Materials list – Portrait Painting with Danny Ferland (Sept 2022)

If you’re a beginner, then knowing what materials to buy can be daunting. If you have no supplies at all, or aren’t sure what to bring, then we recommend you buy the following. We’ve included links to Jackson’s Art, but most of these supplies are available from other outlets too.

Getting started in oil paints can be expensive, but much of this equipment should last you for years. If you are an intermediate painter, then treat the following list as a guideline – feel free to bring along different brands or additional materials.

If you have any questions, please pop us an email on [email protected]

Painting surface:
Danny says: Students can bring whichever surface they prefer. I like Claessens Linen portrait grade 13. I also like dibond panels and even primed Canvas mounted on wooden panels. I recommend a thin wash of Ivory black (very thin and wiped out). A very light grey would be the proper result. Size wise, 16 x 20 inches would be good. Smaller sizes are fine too if students prefer.

Paint brushes:
Bring a variety of brushes that you’re comfortable using. Here are some of our recommendations:

Oil Paints:
The colours listed below are Danny’s standard palette. However, these are an indication only and not a precise requirement for the workshop. Feel free to bring others. If you have any questions about this, do ask!

  • Titanium White OR Lead White
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cadmium Red
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Viridian Green
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Burnt Umber
  • Ivory Black


  • Stand Oil
  • Linseed Oil
  • Low-odour solvent (eg Sansodor). Note that turpentine is not permitted in the studio.
  • A wooden palette or something non porous to mix your paint on. (Palette or here, depending on your budget)
  • Some kitchen towels to wipe your paint brushes with.
  • 2 x Dipper
  • Palette Knife
  • 2 x jam jars for keeping brushes in
  • 1 x small plastic container with lid, to store paints in overnight
  • Mahl or support stick
  • Kitchen roll


+ These paints contain heavy metals and are potentially toxic if inhaled or ingested. In practice, good studio habits (such as not licking brush tips, and taking precautions when sanding used canvases) reduce the risks. If, however, you have a particular reason to be concerned (for example, if you may be pregnant) then e-mail us and we can recommend alternatives.

Make sure you buy the correct handed palette – a palette to hold in your left hand if you’re right-handed, and vice versa. If your budget permits it, we recommend you buy a New Wave palette – these are lightweight, balanced and come pre-varnished. If you buy an unvarnished palette then you’ll need to rub linseed oil on daily for a few days before you can use it.

We recommend Rosemary & Co hog brushes, although there are obviously many other types. For beginners, filberts and flats are most useful. Over time, you’ll get a feel for which brushes you tend to use and which you don’t.


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