Got 2 canvases (if I need more I'll get some), a brush set and a palette knife set. Got these in a cheaper art store, that's why they're sets rather than individual.

    As for colours, I now have cadmium red, cadmium yellow, burnt umber, permanent blue (I already had these, otherwise I would've taken your advice on cadmium, Sheff), payne's grey, cobalt blue, yellow ochre, lemon yellow, crimzon alizarin and titanium white.

    Thanks again to everyone for the advice, sorry I couldn't use your's Sheff, but I'd already left when you posted (bit of a time zone difference there I think) Not using enough paint is one of the problems I have, but it's one I'll have to get over soon. Anyway, first class is tomorrow. Wish me luck :D

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    hehe my teacher at school gets mad at me for using too much paint. I usually paint on a huge canvas and I paint thickly. So I could use a whole tube of white on 1 painting.

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  16. #15
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    Big-Dave: you'll need a tube of Viridian

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  17. #16
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    damn, your right. Forgot to gt a green. I'll need to check if the shops open when I go up, otherwise I'll need to mix it this week. Thanks for the reminder MadSamoan

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    1 more thing I would suggest. Learn to build your own stretchers. You will SAVE tons of money. I went through my first semester of oils building stretchers using a $20 miter saw...not the box type, but a hand one with good supports. Main supplies consisted of premium pine 1x2, hardboard, staplegun, wood glue, and wood joiners. Could do the whole stretcher for around $15 ..thats for a 3x4 stretcher or little larger. Good quality.

    I could probably outline the procedures we were taught for these do-it- yourself stretchers if you want.

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    Thanks for the suggestion,but it's only a 10 week course, and I've already got what I need in terms of canvases. Found out I can use a pad of canvases I got for my birthday last year, so that'll save me a bit of money. Also I know a place where I could get them cheap, like £6, so that'd be cheaper than making them :p Thanks for the offer though :chug:

    If I start trying to sell them I'll look into it though, I'll probably need higher quality ones then, and $15 is cheap for a good stretched canvas

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