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Still Life Painting in Oil, Elizabeth Floyd
What to Have on Hand:
- Artist grade oil colors (Use what you have. I have listed out all of the colors I use with notes and my recommended manufacturer. See list below.)
- Paint brushes, I like using filbert hog bristles the best. You will use them for the first layer for sure and maybe the second layer, but for the final layer you will need to switch to a softer brush. (see my notes about brushes)
- Sketchbook/notebook for notes
- Gamsol, Odorless mineral spirits and a glass turp jar (brush cleaning jar like Silicoil)
- Palette Knife
- Blue Shop-towels or other paper towel
- Gloves & Apron
- Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens. 0.5mm – Black 199 and 0.3 – Black 199 or India ink and a metal nib pen to dip into the inkwell.
- 0.3mm mechanical pencil, HB lead
- Oil cup, a dedicated one or a cleaned out tuna can or cat food works well
- Mediums, Plan on using linseed oil or refined linseed oil.
- Painting Surface for the Winter term
- You will likely need (2)painting surfaces to work with. You will want to have a smooth painting panel, such as an ampersand gessoed panel or a gessoed aluminum panel. Dutch Still-life is meticulous work, so working smaller is best. (2) 8×10 inches or smaller.
- Do not tone your painting surface.
For any other questions, please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oil Colors List:
Use only artist-grade oil colors, student grade oil colors are full of color fillers, dryers and often the manufacturer substitutes incorrect pigments for the stated color to reduce the cost. I use a variety of brands (in alphabetical order), Gamblin (G), Michael Harding (MH), Old Holland (OH), RGH Paints (RGH), Rublev Natural Pigments (R), Vasari (V), Williamsburg (W), and Winsor & Newton (WN)
This list is my favorite oil colors, I ALWAYS have these squeezed out and ready to use when painting (this is the minimum recommended list I suggest to my students if they want to explore a full color palette):
o Permanent Alizarin Crimson, This is a substitute for the fugitive pigment Alizarin Crimson PR83, different manufacturers use different pigments to accomplish a substitution, I prefer PR177 substitutes. (pick one)
o Permanent Alizarin Crimson by Winsor and Newton, 37ml tube
o Permanent Crimson by Williamsburg, 37 ml tube
o Quinacridone Rose, PV19 (pick one)
o Permanent Magenta by Winsor and Newton, 37ml tube
o Quinacridone Rose by Michael Harding, 40ml tube
o Cad Red Med, PR108, All manufacturers produce a Cadmium Red medium value, however I have come to only like working with Williamsburg’s version because of the brightness and saturation it keeps even when mixed with other pigments.
o Cadmium Red Medium by Williamsburg
o Burnt Sienna PR101, this is also called Transparent Red Oxide by some manufacturers
o Burnt Sienna by Winsor & Newton
o Transparent Oxide Red by Michael Harding
o Raw Sienna PY42 & PY43
o Raw Sienna by Winsor & Newton
o Cadmium Yellow Pale PY35, this is your middle value yellow
o Cadmium Yellow Pale by Winsor & Newton
o Cadmium Yellow Medium by Williamsburg
o Chromium Oxide Green
o Chromium Oxide Green by Williamsburg
o Viridian PG18 (pick one)
o Viridian by Winsor and Newton
o Viridian by Williamsburg
o Cobalt Turquoise Light
o Cobalt Turquoise Light by Winsor and Newton
o Cobalt Teal by Williamsburg
o Cobalt Blue PB28
o Cobalt Blue by Williamsburg
o Ultramarine Blue PB29
o Ultramarine Blue by Williamsburg
o Ultramarine Blue Red Shade by Rublev Natural Pigments
o Burnt Umber, PBr7 Every manufacturer has a burnt umber, however I prefer the Williamsburg or the Vasari version because both of these have a nice medium warm color temperature brown that is great for laying in your drawing of your painting right at the start.
o Burnt Umber by Williamsburg
o Burnt Umber by Vasari
Extra Oil Colors I consider indispensable on a full-color palette, but are extras and someone new to a full-color palette can plan to purchase later:
o Cad Vermilion, PR108
o Cad Red Vermilion by Williamsburg
o Cad Yellow Deep PY37
o Cad Yellow Deep by Williamsburg
o Cad Lemon Py35 or PY37
o Cad Lemon by Williamsburg
o Cad Green Light PY37 & PG18
o Cad Green Light by Williamsburg
o Cerulean Blue PB35
o Cerulean Blue by Williamsburg
o Cerulean Blue by Vasari (this has got to be the most beautiful version on the market, but is expensive)
Whites (pick a titanium white and a Lead white to always have available)
o Titanium White, PW6 I like using Gamblin’s version. I am not a great fan of titanium white because I do not like how it stays open for more than 5 days, which makes painting indirectly with layers and glazes just about impossible if you want to paint on consecutive days. Titanium white is also a very cool white and so opaque it will make color mixtures chalky.
o IF USING TITANIUM WHITE: Please get either Liquin or Gamblin’s FASTMATTE Titanium White to speed up the drying time
o Lead White, PW1: different manufacturers have different names for lead white, choose one:
▪ Flake White by Williamsburg is the most economical, but is not as densely pigmented as other manufacturer’s Lead White options.
