Oil Painting Workshop Material List


The Atelier now has materials like this on hand as examples.

You don't need all of this for the first class, necessarily.

If you have questions you may contact me.


I recommend getting all these materials from Dick Blick, or Soho Art Material.


1. (optional) AN EASEL. There are easels at the Atelier. and during the winter we will probably not be going out much, unless the class is game, but if you want to do plein-air painting with the class, you may need to own some sort of landscape easel eventually, and some way to secure your canvas to it. We will discuss this in the first class. 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.) If you are rich, 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: www.italianartstore.com It is very easy, you can just call them up at: 





Zinc White, or Titanium-Zinc

Naples Yellow, (I like Maimeri Naples Yellow Dark)

Cadmium Yellow, Medium 

Cadmium Red Deep

Ultramarine Blue Deep

Burnt Umber

Ivory Black

Yellow Ochre, Light

Optional:   Cerulean, Alizarin, 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, other than Cerulean: PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANY THALO PIGMENTS TO CLASS.


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 (although we have pails at the Atelier).


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


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 (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.


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. 


12. A couple of bungee cords can be useful (see #1)