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Supplies needed to start painting?

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
(2nd thread in 2 days-- sorry if this comes across as me looking scatter-brained)

I am wanting to begin using paints in order to learn and apply color theory. I may or may not be coming into a little money soon enough and I would like to get some advice or input from those with some knowledge of what's needed.

First of all-- I know NOTHING when it comes to the use of oils or professional watercolor paints. I will admit that freely. I have looked at many tutorials, but I am getting a lot of conflicting information, so I will try and keep what I know and have learned succinct.

Second-- Money is a bit tight right now, so I am looking to get the most bang for my buck. If I am successful enough, I plan on taking some of my paintings to a local gallery I've been speaking with that is somewhat interested in my work and see if I can earn some money on the side to pay for supplies. Then again, that's much further down the road but as of now I cannot afford hundreds and hundreds of dollars for supplies immediately.

So here is a list of supplies I have heard I will need in general consensus:
*Easel
* palette of some sort
*A few brushes (preferably Sable)-- Round and fine being mandatory, and less with the specialty brushes (like Fanned) until the need arises.


And here i a working list of oil pigments I am considering for first purchase-- mandatory ones bolded:
Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow
Yellow Ochre
Burnt Sienna
Venetian Red
Pyrrole Red
Ultramarine blue
Pthalo cyan

Worse comes to worse, I can make do for a while with some watercolors and experiment with Payne's Grey until I'm comfortable in my brush control.

I've heard paints are fine if they're of moderate cost (not the cheapest and expensive will be too costly to experiment with). The paint sets are apparently bad and have low quality paints in general. I can secure a cheap metal easel for roughly $5, but I know nothing about prepping a canvas or even how to select what I will paint on. Apparently I can paint over used canvases, so I can cut costs there to a degree.

Anyway, if anyone has any advice on palette set-up, paint thinners or my starting color selection, please drop me a response and I will be very appreciative.

And if I make you angry about being cost-conscious, then I apologize. If you honestly think I should hold off until I have a enough money to buy a larger list of supplies, then I will take it to heart. The way I feel, however, is that I'd learn more through mistakes now rather than waiting and delaying the learning process.

Thanks all for your time and consideration.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
No Ivory Black for oils?

Mainly because you can tint it with titanium white and put it next to a warm red, like a Burnt Sienna and it starts looking blue. (I'm not encouraging painting with Black however)

This thread: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=99774

http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=98647

Was showing a user on how to work with limited palettes.

Now as far as oils go, you want to be careful about going too cheap, as cheaper paints have a lot of binder (filling) and dependent upon that binder it can wreck colors or give odd results. You can go with student grades and try at least the Winsor and Newton.

Oddly enough Watercolors can be interesting, Frazetta for example used Mickey Mouse paints. I've seen instructors use cheap paints and usually it's better paper. My experience tends to lie with them as well. I can get results from about any brand and yes some brands are better than others. I of course go with tube paints. I have used Koi Watercolors before and I find them nice, but also have other brands I can recommend when I get back home.

I'd also very much ask your instructors if they're familiar with oils and give you tips as well.
 

Ilayas

Member
If you want to practice painting because you wish to learn to paint that's great. But if you are only doing to to learn colors better I don't understand why you can't just do it digitally, particularly if cost is a major concern for you.

You only mention oil and water color in what you want advice on. I don't have a terrible amount of experience with either medium but I have worked a far amount with acrylic paints. They aren't as cheap as water color but they are cheaper then oil paint. For my color theory class we used Liquitex acrylic paint they are of good enough quality without breaking the bank. For my acrylic painting class we used M. Graham which is fairly expensive but notably better (I had to spend over $500 in supplies for that class and I still had all my color theory painting equipment). If you are still learning might as well stick with the Liquitex. We used illustration board as a canvas in our color theory class, and as far as canvases go it's pretty cheap and works well if you are willing to work small. If you want to do something big it tends to warp if you put paint on it. We used something else for my acrylic painting class I wanna say it was particle board but I know that's not right it was dark brown and had a shiny and rough side. We painted on the shiny side (you really couldn't paint on the rough side). Wander around your local hardware store and find something that is cheep wood-like and ok to paint on. Some places will even cut it for you. The wonderful thing about acrylic paints is that is used a lot for industrial stuff so there are a lot of materials out there you can use acrylic paints on. Whatever you use though it'd be a good idea to sand it (if necessary) and put on a few coats of Gesso before you paint.

