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Art Materials & Eqpt


WHAT TO BRING TO MY PAINTING WORKSHOPS

It's very frustrating for you if you come to the class and something is missing. So a little preparation will help.  Also, you can spend a fortune on art equipment and materials, so until you're sure you really will keep up the painting, avoid spending too much.

READ THIS IF YOU'RE A BEGINNER
If you're a beginner, read through this; if you've got your own materials already, just skim through it!

 

SHOULD I PAINT IN? OILS OR ACRYLICS OR WATERCOLOUR ??


You must choose either to work with Oils or Acrylic or Watercolour paints.
They are all different but popular mediums. Most people in my classes use Oils or Acrylics.
Oils and Acrylics are both 'thick' paints (they can be applied thinly or thickly), whereas Watercolour is a thin, 'transparent' medium (you can usually see the paper through the paint). No one type is better than the other, it's a matter of personal preference.

I believe that acrylics or oils are easier to begin with than watercolours, even though many people are told the opposite.  I find you can much more easily correct mistakes in acrylics or oils

Paintings done in Oils and Acrylics often look quite similar, sometimes showing individual, thickly painted brushstrokes. Beginners often find Acrylics less 'messy' than oils, and you only need water to mix them with and to clean your brushes. However, the paint dries very quickly on your palette and brushes, especially outdoors, so you have to be more careful than with oil paints. Painting in oils is what many people aspire to, and you have greater control over painting 'edges' and glazes than you do with acrylics - these are more advanced aspects of painting that a beginner needn't worry about.  And some painters will paint the first layer or two of paint (the underlayer) in acrylic paint, then, because it dries within minutes, they then switch immediately to oil paints to complete their painting - this is very effective outdoors (en plein air), when you may want to complete a multi-layer painting in one session.

If you're in any doubt which type of paint to use why not give me a call to discuss your needs.
Acrylics mix/dilute with water and are fast drying (usually about one hour), so care is needed to keep your brushes in water when not being used. Water is used to clean your brushes.
Oils are of course the most well known, and give a lovely lustre and depth. You will use linseed oil and turpentine or white spirits or a non-odour substitute to dilute/mix these paints, and to clean your brushes.
Watercolours use only water to mix, and give a wide range of effects - some accidental. I think they are harder to use for beginners than acrylics or oils, as they are less forgiving of mistakes. However, they can give fast, impressive results with some basic and quicly learned brush/paper techniques.

Painting Mediums: Paint squeezed from the tube is sometimes too thick for your needs - for instance when you start a painting you usually paint quite thinly - this is when you use either a 'thinner' or a 'medium' - the thinners and mediums are different for oils, acrylics and watercolours.  A thinner simply thins the paint so it applies more thinly and is more 'watery'.  A medium makes the paint flow more easily but it maintains the 'body' in the paint - it doesn't get 'watery'.

Hue: When a tube of paint says 'hue' on it, such as Cadmium Red Hue, it means that the actual red pigment (powder) is a substitute for the original cadmium pigment - it's usually cheaper, or more lightfast.  It's often found on student quality paint tubes.  There's nothing wrong with it though.

WHAT YOU NEED ON MY WORKSHOPS - THE LIST  OF 14

I know it seems a long list but there are 14 distinct categories of materials to bring with you for oil or acrylic painting, sometimes many items in each category - here's the checklist:

You'll choose to paint in either Oils, Acrylics or Watercolours - whichever you choose, the paints, brushes, palette, mediums and containers will differ.

Regarding brushes, buy the best quality your budget allows.

Regarding paints, there's a big difference in price between Artist Quality and Student Quality paints -  I recommend Student Quality unless you're an experienced painter.  The difference is in the depth of colour (saturation) - the Student quality tube uses more filler, less actual colour pigment.

Let's group your requirements by what paint type you choose to work in:

OILS - if this is your chosen paint type

1.  Painting Surface - call it canvas, canvas board, canvas block, painting board

For Six Step 5 Day workshops you need 4 canvas boards, or 1 oil painting pad (usually comes in 12 sheets - a cheaper alternative, but inferior in quality), or, if you're an experienced painter you may prefer 4 stretched cotton canvasses - though they're too expensive for most people to use on a workshop. I urge you to start a new painting on each of the first 4 days of the workshop, finishing them on the final day.

For Beginner workshops, you need 3 'canvasses'.

