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  1. #1
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    Oil Painting Supplies

    Hi everybody,
    I am going to be starting painting I class (Oil Painting) next semester at school and I am going to buy some of the supplies early so I can start doing some things on my own beforehand. I have never painted before but from what I have seen I have really liked the limited palette "muted" look of rembrandt and other modern artists like andrew wyeth...etc... So if you have any suggestions for what colors to buy to suit that type of classical palette that would be cool. Gimme all your suggestions for brushes, paints, canvas...etc... If you have recommendations for anyting gesso...etc... lemme know. I can't spend more than around 150 bucks...but I guess if I had to spend more than I would. Lemme know what your suggestions are. Thanks.
    Last edited by MindCandyMan; March 13th, 2003 at 03:48 PM.


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  3. #2
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    Well, it's me first again...

    I recently bought a set of five colors from Winsor & Newton called Artisan. What I really liked was that they are mixable with water. I used to paint with oil hmmm, some 20 years ago (gosh, I AM getting old ) and was always annoyed by fiddling with turpentine and the cleaning process (and smell).

    I must say that I think those colors highly usable. Here, they cost below 3$ per tube (37ml/1.25 fl.oz).

    I was "inspired" to try oil again by that color theory thread on sijun and Jason's mixing exercise. So I just bought the colors he recommended:

    indian red
    burnt sienna
    yellow ochre
    ivory black
    titanium white

    I did the first of the three exercises by now and will take a photo with my digicam tomorrow in daylight and post it here. Those colors are what you are looking for when trying to get Rembrandt's limited palette.

    Jester


    EDIT: To spare everyone the trouble of searching for that thread on sijun (and go hunting for Jason's post), here it is:

    IF YOU KNOW WHAT THE POSSIBLE COLOR MIXTURES ARE FROM A LIMITED PALETTE THEN YOU CAN USE THEM DIGITALLY.

    if you do need to memorize what colors to use for a limited palette(or any palette) follow this traditional excersize.

    take these four colors (indian red, burnt sienna, ivory black, and yellow ochre) and do mixture charts. You will also need titanium white or flake white.

    1 mix each color with every other color to a visual 50/50 mixture. Make a three or four step value scale down to white with each mixture. make a note of what colors are used for the mixtures. (yes I know this is a lot of work..but it will pay off..trust me)

    2 mix each mixture to a 75/25 percent split and a 25/75 percent split and do the value scale to white for each.

    DO THIS FOR EVERY COLOR ON THAT FIVE COLOR LIST.

    what mixtures make nice greens (relatively)

    what mixtures make nice warms?

    what mixtures make nice cools?

    What is your coolest mixture?

    what is your darkest mixture?

    what is your most intense mixture?

    what is your most....

    best of luck

    And this is what it looks like:

    Oil Painting Supplies
    Last edited by jester; March 14th, 2003 at 05:42 AM.
    Imagination is intelligence having fun!

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  4. #3
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    Look around for a copy of the book "The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques" by Ralph Mayer. It is very comprehensive and is a book you'll wind up keeping for a long time, as I have.

    I like painting on stiff surfaces like board or paper, which is often less expensive than canvas, although comes in more limited sizes.

    One rule to follow with oil is using the "fat over lean" principle on paintings that will take time to create. This means to be sure that your first layers of paint have little or no oil in them (thinned with solvent,) then use more linseed oil in subsequent layers. If you finish the painting in only a few hours, wet on wet is no problem. If you mix too many colors wet on wet, the painting can get muddy, so it's a good idea to avoid mixing more than 2 or 3 at any time. There are mediums you can add to speed up the drying time, like Liquin, or Painting Meduim for the final glazes.

    The water-soluable paints jester mentions I also recommend. Clean up and odor problems are gone. Alkyds are nice too since they dry slowly, but faster than oils.

    Have fun!
    -David

  5. #4
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    Great stuff this is awesome. Thanks guys. Any recommendations on what brushes to get? Thanks.

  6. #5
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    Smile

    I just got into oils myself, so I'll pass on what I've learned. One thing that you need to think about is your palette. I bought a wood one, and stained it using a combo of burnt sienna and french ultramarine blue until you have a brownish-grey.

    Which reminds me Jester, why no blue for you? Can't mix many colors without the primary colors, can you?

    Anyway, dilute the mixture (which should be a brownish-grey) with linseed oil and do a wash onto the top of the palette. Let it dry, repeat a few times until you have a nice stain (so you have a good background color to mix your colors against) and put more coats of linseed oil onto the palette, wiping off the excess with a paper towel or rag. The linseed oil prevents the wood from soaking up the oil.

    And make sure you have a palette knife to mix colors with. You can also add a drop or two of linseed oil to the glob of oil paint to change the consistency, but that's really the painter's preference.

    Good luck, and work in a place that's well-ventilated!
    -bad mange

  7. #6
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    Bad Mange, I'm a great fan of blue, it's just that it wasn't in Jason's exercise and since I wanted to find out whether I'd have fun in oils again, I just bought a few colors in order to not to spend too much money if it's a failure...

    So which blue would you suggest to match this limited palette?

    And why do you darken your palette that much. I esp. went for a white one to mix the colors on an "undisturbed" surface.

    Jester
    Imagination is intelligence having fun!

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  8. #7
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    Ok so this is my list of stuff to get...anything I am missing any suggestions?

    Brush assortment sizes #8-#22 (any suggestions on any sets of brushes...etc...certain ones to get would be helpful cause I have no idea what to get)
    2 soft rags
    2 glass jars with lids
    Turpentine/turpenoid (or substitute)
    Linseed oil
    Palette

    Paint:
    Titanium white
    Cadium Red Deep
    Alizarin Crimson
    Cadium Yellow Light
    Cad Yellow Medium
    Viridian
    Cobalt Blue
    Prussian Blue
    Cerulean Blue (optional)
    Burnt Sienna
    Burnt Umber
    Raw Sienna
    Raw Umber
    Yellow Ochre

    Do I need anything else?

