The quality, availability, and variety of modern-day art supplies are like nothing the old masters imagined.

Unfortunately, there are so many choices, and sorting through it all can make one’s head spin.

But you don’t need every fancy color or gizmo the art suppliers come up with so they can grab your money. A limited selection of tools and materials and you’re set.

My recommendation is to experiment and narrow it down. Simplify your process, and remember, the real work is done by the artist, not the tools.

Recommended Brands:
Old Holland, Gamblin, Williamsburg, Vasari
(Avoid student-grade oils…I beg you)

4 Color Palette

Mixed White # 2–Old Holland
Raw Sienna
Alizarin Crimson
Ivory Black

8-Color Palette

Mixed White #2
Raw Sienna
Alizarin Crimson
Ivory Black
Yellow Ochre Light
Raw Umber
Sap Green

Full Palette

Mixed White # 2
Raw Sienna
Alizarin Crimson
Ivory Black
Naples Yellow
Yellow Ochre Light
Raw Umber
Sap Green
Burnt Sienna
Cadmium Red Light
Cobalt Blue (Optional)

Canvas or Wood Panels
Stretched Linen Canvas or Wood Panel
Size–as Large as You’re Comfortable With

Toning (Grounding) the Painting Surface

-Dampen surface with Gamsol

-Mix equal parts of Ivory Black and Raw Sienna

-Spread small amount of paint mixture around the canvas

-Dampen a cotton cloth with Gamsol

-Rub the paint into the weave of the canvas with the dampened cloth.

-Use bold strokes and let the color be uneven & transparent. Tone should be a warm, medium-light grey

-Let dry for at least 48 hrs.

Metal Medium Cups
Paper Towels
Small Plastic Bag for Trash

Gamsol + Stand Oil

-Start with pure Gamsol for the first painting session
-Gradually increase the amount of stand oil in subsequent sessions. A.K.A., Fat Over Lean-first 10% stand oil, then 20%, etc.

Robert Simmons Bristle Filberts:
# 2, 6, 8, 10,12 (at least two of each, the more the better and the bigger is better)

Palette Knife, Triangular-Shaped
Wood Palette, Oil out with Linseed Oil (if new)

Drawing Materials
Sketch Paper (any kind, for quick sketches)

For Finished Drawings: Strathmore 400, or Arches Watercolor Paper (Hot Press)
Clipboard-to Mount Paper

Soft Vine Charcoal: Windsor Newton or Grumbacher
General’s Charcoal Pencils-2B & 4b
Graphite Pencils-2H H, HB, 2B

Single-Edge Razor Blades for Sharpening
Kneadable Erasers