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Art Classes with Marc Surrency

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Oil Painting Suggested Supplies



Oil Colors

Two color Palettes are suggested here: the six color and the twelve color. The twelve color Palette is an expansion of the six color Palette. If you are new to mixing colors, I suggest the six color Palette. The choice is yours.

Six Color Palette

Twelve Color Palette

One small tube (37ml) each:

Cadmium Lemon

        Cadmium Yellow

        Cadmium Red

        Permanent Rose or Alizarin Crimson

        French Ultramarine

        Phtalo Blue

One small tube (37ml) each:

                Cadmium Lemon

                Cadmium Yellow

                Cadmium Red

                Permanent Rose (optinonal)

Alizarin Crimson

                French Ultramarine

                Phtalo Blue


                Raw Umber

                Yellow Ochre

                Burnt Sienna

Ivory Black

One large tube (120ml) of Titanium White

One large tube (120ml) of Titanium White

Burnt Umber and Sap Green can be very useful if you need deep browns.

Oil Medium

            Linseed Oil or medium of choice

            Liquin by Winsor and Newton


Flats: Bristle (natural)            

One each size: 1 or 2,3 or 4, 6, 8, (10, 12, and 20 if you paint very large)


Filberts: Bristle (natural)

One each size: 1 or 2, 3 or 4, 6, 8 (10, 12, and 20 if you paint very large)  


          Round: Sable or synthetic sable - One each size: 1, 2, 6, 10

Fan: Bristle (natural) - One each: 2 or 3, 6 or 8                

Fan: Sable or synthetic sable - One number 6

Blender: Sable or synthetic -  One 2 or 3 inch


Palette Knife (mixing, classic or trowel style)

Painting Knife (optional)

Large Palette cup (metal)

1 pint of odorless turpentine (NOT brush cleaner)

Brush cleaning Jar

Two or three canvas boards or stretched canvas around 16” X 20”,

18” X 24”, or 20” X 24” or a pad of Canvas Paper

Large roll of paper towels

Palette – either a seasoned/sealed wood palate or a disposable paper palette

Ivory® soap or “The Masters” ® brand brush cleaner

2B pencil

Small Sketch Pad

Please check with me about the availability of easels.  If our facility does not have easels for our class, you will need a small easel.  A table top easel, French easel, or sketching easel should work nicely.

1 sealable glass jar for placing used turpentine during class (salsa or mayonnaise jars work well)

Some comments about your supplies

The selection of art supplies is a personal preference.  Most artists have a preference for certain colors and brands of paint.  This list is only a suggestion.  If you have other colors or brushes that you prefer, please feel free to use them.

I have a few comments about the quality of your supplies.  ALL of the supplies that end up on your canvas should be manufactured for use in fine arts.  As for paints, there are two main differences between “professional” and “student” grades.  First, the amount of pigment in the “professional” grade is typically more than the “student” grade; the amount of pigment is termed “loading.”  For watercolor paints higher loading results in more intense colors.  For oils it typically doesn’t matter; if you use medium you end up decreasing the loading anyway.  The second difference is in the pigments that are used.  The expensive pigments used in professional grade paints are often substituted with other pigments in the student grade paint.  The result is that the professional grades are often truer in chroma (color) and sometimes mix cleaner.  Whether this makes a difference or not depends upon which colors you use and your painting style.  I use Winsor & Newton Artists Oils; Winton is also good.

When it comes to brushes there is a wide range from which to select.  Make sure that your brushes are for oil painting.  The shape of the head and the length of the handle are different for each medium.  Also synthetic sable brushes for oil painting are sometimes made of different materials for than those for painting in watercolor.  The turpentine might melt the synthetic brush if it’s not designed to be used for oil painting. 

Brushes generally come in three or four grades.  For oil paints you generally have three major grades: low end student, high end student (sometimes called academy or amateur), and   professional. Forget the low end student.  You’ll end up with bristles all over your painting.  The high end student brushes are typically machine made and work well.  The professional grade brushes are made by hand; the rounds and filberts naturally come to a point and will last a lifetime if you properly cared for them.  If you can afford it and you plan to paint for years to come, I recommend buying the professional grade.  I view it as an investment. According to one brush maker I spoke with, they’ll easily last 20 to 30 years with constant use, as long as they are cleaned and “rested.”  If you’re not sure whether painting is your cup of tea, the academy/amateur brushes are probably your best bet.  Most of my brushes are Richeson Signature series and Silver Grand Prix.  However, for class I often use student (adcademy) grade brushes.

The construction of your Palette is your choice.  If you are unsure about what type of Palette to use, buy a disposable paper Palette and we can discuss the subject in class.  Note that if you buy a brand new wood Palette, you won’t be able to use it until it has been seasoned with oil or sealed with polyurethane. I use a wood palette made by Turtle as well as Fredrix and Canson disposable paper palates. If I’m working on a large painting, it’s not unusual for me to use both types at the same time, using the disposable palette to mix large amounts of colors.

If you have any questions, give me a call or e-mail me.

Happy Shopping!




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