When working with acrylic you can use pretty much anything you want to be a palette (tinfoil, old Tupperware lids whatever) though the traditional looking artist palettes are pretty inexpensive. At school we used these http://www.dickblick.com/products/masterson-sta-wet-premier-palette/ which are pretty neat they keep your paint wet but you do need to buy replacement papers. And if you don't wash out and let the sponge dry every once and awhile it gets moldy (but you can buy replacement sponges too). What ever palette you get you are going to want a palette Knife for mixing paints.

All things considered I don't think it'd be a bad idea to just take a class on this. I know you probably can't afford a college level class but there might be some community classes in your area that are with-in your price range. Even if it is a highly formulaic (i.e. learn to paint landscapes like Bob Ross) you have a better idea of what tools and supplies work best for you. You'll have people right there willing to help you and answer your questions.
 
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Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
Thanks Arshes for the color recommendation. I'm a fan of Gurney, so I know of that gamut tool pretty well. I am actually exciting to learn about. That thread will be useful.

I'll consider using blacks for making grays/ Otherwise I'm wary of allowing myself to use them with oils since some of my favorite artists (Renoir, Manet and others) rarely used blacks. Still, in mixing it does not matter.

I'll keep that in mind while buying oils-- an acquaintance of mine told me he prefers Winsor himself, and he does some amazing work. So I will look into buying that. Plus I might just pick up some cheap watercolors to play around with initially. I guess in the sense that crayons would not hold back a good artist, so would cheap watercolors not mean much. I still am really curious to try liquid suspension watercolors however.

Ironically, I'm not in the art program, but I will see if I cannot get into contact with my former art professor and see if he can give me some guidelines too-- an option I forgot, haha.

Illayas:
I am simply curious to try real paints. I don't much like digital art compared to traditional stuff I do, so I'd rather build skills in a dependable setting, then try and apply them later back on digital. Just like I didn't get to where I am without drawing on paper, I'd imagine traditional would teach me way more than I could learn in digital. I've yet to find a program that reminds me of mixing colors in real life. That is a problem considering I want to develop a natural approach, so I guess I will go natural, haha.

I normally don't like acryllics considering they dry incredibly fast compared to oils. I know I will make more mistakes, and I like the fact that my work can be corrected over several days, which I think is critical while I'm still learning. I would LOVE to take a class on this, but there are money and time constraints thanks to my major.

Thank you for your input, I will certainly keep that in mind. I will not be purchasing anything this very week, but it is more to consider for the next few months when I'll have a little bit more money with which to work.
 
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Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
If you want to practice painting because you wish to learn to paint that's great. But if you are only doing to to learn colors better I don't understand why you can't just do it digitally, particularly if cost is a major concern for you.

Because traditional painting far outweighs in so much knowledge than cost concerns. Digitally trying to copy it really isn't the same.

Traditional painters end up being better digital artists because of this knowledge. I've rarely seen it the other way around.

This is personal experience talking too. I actually worked in gauche, dabbled in oils and currently mess with watercolor.

And Acrylics .... meh :/ Oils have greater learning value when it comes to painting. As do watercolors.

Oh also Winsor and Newton are one brand name :p
 

Deo

The hatred of FAF personified
I just want to say that when working with oil Turpenoid Natural is your friiiiiiieeeeeeeeend.

AND liquin, god do I abuse the shit outta liquin.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
I just want to say that when working with oil Turpenoid Natural is your friiiiiiieeeeeeeeend.

AND liquin, god do I abuse the shit outta liquin.
Noted-- I'll look into those.