My favorite whites are by Rublev Natural Pigments, and I use all three of these, with No. 1 and 2 being out on my palette most often, Venetian White, I use in later layers of complex paintings. Purchase the smaller sized 50ml tubes, but purchase a min of two tubes at a time
▪ Lead White No. 1 by Rublev Natural Pigment, this is a linseed oil based paint, making all mixtures set up within 6-8 hours, and dry to touch within 48 hours.
▪ Lead White No. 2 by Rublev Natural Pigments, this is a walnut oil based paint, making all mixtures set up within 24-48 hours, and dry to touch within 3-4 days depending on relative humidity.
▪ RGH Paints In March 2020 I began to use this brand of lead whites, I am in love with them. I have purchased three different types: Cremnitz White – Extra Fine, Cremnitz White – Linseed Oil, and Cremnitz White – Paste, each has its own handling properties.
- Cremnitz White – Paste has the least amount of linseed oil in it. It is very stiff, reminds me of Old Holland Cremnitz White. I like its
pigmentation and I use this white for my first 2 layers in a 3+ day
- Cremnitz White – Linseed Oil has a middle amount of linseed oil, it is very creamy and a great go to lead white for everyday use. I think it is most like Michael Harding, it stays open for a few days.
- Cremnitz White – Extra Fine has the most amount of linseed oil, it is super creamy and soft as warm butter. This paint is most like the Vasari Lead White. I use it for my last layers of a painting because it’s the least opaque of the RGH Paints.
▪ Cremnitz White by Michael Harding or Old Holland are more expensive than Flake White (W) or Lead White No. 2 (R), it is also more transparent and stays open for several days, drying to touch typically in 4-5 days.
▪ Lead White by Vasari. I like the way it handles and mixes and the high pigmentation has made it one of my favorites to use. However, it stays open 3+ days, so if I need to move fast through my layers, painting day after day and having the previous layers set up, I will use my Lead White No. 1 or RGH Cremnitz White – Paste
Additional colors I like to have available at all times, however are not as essential as the first list and I do not always have squeezed out on my palette:
o Perylene Red
o Only by Gamblin,
o Scheveningen Purple-Brown
o Only by Old Holland
o Cadmium Red Deep
o I recommend only using Williamsburg version of Cad Red Deep
o Cadmium Orange
o Transparent Orange
o Only by Gamblin,
o Brilliant Yellow Light
o Old Holland
o Indian Yellow, many manufacturers produce this color, my favorite is by Winsor & Newton for its clear transparency, however Williamsburg also works
o Indian Yellow by Winsor and Newton
o Naples Yellow, many manufacturers offer this color, however most are not the true Naples Yellow pigment, but a convenience mixture. I prefer to use the pure pigment, PY41
o Naples Yellow Genuine by Michael Harding
o Phthalo Green, Blue Shade, PG7
o Winsor Green by Winsor & Newton,
o Phthalo Green by Gamblin,
o Terre Verte
o Terre Verte by Winsor and Newton
o Cobalt Green, in the spring and summer this color becomes indispensable for mixing soft purples, essential for flowers.
o Cobalt Green by Winsor and Newton
o Cobalt Green by Williamsburg
o Cobalt Turquoise
o Cobalt Turquoise by Winsor and Newton
o Ivory Black
o Ivory Black by Winsor and Newton
Oil Bristle Brushes, bring what you are comfortable using
o I favor filberts and currently use Trekell Hog Bristle brushes the most.
o I also use Rosemary Classic Filberts in Hog Bristle and Da Vinci Maestro2 Bristle Extra-long Filberts
Soft Bristle Brushes for Dutch Still-Life Painting
o Sable Brushes, you will need a few rounds and cat’s tongue filberts. At the minimum get one round size two, and two filberts size 4 & 6
I currently use Escoda Optimo Kolinsky Sable Long Handle Brushes, I like to have a few pointed rounds (size 1 & 2) and a few cat’s tonque filberts (size 4, 6, & 8)
o Synthetic brushes wear out fast, but if you want to try these instead of sable brushes, I suggest you use Winsor & Newton Monarch brushes.
I currently use these brushes in rounds (size 00, 0, 2). Also try the filberts (sizes 0, 2, 4)
Brush Soap, I first wash my brushes with Dawn dishwashing soap, and then set and shape the brushes with Pink Soap. I made a video a year ago and its posted on Youtube, to see how I clean my brushes.
o Ampersand Gesso Bords, suggested size 8” x 10”
o Centurion LX Linen pre-stretched canvases, suggested size 8” x 10”
o Masterpiece Vincent Pro Linen pre-stretched canvases, suggested size 8” x 10”
o Fredrix Pro series Belgian Linen pre-stretched canvases, suggested size 8” x 10”
I use Rublev Natural Pigments mediums. My favorite are:
Oleogel – I love this medium for when I am striving to create a refined and highly rendered painting, think Dutch Golden-Age still life.
Venetian Medium – I really love this medium when working on expressing luminosity.
Velazquez Medium – This medium is wonderful for building impasto layers and exploring different textures.
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