This page covers materials discussed and used in the later lectures.
These tubes will fill-out our palette. Once again, I've linked here to , the same brand I used in the course, though the first, dioxazine purple, is because Williamsburg doesn't make this color. Note: Arylide Yellow can also be labeled "Lemon Yellow", "Hansa Yellow" or in the Williamsburg line "Permenent Yellow Light".
, PY35 or PY37
There are certainly less expensive alternatives including and . You'll find a full discussion of brands and price in the course guidebook chapter on Lecture 19: Materials, Oil Paint Brands and Quality.
Stack Lead White
Lead white, also known as Flake White and , is among the oldest permanent pigments known to man. Pliny the Elder discusses making stack lead white in his ecyclopedic 1st century ce Naturalis Historia (Natural History). The process involves placing lead above or submerged in pots filled with vinegar. Some recipes suggest burying the pots in mounds of horse manure. The lead corrodes producing a beautiful white pigment. True stack lead oil paint is, indeed, a beautiful material, but it's also quite expensive. I've used both the and the stack lead. This is the kind of lead white that artists like Rembrandt would have used.
In the first part of the course I suggest using . A more traditional (and more expensive) option's . As I discusss in Lecture 23: Materials: All About Medium, a further refinement is water washing. This removes impurities resulting in a clearer, less yellowing oil—I've used both the and brands. Among the other drying oils I discuss are , , and . In addition, I discuss the thicker oils that have a more honey-like consistency. They include and .
The Winsor & Newton watercolor brush I used in the demo on brushes was a . These are great brushes for ink, watercolor, or gouache.
Thinners, Solvents and Diluents
As I've noted, for most cleaning purposes I use odorless mineral spirits. But, I will, now and again, use in a medium or to make damar varnish. I've also used and in mediums.
Resins and Varnishes
You can buy ready made. If you use this regularly it can pay to make your own. To make the varnish as I did in the video you'll need 1 lb. of and 25.6 oz of . I also discuss mediums and . Several companies now make a final picture varnish made with the latter—'s one example.
I've used both Sennelier's and the Art Treehouse . If you're looking for a glossier medium these are both worth trying. I don't know of any commercially available Strasbourg, Burgundy or Jura balsam.
Driers and Retardents
Most texts discourage the use of driers (also called siccatives) because they can darken and embrittle the paint film. Mixing lead white into many colors will expedite drying. As will the addition of stand oil, sun thickened oil and many alkyds. While I wouldn't use driers in my own paintings I have used them to make stages of demo paintings for teaching and for the videos. Most often I've used . To slow drying, if you generally use a linseed oil based medium, you could add a slower-drying oil like , , or to your medium. If you really want to slow it down you could try . A single drop smeared next to a color on your palette will markedly slow drying.
Wax and White Chalk
There are a range of options in terms of . I've used the among others. also has a range of options in this regard. (calcium carbonate, PW18) is inexpensive and readily available. Kremer Pigments also has a range of specialty white chalks including one from and another from .
Among the examples I showed in the video are the very standard #10 and #12 cotton duck. The #12 is about 12 oz per square yard. The #10 about 15 oz. has a range of reasonably priced options in varying widths that can be purchased by the yard. For the canvas I prepared in Lecture 25, Materials: Flexile Supports I used a fine-weave . Unlike cotton, one of the benefits of linen is that it's available in . Though less popular, polyester is among the best textile options because it's synthetic, so it's not susceptible to rot like cotton and linen. Both cotton and linen are hygroscopic—they expand and contract as humidity levels change. isn't, so it's much more stable. The downside's that it's generally more expensive. has a great selection of primed and unprimed cotton, linen, and polyester. If you get to New York it's worth stopping in. It's much easier to get a sense of the differences among these materials when you can actually see and touch them.
Stretcher Bars and Stretching Canvas
As noted in Lecture 25 there are a wide range of . I'd avoid the light duty/standard stretcher bars. In most cases they won't lift the canvas far enough off the bar resulting in a ghost image of the bar's edge on your painting's surface. There are also a number of . I've used the in my studio for several years. I also used them in the video. My pair has worked fine though, I'd note, they get some bad reviews. My stapler's an electric Stanley Sharpshooter TRE500. It appears to have been replaced by the . A can also come in handy.
Sizing Your Canvas
I used in the video. As I noted, a number of writers on art materials, including , make the case that we're better off using hard acrylic dispersion mediums like or .
Today, is the most commonly used ground, though many writers on art materials discourage its use on flexible supports. Traditionally, artists used lead oil grounds. Because of health concerns surrounding lead a number of companies make a titanium alternative. makes a ground with titanium dioxide, calcium carbonate and alkyd resin. makes a range of oil grounds using recipes featuring basic lead carbonate (PW1), lead sulphate (PW2), calcium carbonate (PW18), and titanium dioxide (PW6)—several with a choice of drying oil (linseed, walnut, safflower). makes a lead oil ground and a lead/alkyd ground—the latter, for rigid surfaces. makes makes both a lead and a titanium oil ground. Williamsburgh also makes both a and a oil ground. Finally, makes a titanium/alkyd oil ground.
To make traditional gesso you'll need , , and .
These are the Artefex and panels I showed in Lecture 26.
For the paint making demo in Lecture 33 I used to roughen the glass. If you had a larger piece of glass you could also use the and have two grinding surfaces—one coarser, one finer. This is the I used to make the paint. You'll also need some . , , and all offer a wide range of pigments. Natural Pigments also makes a couple of . If you decide to start making your own paint you'll want to make sure you take all appropriate health precautions when working with powdered pigments.
Other Materials and Tools
This is the I used (the plastic one) and these are the .
The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters
More Painting Materials
David Brody, 2019, after Fairfield Porter, Self Portrait, 1948From The Complete Painter: Lessons from the Masters, Lecture 32