  9. #8
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    My palette:

    Ivory Black
    Viridian
    Prussian Blue
    Cobalt Blue light
    Van Dyke brown
    Burnt Sienna
    Cadmium red deep
    Madder lake deep
    English red light
    Yellow ochre light
    Cadmium yellow light
    Opaque white

    I think that are the most "natural" colors
    cu

  10. #9
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    for my palette i use a piece of glass with a gray piece of paper underneath and a wood backing duct taped together. this way you dont have to waste paint you dont use in one sitting. i dont think you need that many colors, every painting class ive had the teacher gave us a mandatory set of colors, for example

    naples yellow, cad yellow, cad red, burnt sienna, burnt umber, ultramarine blue, ivory black and titanium white.

    ive heard that white is where you dont want to skimp on price, buy a nice quality white, try different kinds to see what fits you. for turpentine use either artists turpertine or odorless mineral spirits. if you want to test the odorless mineral spirits for quality put a drop on a piece of white paper and if it evaporates without leaving a stain its good quality.

  11. #10
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    Jester-

    When I went to an art store, a clerk that was really into oil painting told me his opinion on what I needed, and why (which was cool since clerks usually just tell you their opinion, as if it were gospel). I've read about having a 50% grey background for color mixing, but it's really what you're comfortable with. And my palette isn't as dark as you'd think, just lightly stained. I wiped almost all the excess stain off with each application of linseed oil applied with a clean rag and then wiped off. It's just a bit darker than the natural wood.

    I'm thinking that this color is good for mixing against, simply because it's basically the color you'd get when mixing the three primaries together, a muddy brownish-black color. But I'm probably wrong in thinking that...

    -Bad Mange

    P.S. The clerk also recommended French Ultramarine blue over the other blues (cobalt, etc) but I forget the reason why. I'm sure I'll try a bunch of hues and see which I like best. Just go to the store and hold them next to each other and pick the one you're eye is drawn to the most!

  12. #11
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    Cool this is great thanks for all the help guys. I really appreciate it. I am a total rookie to all of this stuff. Thanks again.
    jon

  13. #12
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    One tip to learn about using raw and burnt umber is that they tend to go a bit flat and dull when they dry. They should also not be used in thick layers because their chemistry is less stable than other colors, and are prone to cracking. They are also fast drying, so clean your brushes often when using them. They're good for glazing, however. There's another color called asphaltum (as in asphalt) that is a good substitute, if you can find it.

    And as for whites, lead white is a bit more yellow, and zinc white bluer than titanium.

    Also, check out the WetCanvas forums where you'll find useful tips.

    http://www.wetcanvas.com/

    -David

  14. #13
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    you dont need to buy mars black, or any other black. Just mix raw umber and ultramarine blue and youll get a really rich black--(true story)--ty

  15. #14
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    Make sure to get some disposable plastic gloves for when you're painting/cleaning up. Cadmium's on the top 20 list of cancer causing things, so is cobalt and lead from flake white. If you can, get titanium white instead of flake white since the lead in flake white isn't too healthy, plus it's a lot heavier. It's probly a good idea to wear gloves all the time while you're handling the oils, since some of the chemicals haven't been tested yet for whether or not they're cancer causing. A lot of famous painters have had probs cause of the things used for oil painting, probly mostly from turpentine (dont use turpentine!) but also from cadmium, etc.

    For cleaning up try and get some luster sheen instead of using turpentine. You can only get it at safeway I think but it's just soap although there's something in it that dissolves oil paint pretty good, so you can clean your hands and brushes with it. It cleans the palette pretty good too and it's cheaper than turpentine, plus it isn't toxic at all like turpentine/turpenoid is. But definately get plastic gloves, and don't get turpenoid/turpentine on yourself too much.

    Instead of rags you should get disposable paper towlers, cotton or whichever. Rags will get too dirty after 1 or 2 painting sessions to re-use, plus they're highly flammable hehe.

    For brushes, make sure to get good quality ones, winsor and newton are really good. I have all winsor and newton and after trying a few bad quality ones I can say for sure that quality really matters when it comes to brushes lol. I think flat brushes are probly the most important, I have a few round ones and I haven't had to use them yet, and the fan brushes are pretty useless unless you're blending a lot but I dont think you'll be doin that..

    "I can't spend more than around 150 bucks"

    It's better to start with a limited palette anyways, even 1 color is enough just so you focus on values rather than everything at once..I duno what a good limited palette is, but all the paints you listed are gonna cost over 150 bucks if you get good quality winsor and newton ones. I guess student grade would be ok for starting, haven't tried them. If you're painting around 16X20 to 18X24 you aren't gonna need many big brushes, in my figure painting class I end up using a brush that's about the size of the widest point at the end of my index finger (however big that is hehe), since you're painting the figure pretty small on that kind of canvas and 1 stroke would be enough to block something in. I'd get 2 or 3 of those brushes (get good brushes!). 1 big brush should be enough, I have 2 or 3 and I barely use them except if I'm painting in huge backgrounds or somethin, and really small ones are pretty useless too since you're gonna be focusing on blocking stuff in with the brush. I'd get a few brushes then use them before buying any more, so you know what you'll need more of. Wish I had done that cause I have a lot of expensive ones that I don't use.

    I have ivory black and haven't had to use it, you won't be using it to get darker values (probly better to use something like burnt sienna or raw umber for that). Get ultramarine blue instead of cobalt blue too..

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