Monday, August 17, 2009

My Palette

Over the next month I will try to be more informative about my painting technique (just in case someone might be able to learn something). The below post is a list of my tools, and then in the near future, I will also document a painting so everyone can see the steps and amount of time it takes to create a "studio" painting.

Oil Paints:
A. Gamblin Titanium Zinc White (this is a great white that has a great blend of opaqueness and transparency) - If I'm not using this, I also revert to just Zinc white
B. Cadmium Yellow Light - I'm trying out the Utrecht brand because of price and it is fairly close to the Winsor Newton that I usually use
C. Yellow Ochre Light - Rembrandt (Rembrandt paints have a great consistency out of the tube, but after a few hours, they tend to get "plasticy", so I only put a little on my palette at a time to keep the paint fresh)
D. Cadmium Red - Winsor Newton (Best brand of paint in my opinion, so I try to stick with it for the reds, but it is much more expensive than the others)
E. Alizarin Crimson - I like both the Winsor Newton and Gamblin brands
F. Terra Rosa - I rarely use this color, but there are key times when mixing flesh tones that it is the purest way to get a reddish hue to the checks and nose
G. Transparent Oxide Red - I used to use Burnt Sienna, but this color is far more transparent which is always something I'm looking for. This is without a doubt the color I go through the most--it seems to find it's way in almost all color mixtures.
H. Viridian - The green. You can usually get any green from this . . . it is on the blue side, so I add a lot of yellow when painting grass and trees.
I. Cerulean Blue - This is one of those colors that are not necessary, but it is always so close to the color of the sky when landscape painting, and it "kills" a flesh color so well, that I keep it on my palette so I don't have to mix it every time.
J. Cobalt Blue light - I don't use this much, but it is a very pure blue and is helpful when I don't want something to get to purple.
K. Ultramarine Deep - My second most used color. All warm and cool blacks usually start with this as the base, and this is used to create a lot of my greys.
Other Paints: I use a variety of yellows depending on the situation, in addition to the two above I also use Lemon yellow, cad yellow medium, and Yellow ochre medium. Sap green is the only other color that is not on my studio palette but I bring it with me when landscape painting. It is much closer to most foliage and I do a lot less mixing when I bring it along.

L. Silicoil - (has a little spring coil inside that is more gentle to the brush hairs than a mesh brush cleaner) - usually filled with art grade mineral spirits (and sometimes turpentine - I don't really care which)
M. Medium in Palette cup - Schmid mixture: 1 part stand oil, 1 part damar, and 5 part mineral spirits. I use this to initially thin down my paints. It adds a very "liquid" feel to a painting and stops any "chalking" of the more opaque colors. Once I add it to a paint mixture, the mineral spirits evaporate fairly quickly, so if I go back to it, I generally dip my brush in the mineral spirits to get it back to the consistency I like (which is fairly thin, slightly thiner than softened butter - more like elmers glue)
N. 3.5-4" blade - For cleaning off the palette and for creating fine lines in a painting (I found it works much better than a palette knife, it is stiffer and you can place it just the way you want)
O. Sable Rounds - Various brands (you get what you pay for) ranging in sizes from 2-8
P. Langnickel 5590 - Sizes 6-30 (they must have their own sizes because normally a 30 would probably be gigantic, but it is comparable to a 10 flat in the Signets below) - the brushes of choice for most of the major painters today (Schmid, Lipking, Baugh, Burdick, Gerhartz . . .) An absolutely great brush that creates beautiful strokes and effects. The hairs are very light, so they take some getting used to.
Q. Robert Simmons Signets - Flats 6-12 - I use these for all the block-ins and when I want a very transparent, brushy look
R. Palette Knives - the cheaper of the Italian brands, but they have held up for the last five years. I have a size 6 and 10
S. My Palette - Tempered glass glued to a light-grey spray painted masonite board. 16x20 (I also have a plein air setup with a home-made guerilla type box. Maybe I will show that some time in the future)
T. Paper Towels - Viva towels from Kleenex - not just because Schmid uses them, but because they really are the best for painting.
U. Claessens Oil Primed linen - From Utrecht, either 820 or 13J. Mounted onto Gatorfoam for plein air and small paintings, stretched over bars for larger studio paintings.

Ok, that's pretty much it. I do have some cheap, really large brushes from the painting section of home depot for those really large block-ins, and I have a bunch of miscellaneous tools like canvas pliers and such, but I assume everyone has stuff like that. Stay tuned for more over the next couple weeks.

1 comment:

sarah marina said...

Hey Ryan! Congrats on the SW Art article! I saw you in there and had to look up your site and see what you're up to... very cool. I really enjoyed reading about your palette. Made me think again over why I use what I do and gave me some ideas to try in the future! Thanks for posting that!