For workshops where you bring some of your own unfinished paintings, bring one blank canvas for every day that you don't have a part-finished painting of your own to finish.

Ideal canvas/board size is 14 by 18 inches   (approx 36 by 46 cm) or 16 by 20 inches.

2.  Paints

1. Titanium White 120 ml tube for white only
2. Cadmium Red 37 ml tube for all other colours
3. Alizarin Crimson
4. Yellow Ochre
5. Cadmium Yellow or Cadmium Lemon
6. Ultramarine Blue
7. Cobalt Blue
8. Viridian
9. Indigo  (Blue)           Not essential
10. Black                      Not essential

3.  Medium

1. Refined Linseed oil or Liquin (a proprietary medium) and

2. Turpentine or white spirits or white spirits substitute (non-odorous or perfumed)

4.  Brushes

Bristle brushes, or acrylic brushes as alternative - they're softer however

  1. 5 Recommended Brushes for Oil Painting:
  2. Round: No. 2, 4, 6 or 8    A Round brush has a pointed tip and a round cross-section
  3. Flat: No. 6 or 8               A Flat brush has a straight tip and it's flat in cross-section
  4. Filbert: No. 6 or 8            A Filbert brush has a rounded tip, but it's flat in its cross-section

5.  Palette

A plywood or hardboard sheet for laying out and mixing your paints - should be at least 10" by 12" - larger preferably. You can buy a wooden palette or disposable paper palettes in blocks at your art store.If you're making one, paint two or three coats of acrylic white or grey on it before using it for the first time.

6.  Containers & Liquids

1.  Twin Dippers: shallow tin containers that you clip to your palette.You use the twin dipper to keep clean turpentine and linseed oil throughout the painting session. You can buy these in most art shops, or you can use two small, (low in height) glass jars, like the small individual jam jars you get in hotels.

2.  A bottle of Turpentine or White Spirits or odourless White Spirit Substitute - for diluting your paints and for cleaning your brushes.

3.  A bottle of refined linseed oil or liquin as an oil painting medium - get these only at art shops

4.  A small (half-size) jamjar to leave on your palette during your painting session, in order to rinse your brushes.

5.  A 1 litre empty milk container, with screwcap, to contain used and dirty turpentine/spirits. You must bring your ˜dirty' water/turpentine/white spirits home for disposal - hence the screwcap lid.

7.  Sketchbook

A medium sized A3 sketchbook or at least some A4 size pages

8.  Pencil/Pen/Charoal

A 2B, 4B or 6B pencil, preferably all three,  for sketching, the pen and charcoal are purely optional for alternative and interesting drawing techniques.

9.  Easel

You will need your own easel for any outdoor painting sessions or for workshops based in Baldoyle, Wexford, Dingle, Roundstone or Achill. A basic, quality easel costs about €40 from most art stores and is satisfactory for the size of canvas recommended above.  There are studio easels available for workshops based at my studio in Cross, Co. Mayo, but even on these workshops you need your own for any outdoor sessions.  If you're certain you'll be a watercolour painter, then try to buy a watercolour easel, which has its own characteristics best suited for watercolour.

10. Rags or Kitchen Towel

For wiping brushes, your palette, and spillages. Bring lots more than you think you'll need.

11. Low Small Folding Table

Very handy to avoid stooping to the ground when you're painting.

12. Plastic Bag for Waste

To keep your dirty towels, used sandwich wraps, fruit peel, used teabags etc. Hopefully your painting never makes it into this bag!

14. Stool - Light, folding

If you paint outdoors, as on the landscape painting workshops, you will need to bring your own stool unless you prefer to stand for several hours, as some painters do.

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ACRYLICS

1.  Paints 1. Titanium White      120 ml tube for white only

2. Cadmium Red Hue               37 ml tube for all other colours

3. Alizarin Crimson or Crimson
4. Yellow Ochre
5. Cadmium Yellow Hue or Cadmium Lemon or Lemon Yellow
6. Ultramarine Blue
7. Cobalt Blue
8. Viridian
9. Indigo  (Blue)           Not essential
10. Black

Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Cadmium Red Hue, Crimson, Ultramarine, Emerald, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Mars Black, and Titanium White.

2.  Mediums

3.  Brushes

4.  Palette

5.  Containers and Liquids

 

Things you need irrespective of whether you paint in Oils, Acrylic or Watercolour

1. Sketchbook A medium sized A3 sketchbook or at least some A4 size pages

2. Pencil/Pen/Charoal A 2B, 4B or 6B pencil, preferably all three,  for sketching, the pen and charcoal are purely optional for alternative and interesting drawing techniques.

