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.
- For portrait and still life painting, 2 x 16″ x 12″ Canvas Boards. If those are out of stock, try these
- For figure painting, 2 x 30″ x 20″ Canvasses
- Raw Umber
- Ivory Black
- Yellow Ochre
- Cadmium Red +
- Titanium White
- Cobalt Blue (optional for portraits and figure painting)
- Cadmium Yellow (optional for portraits and figure painting) +
- Alizarin Crimson (optional)
- Palette or here, depending on your budget
- 2 x Dipper
- Palette Knife
- 2 x Size 2, Size 4 and Size 6 Filbert Hog Brush
- 1 x Size 2, Size 4 and Size 6 Long Flat Hog Brush
- 2 x Size 0 Synthetic Filberts
- 2 x Jam jars for keeping brushes in
- 1 x Small plastic container with lid, to store paints in overnight
- Pen and paper to take notes
- Low-odour solvent (eg Sansodor). Note that turpentine is not permitted in the studio.
- Medium (refined linseed oil)
- Kitchen roll
- If you need a starter brush set, there’s this one from Rosemary & Co
+ 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.
You can achieve a lot with very few colours. For portraits and figure painting, we recommend a minimum of Raw Umber, Ivory Black, Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre and Titanium White. In addition, Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow and Alizarin Crimson can be useful. If you’re beginner, that’s all you need.
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.