Oh also Winsor and Newton are one brand name :p
*facepalm*-- shows how much I actually know

I've spoken with my professor and he gave me similar advice to what I'm seeing here and gave me a handy-dandy discount offer to take to a art supply store near to my college. Turns out I can get 10-20% off value of paints and supplies there in order to encourage students to blow more money there. So I am happy.
 

Tao

Hare Boi
Dunno if anyone's said it but acrylic is best to start out with and then move to oils. You'll need some clothes you don't mind getting paint on, something to mix your paints (palette knives or a spoon or something), and of course, the other stuff that's been said. I don't know if where you are they have these sorts of stores but the college campuses near me have student supply shops that have class supplies, including art supplies. Their paints are pretty cheap compared to other big stores.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Dunno if anyone's said it but acrylic is best to start out with and then move to oils. You'll need some clothes you don't mind getting paint on, something to mix your paints (palette knives or a spoon or something), and of course, the other stuff that's been said. I don't know if where you are they have these sorts of stores but the college campuses near me have student supply shops that have class supplies, including art supplies. Their paints are pretty cheap compared to other big stores.

NO.

Acrylics are not oil's little brother or cousin. They are a completely different medium. It makes no sense to make them a starter medium when they don't act the same. Acrylics are PLASTIC :p Why in the world would you waste more money on acrylics, when you can get better oil paints and just keep practicing in that medium?

It's like me trying to say watercolors and oils are the same. They're not.

Watercolors while more unexpected (A book referred to them like playing Jazz) ends up being more cost effective. However, they're not the same as oils. It isn't unusual for oil painters to dabble in watercolors. The most expenses for watercolors are the paper and good brushes.

Frank Frazetta is one example. Check out the book Rough Works. Its his sketchbook.

Craig Mullins is another prime example: http://www.goodbrush.com/ but he was influenced by John Singer Sargent.

John Singer Sargent: http://jssgallery.org/Thumbnails/Sargent_Paintings_Index.htm or http://www.johnsingersargent.org/ Or you can find him on http://www.artrenewal.org

I always found this one lovely. I love the wet on wet method used in the ground, and his color choices are gorgeous, his shadows are colorful, not some dreary black.

http://jssgallery.org/Paintings/Lights_and_Shadows_Corfu.htm



I also like Charles Reid: http://www.munsongallery.net/artist.asp?artist=11 and Anders Zorn: http://www.anderszorn.info/portraits.html

Charles Reid's methods are just wonderful: http://www.munsongallery.net/artwork.asp?artwork=1712&artist=11&n=1723&p=1278&a=35



[yt]_5SQlsnYa0Y[/yt]
 

Ley

Member
paint is a good way to start :V

But yeah.. I look forward to what you can do with paint though, Jw. Good luck c:
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Almost forgot but here is my list of watercolors and supplies. A lot I got at 40-50% off by waiting for the coupons at JoAnn's

Sponges
Water tray/container
Several types of Mixer palettes
Camel Hair Brushes (they hold liquid very well vs synthetic)
Colorless Art Masking Fluid (this is for masking areas you don't want to paint on)
Gum Arabic - increases watercolor brilliancy (I don't use this often actually)
Salt (I forgot about this one because I store it somewhere else). I have thick Kosher salt for making effects. - Salt will absorb the paint.

Note on Watercolrs you DO NOT NEED all these sets, they were ones I got after various discounts.

Cotman Watercolors Painting Plus set of 12 colors - http://www.aswexpress.com/discount-...oglebase&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping

Koi set of 12 - http://amzn.com/B001DNCJJS

I also have Reeves, and Loew Cornell. Reeves is ok (definitely NOT for oils however) Loew Cornell is pretty terrible. Both have filler/binder issues though Reeves less so.

I often need Cerulean/Phtalo Blue to make good green hues and other mixes so I have 2 brands that worked pretty well.

Cotman (which is a Winsor & Newton brand)
I found Van Gogh too.