3. Easel You will need your own easel for any outdoor painting sessions or workshops based in Baldoyle, Wexford, Dingle, Roundstone or Achill. A basic, quality easel costs about €40 from most art stores and is satisfactory for the size of canvas recommended above.  There are studio easels available for workshops based at my studio in Cross, Co. Mayo, but even on these workshops you need your own for any outdoor sessions.  If you're certain you'll be a watercolour painter, then buy a watercolour easel.

4. Rags or Kitchen Towel For wiping brushes, your palette, and spillages. Bring lots more than you think you'll need.

5. Low Small Folding Table Very handy to avoid stooping to the ground when you're painting.i you already own brushes, bring them.

7. Palette

8. Twin Dippers (Oil Painting) - small clip-on container to hold your mediums - fits to your palette

or  Glass jam jar (Acrylic Painting)- sits beside your palettte

OilsAcrylics: To keep clean water for mixing paint

9. Jam jar with screwtop lid Please Note this jamjar is additional to above
For cleaning, rinsing your brushes - quite distinct from the jars/dippers above
You must bring your ˜dirty' water/turpentine/white spirits home for disposal - hence the screwcap lid.                                                                                                                                                   10.
11. Plastic Bag To keep your dirty towels, used sandwich wraps, fruit peel, used teabags etc
12. Stool If you paint outdoors, as on the landscape painting workshops, you will need to bring your own stool.

13.

Canvas or Painting Board, or Painting Block (of Sheets) or prepared Hardboard This is what you will paint on - try to have boards/canvasses of 14 by 18 inches or 16 by 20 inches. Canvas is usually too expensive a surface to use in these workshops unless you're experienced.

Paints See list of suggested paints below, but if you have an existing range of paints, then bring them or, if you like, send a list of them to me if you feel you may be missing some important colour(s). I will advise you.

6. Paint Mediums You will always want to dilute the paints that you squeeze onto your palette - the liquid you use is called the painting medium.  For watercolours the medium is - water; for acrylics the medium is - water (you can also buy other mediums that keep the paint's thickness - often called texture medium); and for oils the medium can be - for thinning the paint - turpentine/white spirits or odourless substitute, and for easing the flow of the paint without thinning it - liquin or or linseed oil.

Brushes Same as suggestion re paints, above -

14. Liquid Containers

Watercolour Painting If painting in watercolours, you will need two containers of two litres capacity - one to hold clean water, one to hold dirty water. Two used 2L milk containers are ideal.

Acrylic Painting If painting in acrylics, you will need two containers of two litres capacity - one to hold clean water, one to hold dirty water. Two used 2L milk containers are ideal.

Oil Painting If painting in oils, you will need a bottle with linseed oil or oil painting medium, a bottle with turpentine or other diluent, and one 2 litre empty container with screw lid for dirty turpentine.

15.  PERSONAL ITEMS
Don't forget any medicines, spectacles, mobile phone if you use/need them.

CLOTHING Wear Old Clothing - you most probably will get paint on your clothing at some stage - I have no 'good' clothing left !

Extra Layers of Clothes for Outdoor Painting - If weather permits for landscape classes, we will paint outdoors, so bring a woolly hat and extra jumper and warm old overcoat and warm socks and outdoor shoes. Even in Summer, on a warm day, it usually requires an overcoat when standing/sitting still for several hours, especially if there is even a light breeze.



STUDENT QUALITY OR ARTISTS QUALITY What you need to Get Started
PAINTS  You will need all the basics, but there is a big difference in prices between student quality paints and artist quality paints - so go for the student quality in paints at the start.
BRUSHES However, brushes are different - try to buy the best quality brushes you can afford- and avoid student quality. It's not critical however. Your art shop will advise you which is which. Note that you will use completely different brushes, depending on whether you will paint in oils, acrylic or watercolour.  Oils use bristle brushes (bristle hair brushes) usually, acrylics use acrylic brushes (hairs), and watercolours usually use synthetic or sable hair brushes.  Ask your art shop for advice.

