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My palette
The wood sides are useful to contain the paint but aren't necessary.  You can buy a piece of glass (about 11X14 is good), back it with a piece of neutral gray paper or mat board and then with a piece of masonite or thin plywood and then wrap duct tape around the edges to hold it all together.  It is easy to clean with a razor blade scraper and a quick wipe with a little alcohol.

CANVAS - ESSENTIAL -Good quality OIL OR LEAD PRIMED LINEN canvas, or boards.  9 x 12, 11 x 14 or any small to medium size you are comfortable with.  This is VERY IMPORTANT as you will not be able to apply washes and “lift” paint on cotton or acrylic canvas.  I would recommend Raymar’s ArtFix panels L-64.  They are very good quality linen panels.  Also fine is Centurian OP DLX Pad, 12 x 16 or smaller - these are pads that come with around 10 sheets that you mount on a piece of Masonite with tape.

Click here for instructions for my "do-it-yourself" panels

MEDIUM -I don’t use much medium, but when I do I use traditional Meyer’s medium (5 part real distilled turpentine, not Gamsol,  1 part damar varnish, 1 part stand oil), or sometimes I use a little walnut oil.   Anything you like to use is fine.

SOLVENT - Gamsol, with a large container to clean brushes.  It’s very important to keep brushes clean while painting and you cannot do this with a tiny container.

PAPER TOWELS   - VIVA ONLY!!  Please note - Viva is making a new product similar to Bounty.  Make sure you get the old “cloth” type.



PALETTE - a glass palette is highly recommended - Paper palettes make it very difficult to keep your paint clean.  See below for a photo of the palette I use and instructions for making a simple one.

PAINT-  These (plus more) are the paints I use.  If you already have lots of paint, please don’t think you need to go out and buy all of these.  The most important are the Rembrandt Transparent oxide red, Viridian, and Transparent Oxide Brown.

Titanium White - any good brand.

           Rembrandt - viridian, ultramarine deep, cobalt blue light, transparent oxide red, transparent oxide brown,, cad yellow deep. Optional- stil de grain yellow, transparent yellow green

           Winsor Newton - terra rosa, alizarin permanent, yellow ochre pale, magenta, permanent rose

Michael Harding - cad red, cad yellow, optional - lemon yellow, brilliant pink

Don’t feel you need to buy all these paints, I’m happy to squeeze a little for you to try.

BRUSHES - These are a sampling of the brushes I use, - if you have your own good brushes please don’t feel you have to buy anything new.  However, once you’ve tried some of these, you will love them!  Really good brushes will make your painting experience so much more fun.  Rosemary Brushes offers a starter bundle of my preferred brushes which is a great way to sample a nice variety.

I use only Rosemary brushes, found at  They come from England but usually arrive in 1½ weeks or less and shipping is inexpensive.

Badger Blend  series 272,274,278,279 - variety of small to medium, one large Series 279 #12
        Series 275  3/8” angular
Ivory Dagger, ¼ inch 
For a fine point brush - Ivory round #2/0, #0, or shiraz #2/0
Ivory Long  Flats, some small (#2) and a couple of larger #4, #10)
Series 77 Sables, various sizes, series 81 #4 & # 10.
Evergreen Flats - various sizes & angular
Ultimate Bristles - flats or filberts, various medium to large sizes
Eclipse - Flats and angular

The soft brushes are very important, and it’s good to have at least one larger one.  And again, please don’t feel that you have to buy all of these.

I’ve listed a lot of brushes, I don’t expect anyone to purchase all of them.  As I said, my brush bundle contains a nice sample, especially if you add the large 279 #12.  I will bring a Rosemary & Co. catalog with me also.

For Plein Air Classes :
Bug Spray
Stool (optional, for watching demo’s)
Good Plein Air setup - I use Open Box M and EDGE Pro, the sketchbook.
  Please test your setup before the workshop and make sure everything is in good working order - sturdy tripod legs with good catch/release.  Especially if your set up is brand new, it’s a good idea to try it out before the workshop.
I can’t stress enough how important comfort is when painting outside - your equipment will make a difference in having a good experience.