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Still Life Painting in Oil, Elizabeth Floyd
What to Have on Hand:
Mediums, Plan on using linseed oil or refined linseed oil.
o You will likely need (4) canvases/painting surfaces to work with. (2) 16×20 inches or 18×24 inches and (2) 12×16 inches or similar.
o Tone the painting surface before class and make sure it is dry by class (about five days)
and use a mixture of burnt sienna (PR101) and ultramarine blue thinned with odorless mineral spirits (Gamsol) to a color that resembles “café au late” in value and color.
o Watercolor paper or a watercolor sketchbook
o Permanent Alizarin Crimson or Permanent Rose
o Transparent Yellow
o Burnt Sienna (PR101)
o Green, you choose a transparent like viridian
o Ultramarine Blue
For any other questions, please email me, email@example.com
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.
pigmentation and I use this white for my first 2 layers in a 3+ day
▪ 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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