Artists:  you do NOT need to purchase every item before the first class,  supplies can be accumulated over time.  This materials list can seem overwhelming, so be sure to chat with me before purchasing.  I am mentioning many more items than actually need to be purchased before beginning the class.
Please email or call if you have never painted before, if you have limited experience and don't have much in the way of supplies, or if expense of materials is a factor.   I'll discuss the "must-have" materials needed vs "nice to have". .
Some new painters begin by drawing for a few weeks or months and work their way up to painting.

Click on the links below to see online catalogs

The following materials may be found in several locations:  
Locally in Frederick, Maryland:  at Michael's (, A.C.Moore (, The Colorful Canvas (308 Delaware Road in Frederick, Maryland)  and JoAnn Fabrics (  You can print out 40%-50% off a single item coupons from these websites or cut them out of the newspaper and use them for most of your supplies.  Howard's Art shop in Hagerstown, Maryland is also an excellent art supply source.  Local prices for art materials will be quite a bit higher than art supplies purchased online.

Required Oil Paints :   Winsor Newton Professional Grade    (do not buy "Winton" the student grade, the colors are diluted with fillers):  alizarin crimson, cad. yellow light, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, cerulean blue, french ultramarine blue, viridian, sap green, ivory black

Required Permalba (brand by Weber) paints:  Permalba White ( the only white  recommended) and Cadmium Red Light  (If you can't get Permalba's Cadmium Red Light for some reason, you can substitute with Winsor Newton's Cadmium Scarlet or Cadmium Vermilion.  But Permalba's CRL is much much less expensive and is an excellent color!)  Jerry's Artarama carries Permalba paints.

Optional Winsor Newton paints:  (these colors are not required but nice to have on hand)  naples yellow, winsor violet ( or dioxazine purple in Grumbacher), venetian red, permanent rose, indian yellow, raw sienna, raw umber, chromium oxide green, cadmium yellow (not "light") or cadmium yellow medium, cadmium orange,
manganese blue for intense turquoise

Jerry's Artarama and DickBlick both carry Winsor Newton OIl Paints and both Robert Simmons and Silver Brush Company brushes, as well as all other supplies listed on this site.

Brushes:  assorted bristle filberts, sizes 2-8, assorted bristle flats, one or two bristle fan brushes large and small, soft "sable"- type filberts and rounds in various sizes for blending and detail work  (If you can only afford a few brushes get a few bristle filberts and a few bristle flats, the true "workhorse" brushes. ) 

Recommended:  Robert Simmons brushes
 "Bristlon" brushes by Silver Brush Company

Mediums:  (helps paint to flow) You may paint with or without a medium.  Mediums are traditionally used in the latter stages of a painting.  You only need to purchase one, but there are many types.  Some speed drying, some slow it down.  Here are some commercial mediums to experiment with:  One of my favorites is Walnut Alkyd Medium by M. Graham.  You can get it from Dick Blick.  This is not a gel, but a liquid.  It doesn't form a skin inside the bottle as many mediums do.  This one speeds drying and as a bonus is NON-TOXIC .  If you want a dry painting to work on the next day, use an alkyd medium.  Others include:  Gamsol's Neo Megilp (similar to Maroget), Gamsol's Galkyd (similar to Liquin, speeds drying), Winsor Newton's Liquin, speeds drying but contains petroleum distillate, Weber's Res-n-gel (non-toxic), Artisan Water Mixable Oil Painting Medium (non-toxic and made for use with  water soluble oils but can also be used with our traditional oils), Weber's Rapid Dry medium.  There are many recipes to make your own mediums.  One commonly used all-purpose recipe is:  1 part stand oil, 1 part damar varnish, 5 parts turpentine.  This is not a glazing medium.

To slow the drying of a painting, use mediums that contain poppy oil.

Solvents:  (cleans brushes, palettes, thins paints for first layer and lay-in stages) I recommend Weber's odorless Turpenoid, odorless mineral spirits, or Gamsol (also an odorless mineral spirit).  Only odorless solvents are allowed in the studio!!  Gamsol is the best, available online.   Do NOT use a product called Turpenoid Natural as your solvent.  It is very strong, even though "natural" and made from citrus.  It will eat through the paint on a brush handle.  I recommend it highly to clean old hardened paint from brushes, but wouldn't put it anywhere near my paintings.

Palette:  a wood palette, or glass over gray paper with a medium value is better than disposable white paper palettes.  Luckily there now is available a GRAY disposable palette.  This is manufacutured by the Jack Richeson company and is available in two sizes from Jerry's Artarama.  Look for "Gray Matters" Paper Palette, the small size is good for bringing to class.

The best wood palettes in the world are made by Turtlewood Palettes.  They are incredibly and beautifully made, lightweight, ergonomically balanced.  I use the Pro Series 2.  Here is a link to their website, tell them I sent you:

Varnish:  Grumbacher brush-on "retouch" varnish for paintings that have dried a minimum of 6 weeks (I do not recommend spray varnish) and Liquitex Soluvar varnish (50% matte, 50% gloss mixed) for paintings that have thoroughly dried a minimum of 6, or even better, 12 months.

Other:  paper towels, stretched canvas, canvas panel or gessobord to paint on, palette knife, workable fixative (Grumbacher spray), drawing pencils, kneaded eraser, small jar of safflower oil for cleaning brushes

   mary pfister
materials list
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