A lot of good Watercolor info is found here: http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color16.html#wheel

By the way I also have those pocket watercolor brush sets with a waterpen.

Koi: http://amzn.com/B00122CN64

And some other one with watercolor pencils but it's a Japanese brand I get at my local Japanese marketplace.
They are OK...but don't expect full watercolor results. A watercolor brush is more like a wash since they're not really real hair but synthetic ..... So again, good for washes.
 

FireFeathers

Mr. Red Flag
So much facepalming in this thread.

Anyways, I've done a fair amount of work with watercolor and goache; and easels are...I dunno, with watercolors, you want to be on a flat surface. With oils you could use the easel. Not reccommended for watercolors. Annoying part about prepping your canvas generally involves buying a homosote board (which is cheap) and having a place big enough to bathe and stretch your canvases. So that's the pain it the ass part about it. Altogether, I found oils to be way damn expensive and a pain in the ass. not my cup of tea.

BUT. They sell watercolor pads. It's a pre-stretched block of about... 15 sheets of paper that you don't have to soak, it's all ready to go. Canson sells them. They act as your sturdy surface as well since they're backed by a quarter-inch thick cardboard slab. The other annoying part of watercolors is that you have to have your painting at least a little planned out. You can't make things white, so you have to plan for white. That's why a lot of people do the watercolor/goache thing together, since goache can be white, and mixing the two is pretty natural. Goache is just more opaque, while watercolors are all transparent.

Acrylics aren't HORRIBLE, but they're not smiled upon, that's for sure.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
So much facepalming in this thread.

Anyways, I've done a fair amount of work with watercolor and goache; and easels are...I dunno, with watercolors, you want to be on a flat surface. With oils you could use the easel. Not reccommended for watercolors. Annoying part about prepping your canvas generally involves buying a homosote board (which is cheap) and having a place big enough to bathe and stretch your canvases. So that's the pain it the ass part about it. Altogether, I found oils to be way damn expensive and a pain in the ass. not my cup of tea.

Just a slight disagreement. I agree though for the most part it's easier to work with watercolors on a flat surface due to the gravity affecting medium (if you work very wet, the colors will run). However, for Plein Air you're going to use an easel if you're working on longer studies. So outdoors an easel is fine. That's a bit of the advantage of that vs a PC ;)

You are correct about planning because in watercolors you want to work from light to dark. That way if you put a bit of light cerulean blue glaze where it was meant to be light, at least your other areas you can work darker and it may appear white. I've also seen people etch out paper (yes it does score it) if one made a mistake to give a highlight. Masking tape and other methods can work. So long as the pigment you're using isn't a staining one...if it is...well you'll have to work with it another way.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/ArtSchool/Watercolors/JV_Correcting/


Acrylics has its uses, but.... I didn't want that big misinformation by the other poster that it's a "Starting medium" to oils save money. It really isn't.

For example.



and...



Dan DosSantos is an oil Painter. http://www.dandossantos.com/gallery.htm
Often people mistake his works for digital because he uses some acrylics in his process. Go to his Extras and look at this tutorials you'll see a few step by step works he does for some book covers. I also highly recommend the DVD even though I know people balk at the price tag, but it's basically 5 hours long so it's 10 bux an hour of information ;)

http://www.theartdepartment.org/dvds/dan-dos-santos-book-cover-illustration-dvd

He keeps his oils thin to keep the colors vibrant.

I wish I could work in oils again (ventilation issues), something about having a big painting like that with all your textures and impasto is just...lovely, and something you can sell later since the primary use of art is decoration. Garage sales or markets/swap meets. Selling prints are ok, but people are a bit reluctant to get rid of canvas paintings so quickly ;)
 

Zydala

Kisses for everyone!
Adding to the 'acrylics and oils are not the same' crowd. We work with acrylics in my illustration program, and while they can be lovely in their own ways if you know how to work with them (we tend to use them sort of like watercolors and layer down thin colors), they are absolutely no substitute for oils of any sort.

