Note: This is the first in a six-part series on my oil painting studio practices, that will be published every other Monday.
Materials for painting can be as flexible as the artist, or as ridged. Below is an example of how I handle the task:
Containers for holding mineral spirits. I prefer to use recycled jars. I keep several in the working area to reuse again and again. For those that do not know, if you allow mineral spirits to sit overnight the oil paint will settle into the bottom of the jar. You can then poor off the clean liquid and use it again. Of course you can purchase a much more sophisticated system, but this works for me. Plus I get to feel like I am being a little green in the process.
The paint brushes I use are rounds or filberts. I have purchased them from a number of companies over the years, now I just go to Utrecht.
I have used a variety of palettes over the years, wooden, glass, plastic, all different shapes and sizes. I now prefer to use a discarded salad/pie container. I use the clear lid to place my paints. I then use the bottom as a lid and slip it into the freezer when not in use. Cooler temps keep the paint fresh.
As you can see from the current assortment of paint tubes on my table, I am not a purist when it comes to brand. Right now I am wanting to use up what I have. Maybe in the future I will be more brand loyal?
I don’t use a medium very often, if I do it is straight Linseed Oil. But, depending upon the effect and drying time there are a number of options. FYI Poppy Oil will extend the drying time, allowing you more open wet-in-wet time.
An easel is always handy. Again it depends upon your needs, but I prefer a french-style easel. I can keep the legs up, as I have here, and use it on a table top, or use with legs extended. The built in drawer of course is handy for storing and carrying supplies.
Lighting is of the utmost importance. North light is traditionally considered the best. But with the amazing full spectrum lights now on the market it possible to work just about anywhere. If you are like me and live in a rural area with few options, the internet is a wonderful thing!
I use a number of re-purposed t-shirts for rags in my studio area. I cut them into pieces about 8″ square and keep them near my work area at all times.
If I am working from photographs they are taped to the easel for easy access. If painting from life, it is placed to the right, away from the easel.
Note: I also use a small hand head mirror to check for accuracy. The fresh perspective it gives is wonderful!
So there you have it! 🙂