What Paints & Medium Do You Use?

Roberta from Panama recently wrote A nice letter asking me what colors of paints, tube sizes and mediums I use. Some of the mediums I use are difficult to ship from the US due to tightened security over the past 2 years.

Let me start-off by stating I use three sets of the 19 paint colors. These colors cover all of the types of paintings I like to paint including landscapes, seascapes, florals, tall ships, wildlife, pets, portraits, still life and figures.

I use 19 colors of paints.

Three sets include: A set for painting in the studio, a set for painting plein-aire and the set I use for teaching on location. If you are not an instructor, than you would only need 2 sets of paints. And if you never go on location to paint, than you can do quite nicely with just one set of paints.

1. My studio paints which I use most of the time. I store these paints in my waist high rolling tool cabinet that has five drawers for organization. The top drawer contains my paints, with brushes and other supplies in the drawers below. I generally have a large tube of all 19 colors in the top drawer.

2. My field easel for going on location has a storage container for paints and one for brushes. I carry a set of small tubes for each of the 19 colors. Sometimes, I’ll carry a second small tube of Titantium white.

3. For classes in which I must supply all of the paints, I use an assortment of large tubes and small tubes as follows:

    Large Tubes of Paints (200 ml or 5 oz)

1. Sap Green
2. Alizarin Crimson
3. Burnt Umber (Van Dyke Brown)
4. Burnt Sienna (Dark Sienna)
5. Paynes Gray
6. Cad Yellow
7. Yellow Ochre
8. Titanium White

Small Tubes of Paints (37 ml or 1.5 oz)
1. Ivory Black
2. Prussian Blue
3. Pthalo Blue
4. French Ultramarine Blue
5. Pthalo Green
6. Indian Yellow
7. Cad Red Light
8. Purple
9. Orange
10. Raw Sienna
11. Raw Umber

Medium Formula
1. 2 oz Linseed Oil
2. 10 oz Odorless Turpentine
3. 24 drops Cobalt or Japan Drier (1 drop per ounce)

To make medium white, or medium gray or medium name-your-color for a blank canvas, I add a small amount of paint to the medium and brush onto the canvas.