I've done a bit with oils but I don't remember a lot unfortunately, it was so long ago (5+ years). But I remember some little tips at the very least, hopefully nothing that entirely contradicts anything else you've read:

- turpenoid and natural turpenoid are free of fumes and much nicer to work with. I'd still recommend working in a well-ventilated area all the same.
- the colors I worked with (just for reference): ivory black, titanium white, cadmium red, cadmium yellow, cobalt blue, burnt sienna, viridian, and sometimes permanent green. These were the Windsor and Newton Winton sets; I don't know what colors they still have of them though
- a cheaper palette instead of the premade ones at art stores is to get yourself some clear thick cuts of plastic and use those; I can't remember the name of the material atm I'll come back when I do; basically it's cheap and you can buy huge cuts of it and use a scraper easier on it than those plastic palettes that have the little dips in them and make it hard to clean well. glass palettes are great and clean well and are easy to make too.
- oil canvases are better technically to make yourself but it's really hard as hell. You have to buy and cut the wood and stretch the canvas and then gesso it up like three times and let it dry in-between and I always just found it really difficult when I tried it so you know for a beginner pre-made canvases aren't exactly a terrible thing.
- I worked with hogs hair bristle brushes more than the soft sable brushes; both are fine for oils but I had more control over oils with the stiffer brushes. Totally personal choice up to you.

As for watercolors, I've done limited things with them, but since I'm going into illustration (usually working with smaller dimensions) I'll probably be choosing to work with them more rather than oils (the teacher for oils is crazy and wants you to work with like, 5'x5' canvases and I hate working huge hahaha). I work with tube paints mostly when I mess with them and have Cotmans; sometimes I borrow my girlfriend's Holbeins (very nice colors!!). Natural brushes are best, synthetics can't hold water very well; lots of people prefer sable for this reason. Paper is really important; heavier papers warp less and need less prep (soaking them and stretching them etc) and cold press is rougher and has more texture than hot press, though hot press has some great effects (I like it for wet-on-wet stuff).

I guess that's all I got for now. Hope it was at least a bit helpful; if not at least it was fun to contribute haha :]
 
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sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
I personally prefer acrylics to oils, but I'll agree that the two are quite different. I mostly work with thin wet craft acrylics, the kind that dry fast, and you can NOT use the standard oil approach of wet-on-wet with those. I use them sorta like drybrush watercolor actually - a controlled solid color 'wash' for the background, then mostly teeny dots and lines of color with a detail brush for the foreground. It's a controlfreak sort of technique, which makes me happy but I can see why other people might dislike it. For similar reasons of control I prefer canvasboards to canvasses, I hate the way a canvas wiggles from the pressure of the brush and you can't rest your hand on it at all.

For watercolor I personally like the technique pf taping the watercolor paper, stretched taut, to a wooden drafting board or smooth sturdy tabletop and leaving it like that until the painting is done and dry. I used the Koi set back when I was into watercolor. I also really liked having a whiteout pen and a waterproof fine-point black felt pen to add details to watercolors. On the other hand my art teacher demonstrated two techniques using salt and rubber cement, but I was never able to make either of them work satisfactorily.
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
@everyone: thanks for all the advice. I know acryllics are different from oils and watercolors. I've tried all BUT oils in the past and were simply curious at this point. Acryllics dry faster than I would like if I will be working off and on thanks to my odd future work schedule, meaning I can pick up oils more easily when I have a chance to resume. They're perfectly fine, but I am curious to try what I haven't tried. No knock to those that like them. Hell I might even end up with them in the end, but I'd like to know I tried it all.

@Arshes-- thanks again for those links, makes me want to consider picking up some cheap watercolors first and see if I do well enough with watercolor-on-ink drawings. Tempting to try it as it's got a good impressionist look and is great for plen aire studies. Also thanks for the list of materials and the video as well-- watching that asap.

@Firefeathers-- hopefully not too much facepalming at me. Like I said, I'm curious at this point. Those are legitimate reasons to like acryllics. But thanks a lot for the information on prepping canvases and media to paint on-- this will be useful for me.