MATERIALS NEEDED


Brushes - Essential to have at least five different sized brushes
You need different size brushes for broad painting work and for working on details.
They also come in different shapes, which leave different marks on the canvas
If you have brushes, bring them to the first class and I will advise you. Otherwise, I suggest the following as a minimum number:



Palette - Essential - a flat smooth surface, a bit bigger than the size of this page, for squeezing out and mixing your paints.
For Oil or Acrylic painting, you can buy a disposable ‘book' of paper palettes or buy a plastic or wooden palette, or you can make a one from a piece of hardboard which you then varnish.
Acrylics also use a ‘stay-wet' branded palette, which uses a blotting paper-type base layer to soak a thin upper sheet on which the paints sit - this allows moisture up from below, thus keeping the acrylics moist and usable for several days, compared to the hour or so normally obtained.
For Watercolour painting, you can use an ordinary old dinner plate, or you can buy a plastic or ceramic palette with recesses to hold colours and paint mixes.

Paints -Essential
- Student Quality (recommended) or Artist Quality (dearer but better
Student colours are far cheaper than Artists' quality colours. Perhaps about £ 25 for all the students colours, about £ 60 for all the Artists' Quality colours listed. Get these colours or the nearest available colours.
Oils and Acrylic Painting  - Ask art shop for nearest equivalent colour if specified one not available
1. Titanium White 120 ml tube for white only Not needed for watercolours
2. Cadmium Red 37 ml tube for all other colours
3. Alizarin Crimson
4. Yellow Ochre
5. Cadmium Yellow or Cadmium Lemon
6. Ultramarine Blue
7. Cobalt Blue
8. Viridian
9. Indigo  (Blue)           Not essential, difficult to obtain in acrylic
10. Black             Only necessary if using acrylics or watercolour

What to paint on - Essential
I recommend you use a painting surface of at least 12 by 16 inches - preferably 14 by 18 inches or 16 by 20 inches.
For Oil or Acrylic Painting:
Student's Oil/Acrylic Block - a number of sheets of special oil/acrylic painting paper in a hardbacked block - fine for beginners.
Oil/Acrylic painting board - essentially thick, prepared cardboard.
Canvas on board - different qualities available - canvas glued to cardboard
[Acrylic paints can also be painted on very good quality (heavy guage -140 lb or higher weight) art paper.]
For Watercolour Painting - you will need watercolour paper, available from art shops in various qualities - usually the thicker the sheet the more expensive the paper. Do not buy cartridge paper - make sure the paper is suitable for watercolours.
For watercolour painting, you will need either a plywood board to which to attach your paper with masking tape or gummed paper, or else a hard-backed pad of watercolour sheets from an art shop.
Pencil -Essential - For sketching, a 2B, 4B or 6B pencil is essential, the pen and charcoal are purely optional.
Sketchbook - Essential - recommend at least A3 size - spiral bound preferably for ease of use.
Liquid Containers - Essential
You will use two liquids and three containers with oil paints, or two containers for water with acrylic paints.
For Oil painting, you need a twin dipper (about 3 euros from an Art shop), and a jam jar with a screw top lid
For Acrylic painting, you need two jam jars with screw top lids.
For Watercolour painting, you need two jam jars with screw top lids.
Other bits'n'pieces - Essential
Rags - pieces of old shirts/vests - not synthetic - cotton best; or paper towels
Plastic Bag - to keep all your rags, used paper etc
Oil painting: Needed to dilute paint from the tubes, or to make paint flow better and to clean brushes before washing with soap and water so you will need the following:
Refined Linseed oil - small bottle € 7- only available from an art shop. Do not use ordinary         DIY Raw Linseed Oil.
Turpentine - medium bottle - about € 7 a bottle from some hardware stores
White Spirits can be used instead, but is much inferior to turpentine
Acrylic Painting:
Water- you will need a container with about a pint of water per class
Watercolour Painting:

Tissues/Paper towel - to wipe brushes, remove paint errors

SAFETY NOTES
Be careful when parking, and when exiting the carpark at my studio.
If driving to an outdoor painting location, be sure to park safely, off the road, and not obstructing any farmer's entrance to fields or property. Leave it as you found it is the rule.
When painting, always remember not to ˜step back' into any dangerous area, such as when painting on a pier - it's so easy to step back to 'check' your work, and you go right into the sea ! Always position your easel so you Step back into Safety.

Never leave any paints, materials or rags behind you, everything must be taken home. Don't wipe your oil painting palette on the grass to clean it - some paints are poisonous and animals are attracted by the colour and smell of paint.

 



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