This materials list is intended for students in my winter 2019 adult painting 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.
If you do go with DaVinci, order from DaVinci directly via the links below. The prices on their website are 50% cheaper than ordering their paints on Amazon or elsewhere.
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. Basically the large tubes are about 4x the paint for roughly 2x the price, so in the long run it costs about half as much to go with the big tubes. 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. NOTE: If you’re going the DaVinci route for paints, there’s another item from them below (the linseed oil under “Painting Mediums”), so don’t submit your order for your paints until you add that to your cart as well.
|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|
Odorless Mineral Spirits
This is to clean oil paints off your brushes and also to mix with linseed oil for your medium. 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 (but I believe they do). If they don’t, 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.
The medium is used to thin out the oil paint if necessary. If you attended my fall 2018 class I recommended Gamblin solvent-free fluid. You can use that if you’ve got some left. However, I have found that I actually prefer the results I get by mixing half and half odorless mineral spirits (in the previous section) and linseed oil. If you’re new, or you attended fall 2018 and you are going to order more, go with the linseed/odorless mineral spirits instead of the solvent-free fluid. You can order this directly from DaVinci as well and it’s actually less expensive than doing the Gamblin solvent-free fluid.
I’ve provided 2 options here for your consideration. If you do something other than these 2, DO NOT go with the “Leonarto” set you can find on Amazon. I tested those and broke one almost immediately.
- The Benicci ones I’ve used before: These are from Amazon. If you go to a local art store find a decent beginner set. I like these Benicci brushes because they are solid and they have good a feel. I usually use Rosemary & Co brushes, which are professional 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. That said, one person in my fall 2018 class had one of these brushes fall apart on her, but the rest of us had good luck with them. Given my poor luck with other inexpensive brush sets, I might still recommend this one if you want to stick with an inexpensive set.
- The new ones that look good, but I haven’t tried: I have not tried this brand, but they look like they’ll be good and they have a 12 month guarantee. They are also about 50% cheaper than the Benicci ones. Therefore, I feel comfortable suggesting trying these instead. I’m ordering myself a set right now to test them.
Adi’s Art Pro Paint Brush Set on Amazon.
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 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.
2. I personally 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 personally used this one, but I have recommended to students in the past and it has worked well for them.
If you go with option 2, you’ll also want a paint scraper.
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. My students have had good luck with these in the past.
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.
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 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.
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:
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 50/50 OMS/linseed oil). 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.
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.