@Zyd: thanks for the info! I was thinking about making some glass pallettes and taping some black and white paper beneath for comparison's sake, but if the plastic works as well and is more durable I might be tempted to pick that up (knowing as clumsy as I am). I'll definitely buy some prestretched and precoated canvases at first because I don't know if it'd be work the investment at this point.

@sun-- I'll definitely try the take bit or use some old drafting supplies I have lying about (corner stickers ftw) when I try watercolors.

Any rate, I realize I know nothing about prepping canvases, preparing or thinning pigments and setting up canvases. I'm looking into finding what books my professor recommends I read to learn more, so hopefully that'll supplement the useful information you've already shared. Thanks again!
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED

FireFeathers

Mr. Red Flag
Just a slight disagreement. I agree though for the most part it's easier to work with watercolors on a flat surface due to the gravity affecting medium (if you work very wet, the colors will run). However, for Plein Air you're going to use an easel if you're working on longer studies. So outdoors an easel is fine. That's a bit of the advantage of that vs a PC

*flips her coffee table over and storms out*

Naw, that's fine, and i agree. I've taken a few oil-painting classes, but it directly interferes with my general cheap-ness. and if you're not willing to take risks on oil to learn and grow, then FFFF, why bother at all. I admire oils greatly. They just cause me so much angst, lol. But yeah, in open air, watercolors on an easle is doable and used. I just tend to like washes and detailing from there, which gravity can be an epic foe if you don't have some towels handy to mop up the puddles.

And yar, facepalming was at the other posts, not the OP.
 

sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
I don't have any problems taking long breaks during an acrylic painting. I do a few things to avoid paint drying problems: 1. Since there are hundreds of colors of craft acrylic available at $2 a bottle or less, I try to buy all the colors I need instead of mixing any. 2. Along with that, I get out only one or two colors at a time, and only as much as I can use up in a 1-2 hour painting session, and clean the palette at the end of each session. 3. If I do need to mix colors I have an assortment of small airtight containers I mix them in and paint from - when closed these can stay wet for a month without problems.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Yeah, but buying all the colors instead of learning to mix them is terribly inefficient in the long run. It's just that I've read a lot of JW's posts so trying to convince him to use acrylics in a way that defeats the purpose of him wanting to paint in the first place is a waste of time. Sorry.

JW wants to learn how to paint so he can work color theory better, along with the other things. So if you want to convince him to use a method that's counter-intuitive of his goals, I'm just letting you know you're wasting your time.
 

sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
I don't really have any urge to convince anyone to use a particular medium. I just wanted to clear up the fallacy that "acrylic paints can't be stored" or "acrylic paintings must be worked on steadily or finished quickly".
 

Jw

PINEAPPLE ACCOMPLISHED
I don't really have any urge to convince anyone to use a particular medium. I just wanted to clear up the fallacy that "acrylic paints can't be stored" or "acrylic paintings must be worked on steadily or finished quickly".

I'll clarify-- I like that oils stay wet on canvas for days at a time. I'd need a large humidified airtight container for my palettes if they were acryllic. I like Acryllics, but I want to try wet-on-wet painting. That's why I wanted Watercolors (which you can liquify again with a dab of water) and oils which stay wet for a while on their own.
 

sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
Well, I was trying to point out that you don't have to/shouldn't use palettes in that way with acrylics, it's a method of palette use developed for oils and appropriate to them. But wet on wet can be tremendously fun, it's definitely worth trying. If you are going to do wet-on-wet oils I'd suggest doing at least one black canvas one. You put a transparent color on part of the canvas, then paint with white to bring out the transparent color to varying amounts. Awesome for sunset and night landscapes/seascapes. :)
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Wait, why are we having this conversation about acrylics when the OP clearly is asking for more info on watercolors and oils?
It's like a guy saying he wants to try pizza and some guy insisting he try spaghetti.

Annoying, isn't it?
 
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