My Oil Painting Supplies

This is a small post on what I use when I do my oil painting.  I am no expert on oil painting, this is just what I am using right now, while I am learning.  It takes a long time for my oil paintings to dry. That is natural with all oil paintings, as opposed to watercolors or acrylics, but the paints that I use have walnut oil in them, which, I have heard, causes them to dry even more slowly. The medium that I used is supposed to speed up drying, but I didn’t use very much of it, if at all, and it doesn’t appear to have affected the speed of the drying time.

The paints that I use, because of the color, less toxicity, and price, are M. Graham oil paints. I love the color intensity, although there are others that are beautiful, too.  As far as toxicity is concerned, it is probably more of a problem with the solvents, mediums, etc., that you use.  I believe that most paints are as toxic/non-toxic as most others, but when I bought them, I didn’t know that.  Certain pigments are more toxic than others, but unless you are eating them, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.  Don’t eat in your studio and wash your hands often.  You do not have to use turpentine or paint thinner or any of the other toxic substances for thinning or cleaning up.  You can use some of the non-toxic artist materials or you can even use edible vegetable oils.  (Although, I would argue that industrial vegetable oils are NOT edible, but that is for another blog post on another blog…)  Oils found in the grocery store will work to clean the oil paint from your wet brushes and then, if you are not going to use them for a few days, you can wash them with soap and water and let them dry.  I get my brushes as clean as I can with oil and a paper towel.  I then scrub them across as bar of soap and rinse, soap and rinse, several times, until they are totally clean.  I leave them in a horizontal position, never standing upright, to dry.  That way the water will run out instead of into the wood handle.

The colors I have right now are Alizarin Crimson (cool), Ultramarine Blue (I don’t know if it is cool or warm), Azo Yellow (warm), Ivory Black (I don’t know the temp), Burnt Umber (cool), and Titanium White (cool).  I plan to add to my palette so that I have a good range of cools and warms.  The following colors are what I would like to add in the future:  Naphthol Red (warm), Cerulean Blue (? the blues can fight it out on my palette), Pthalo Blue (cool, I think), Hansa Yellow (cool), Burnt Sienna (warm), Zinc White (cool, but more transparent than Titanium).  I think the black that I have is sufficient as of now.

I have several mediums and a couple of cleaners.  I am experimenting with them to see which ones work best for me.  I will eventually use them all up, but then, hopefully, I will settle into my usuals.  I have some Venice Turpentine, Refined Stand Oil, Odorless Mineral Spirits, Walnut Oil Medium, Solvent-free Fluid Medium, Solvent-free Gel Medium, and Turpenoid Natural.  The venice turpentine, stand oil, mineral spirits, and walnut oil were bought to make a recipe for a slow drying medium from an artist online who takes a LONG time to paint one painting, so he has to keep his painting wet for very long periods of time.  I admired his work, so I thought I needed his recipe.  NO!  It takes SO LONG for the paint to dry that I will not be using that.  I do not want to be a copy machine, so I will not work on a painting for months.  I’m glad that I got very small bottles of each of those.  I can use them for cleaning brushed, but I will not use them for painting medium.  I used the Turpenoid Natural for medium, once, but I don’t like it.  It was okay, but the smell is too much for me.  It is supposed to be natural, but natural stuff can stink.  I will only use it for cleaning brushes, but only until I have used up my supply and then I will probably not order it again.  It stinks up the whole studio and I would rather not have that.  The solvent-free mediums are okay.  I will use those until they are gone and then I will probably go to plain old reliable walnut oil or linseed oil or something like that.  Actually, I rarely use medium, right now.  But, when I do the plain oils will probably work just fine.

The supports that I use are cheapo canvases and canvas-textured artboards, right now.  Once I start making my own original oil paintings, I will look into wood and good canvas.  Maybe even stretch my own!

Brushes I use are average price, usually Princeton, but sometimes Robert Simmons, usually bristle brushes, but sometimes a nice soft nylon or something for blending.  Nothing special in brushes right now.

Other supplies are paper towels and an apron.  That’s all I can think of, right now.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s