What’s in my kit

What’s in my oil painting kit -

I use:
Lean Medium (Archival brand), odourless solvent
Paint: A cool and a warm of each of the primaries. There are lots of different shades, but I use lemon yellow (cool), Cadmium yellow medium (warm), Cadmium red scarlet (warm), Alizarin Crimson (cool), Ultramarine Blue (warm), Pthalo blue (cool)
Other paints in my kit: Titanium white, naples yellow, yellow ochre, light red ochre, viridian green, burnt umber, raw umber, paynes grey
Rags, preferably soft cotton
A little tin for medium
2 glass jars for solvents to clean your brushes
Oil painting boards or paper
Gesso for preparing your paper or board
Brushes - one or two wide flat brushes and a smaller filbert brush, about size 4 (see notes on brushes, below), as well as an old brush or sponge roller for applying gesso (the only one that can be rinsed out in water).

A note about Brushes
I am always on the lookout for inexpensive brushes to recommend to people for workshops because I feel bad suggesting you buy the super expensive ones, but I have come to realise that there’s no getting around the need for a good brush.
My favourite brushes are the Neef Flat Stiff Synthetic brushes with the long green handles. I buy mine from http://www.theartshop.com.au. 
I have also come to like a brush called Isabey Isacryl 6582, which seems to keep its sharpness for longer than the Neef, and is nice and springy. I order them from Jacksons in the UK - they have free shipping worldwide on brushes, if you spend over 20 pounds. https://www.jacksonsart.com/isabey-isacryl-brushes-6512-6562-6572-6582
I have managed to find a cheap soft brush, which you can get from China at this website (which is very easy to get carried away on!). I have tried heaps of cheap brushes from this site, hoping they would change my life, but they are mostly awful. These are the only ones that were any good: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/6Pcs-Set-Qishuixuan-Top-Quality-Nylon-Hair-Flat-Tip-Paint-Brush-Hard-Hair-Gouache-Oil-Acrylic/32281050254.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.0.umrTcw and https://www.aliexpress.com/item/6Pcs-Set-Brand-Squirrel-Hair-Paint-Brush-Smooth-And-Soft-Hair-For-Gouache-Aquarelle-Oil-Painting/32276715073.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.0.umrTcw

Boards vs Canvas
This is personal preference really, but I quite like the smooth surface of board or paper, as opposed to the toothy surface of canvas. I buy 3mm MDF from Bunnings, the sort with the white shiny backing, and I cut it with a stanley knife and a metal ruler and use two layers of gesso to prime it. 
That’s when I’m feeling cheap, anyway. A good professional surface (that’s actually square to keep those pesky framers happy) is the Ampersand panel https://www.thesydneyartstore.com.au/product-group/833/category/149 which you can also get at http://www.theartshop.com.au

Colour mixing

If you would like to learn more about colour theory, two books to have a look at are Colour Choices by Stephen Quiller, and Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green by Michael Wilcox https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Yellow-Dont-Make-Green/dp/0967962870

Workshop with Kristin Tennyson

I went to a workshop in experimental drawing with an artist I greatly admire, Kristin Tennyson, last night at KickArts in Cairns.  It got me thinking about sketch book art and the fun you can have using drawing to warm up for a day’s painting (as Kristin does), unwind at the end of the day, or just to play and develop a ‘no fear attitude’ to your work.   I have a book called Sketch books, the hidden art of designers, illustrators and creatives by Richard Brereton (Lawrence King Publishing), and it has some great examples of how artists use their sketch books.  Have a look at https://www.oliverjeffers.com/selected-drawings-and-collages for some great sketch book art.  

Grisaille underpainting

Here’s a link to an informative web article about the Grisaille underpainting and glazing exercise we are doing in Cert III painting tomorrow.  


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