MATERIALS LIST FOR CHRISTIAN WHITE’S PLEIN-AIR OIL PAINTING
I recommend getting all these materials from Dick Blick, or Soho Art
Material. Shopping for art materials at Michael's, especially brushes, is not intelligent.
1. AN EASEL. For plein-air painting with the class, you will need to have some sort of
landscape easel, and some way to secure your canvas to it. I recommend getting a
FRENCH landscape easel (the wider kind) because it has more room to carry your
painting materials in, rather than the ITALIAN easel (half-size).
2. A PALETTE. I prefer a hard palette that you can push paint around on. If you have a
new wooden palette you will need to give it a coat of shellac so that it will not suck the
oil out of your paint.
3. BRUSHES. I prefer Robert Simmons Signet Series EGBERTS (a longer version of
FILBERTS), in sizes ranging from 2 to 8. I would also recommend getting at least one
Escoda #12 1" flat hog bristle brush from Dick Blick (two or three would be even better),
OR a good 1" inch natural bristle brush from a hardware store, which would be cheaper. I
also recommend getting a #4 or #6 round natural sable brush, especially if you want to do
fine work. Raphael or Rekab are good brands. Do not bring synthetic brushes.
4. PAINT. I recommend: Maimeri Artisti, Sennelier, Holbein, Gamblin, and Grumbacher
Pre-Tested, roughly in that order. (I don't recommend you buy student grade paint; if cost
is an issue you can limit yourself to CHEAPER PIGMENTS, that is: white, black, earth
pigments, etc.). OLD HOLLAND paints are extremely high quality and intense in color,
but pricey. I buy my whites from Michael Harding. I purchase oil paint from:
A RECOMMENDED SHORT LIST OF PIGMENTS:
Zinc White, or Titanium-Zinc
Naples Yellow, (I like Maimeri Naples Yellow Dark)
Cadmium Yellow, Medium
Cadmium Red Deep
Ultramarine Blue Deep
Yellow Ochre, Light
Various greens can be useful in the landscape, I recommend Chrome Oxide
Green, Cadmium Green. I stay away from Thalo Greens, usually.
Optional: Cerulean, Alizarin, Viridian, Chrome Oxide Green (not Chrome Green), Raw
Sienna light, raw sienna dark, Cadmium orange, Quinacridone Violet.
PLEASE TRY TO AVOID COLORS THAT HAVE THE WORDS: HUE, TINT,
SHADE, or IMIT. in the color description. These are chemical imitations of the real color
and will not behave anything like the pigments that I have suggested. The exception is
NAPLES YELLOW. Real Naples yellow is made with lead and is not widely available
because of its toxicity. Cerulean also is widely made out of Thalo Blue (unlike real
Cerulean) but I suppose it is OK to use that, however, Generally try to avoid Thalo
5. PALETTE CUPS. I find that 2 separate, large (about 2 ½” diameter,) clip-on cups are
the most convenient.
6. A PALETTE KNIFE. For cleaning your palette and mixing paint. If you are
interested in painting with a knife, by all means pick up one or more painting knives
(they generally are smaller, more flexible, and come in various shapes.)
7. PAPER TOWELS (Bounty). Or soft cotton rags, and a bag of some kind for garbage
8. ODORLESS MINERAL SPIRITS: Such as GAMSOL (recommended). Don't use
Limonene based solvents such as TURPENOID NATURAL, as I find them to be more
noxious than turpentine and we are in a confined space. They also do not work very well
as thinners. I use Utrecht Pure Spirits of Gum Turpentine (available at Dick Blick), the
only turpentine I recommend, for outdoor painting and to mix mediums with. DON'T
BUY TURPENTINE AT A HARDWARE STORE. Also, distilled turpentine is not the
same thing; I don't recommend it.
9. MEDIUM: I recommend a mixture of:
1 part STAND OIL
1 part DAMAR VARNISH
3 parts Pure Spirits of Gum Turpentine (Utrecht)
If you don’t feel like going into your laboratory to mix mediums, you could try
GALKYD SLOW DRY, Or Galkyd LIGHT, or regular GALKYD which dries very fast,
however. (they are more liquid than Liquin) or NEOMEGYLP (more Rembrandt-y,) or
just Cold Pressed Linseed Oil, Walnut oil (less viscous) or Safflower oil (non-yellowing,
very slow-drying). Stand Oil is OK too, but bring some kind of medium.
10. SUPPORTS. 2 or 3 stretched canvases or canvas boards (Blick has some Linen
Canvas Panels that are good), not too big (say, not more than 16” by 20”) cardboard or
masonite panels are also fine, but must be sized with PVA size, gesso or rabbitskin glue.
Having a few really small panels to do oil sketches on is highly recommended. I
recommend binging a variety of panels and/or canvases.
11. SOMETHING TO DRAW WITH. I like to draw on the canvas with paint but I also
use a regular pencil, which is fine, some people like uncompressed vine charcoal if you
have it. Also, I highly recommend bringing a drawing pad. (like a field sketch book.)
12. A straw hat and something to eat and drink, Maybe some bungee cords.