This materials list is intended for students in my fall 2018 adult and family art lessons.  For your convenience, these are the most cost-effective options I could find for you.

If you’d prefer to go to the store to buy the materials rather than order online, I would recommend Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster, CA. They will have everything on this list (but you’ll have to go with Gamblin instead of DaVinci paints).

If you’d prefer to order online, these are all linked to either the DaVinci website directly or to Amazon (and are Amazon Prime eligible). Note that in all cases I found you the most cost-effective options that I have personally used and would use again, except where otherwise noted. Full disclosure, I get small commissions based on sales from these links, but you don’t pay anything more for using them.


I use either DaVinci or Gamblin paints. I prefer DaVinci because they’re made here in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, but they behave very similarly to Gamblin, and Gamblin are available at local stores.

You could go with cheaper paints, but I would recommend against it, as they will behave differently and may make my instruction harder to follow. Also, I’ve chosen this color list to avoid harmful heavy metals and toxic chemicals of which I’m aware. Therefore, switching to other colors may inadvertently introduce minor health risk. They still sell lead white paint, for example, and all the “cadmium” reds, oranges, and yellows contain cadmium and can absorb through your skin.  You won’t drop dead from it, but in the long term exposure can have negative health risks.

Order from DaVinci directly. The prices on their website are 50% cheaper than ordering their paints on Amazon.

Note also that I’ve linked to both the 37ml tube size and the 150ml tube size. If you can afford to, I’d recommend the 150ml tubes because you’ll go through the small ones in the 12 week session. In any case, even if you go with the small tubes, go with the bigger white. The links go straight to the website to add to your cart.

DaVinci Paint Color Alt. Gamblin Paint Color (if you buy at a local store) 37ml tube 150ml tube
DaVinci Yellow Hansa Yellow Light Get it here Get it here
DaVinci Red Napthol Red Get it here Get it here
Ultramarine Blue Ultramarine Blue Get it here Get it here
Cerulean Blue (Hue) Cerulean Blue Hue Get it here Get it here
Ivory Black Ivory Black Get it here Get it here
Titanium White Titanium White don’t get a small white. Get it here

Painting Medium

The medium is used to thin out the oil paint if necessary. This bottle will probably last you the whole 12 week session. If you’re not using oil paints, don’t get this.

Gamblin Solvent-Free Fluid. Get it here.


These are from Amazon. If you go to a local art store find a decent beginner set. I like these because they are solid and they have good a feel. I usually use Rosemary & Co brushes, but I found these specifically because I wanted to find an affordable beginner set that I could recommend for you. I have been using these recently and I have to say I’m happy to recommend them to you, and they’re really affordable for a decent set of brushes.

Benicci paint brush set. Get it here.


These would be for oil or acrylic. You want something different if you’re planning on watercolor painting. In that case, let me know and I’ll help you find a suitable alternative. You have 2 choices here. Disposable and less expensive in the short term vs reusable and less expensive in the long term.

1. Paper palettes are really convenient. If you want to go that route, this is a good option. The medium gray color makes it easier to judge your light color mixes. I’ve never used this product, but I would pick this if I were to go the disposable route.

Art Alternatives Gray Palette Paper Pad. Get it here.

2. If you’d prefer a non-disposable option, I use a glass palette attached to a piece of 1/4” MDF board, and a razor paint scraper to clean it off. It’s reusable and lasts as long as you don’t drop it, and even sometimes if you do.

I’ve always made my own, so I haven’t tried this one, but if you want to go out and buy one, something like this looks like it would work. It’s nice and big so you’ll have lots of room to mix colors. It also has a medium grey background, which is helpful for mixing colors against.

Glass Artist Palette 12”x16”. Get it here.

If you go this route, you’ll also want a paint scraper.

Retractible razor paint scraper. Get it here.

Canvas Panels

In class I’m generally going to recommend painting on small panels. I like 6”x8” panels because they’re small enough to really focus on getting through a finished painting in one class period. Some weeks we’ll be doing a specific exercise and using small panels. Others you can pick your subject matter and work on a larger piece across multiple weeks.

In any case, you’ll need a pack of 6×8 panels. Full disclosure: I make my own panels, so I haven’t used this particular brand, but they’re the most cost-effective ones I could find that looked perfect for our purposes.

12-pack of 6×8 inch canvas panels. Get it here.

If you’d also like bigger canvases or canvas panels to work on at home, you can find a bunch of similar options on Amazon or at Art Supply Warehouse. Don’t worry about getting expensive panels…get the most affordable ones you can find while you’re learning.

Odorless Mineral Spirits

This is to clean oil paints off your brushes. If you are not using oils, don’t get this. They sell Mona Lisa brand at Michael’s and I’ve used it. If you go to Art Supply Warehouse, they may not have this same brand. If you’re there, you can get Gamsol, which is what I currently use, but it’s a little more expensive than Mona Lisa. DO NOT use turpentine, in any case, or most of the “ordorless” ones that you can get at the hardware store. Those have very bad off-gassing and they’re not healthy for you.

Mona Lisa Odorless Paint Thinner. Get it here.


Drawing Supplies

The the better you draw, the better you’ll be able to paint. We’re starting with drawing on the first day when we focus on line and value by drawing geometric solids in light and shadow.

Here’s a nice pencil kit I just found for you. Get it here.

Here’s a mixed-media drawing pad. The mixed media paper is heavier and won’t bleed through if you use markers (I will show you in class). No need to buy the markers now, though. This drawing pad seemed to be the best deal I could find for quality and number of pages.

Get a mixed media drawing pad here.

Latex or Nitrile Gloves (optional)

I generally paint in gloves, mostly because I’ve used cadmium paints in the past, but even now that I’ve gotten them off of my palette, it seems better to avoid the potential unknown harmful chemicals absorbing through my skin. You can pick these up at any pharmacy. If you want a handy link to the cheapest deal I could find on Amazon for one size fits most white nitrile gloves, here you go:

White, One-size-fits-most, Nitrile gloves. Get them here.

2 small (4-oz) glass airtight jars/lids

If you have them handy, bring them. Otherwise I will give you two as my gift to you. These were the kind of thing I could only find by the dozen, so I’m just buying some for the group. One will be for your odorless mineral spirits (OMS) and one will be for your medium (the Gamblin Solvent-Free Fluid). If you have jars handy and want to just bring them filled with OMS and medium, that’d be great. Then you could leave the bigger containers at home. If you do bring them filled, don’t fill them all the way. 50% max is fine…fewer spills that way when you’d dipping brushes in them.

Apron (optional)

There’s no shame in it. I use one when I remember to do so. Not always. Hence half of my t-shirts having paint spots on them. Don’t be like me and ruin your clothes. Wear an apron. Or don’t. That’s OK, too.