Wednesday 6 December 2017

Equipment #1 Oil Paint

A fellow artist asked me to do a post about the equipment I use. I thought this was a good idea as I'm interested in what others use and can often learn and get ideas.
So I hope to do four posts on my equipment especially around plein air painting (outside painting). This can be translated into studio work as well.
It was tricky putting this post together as my equipment changes as I change and develop but here it as at this point! 

Oil Paint
Comprises of the 3 primaries, a warm & cool of each, an earth and whites.

Scarlet Lake (orange red)  Mixes well with Cad Yellows & muting greens
Permanent Rose (pink red) Lovely purples with Ultramarine, intense needs controlling

Ultramarine (has violet in, a dark tone) good all rounder for mixing Michael Harding rich colour, use a lot for mixing with Burnt Sienna
Cerulean (greenie, like turquoise, light tone) Great skies & water nice mixed with Naples Yellow

Naples Yellow Deep (warm & light tone) skies work well with this colour
Cadmium Yellow Lemon (cool greenie) strong, acidic light in tone, mixes well with Ultramarine for a clean green
Cadmium yellow (rich & warm) Use a lot of sunrise sunsets great mixer and 
Yellow Ochre (opaque) good for earthy greens and darker in tone than Naples Yellow

Burnt Sienna (mid brown) wonderful greys mixed with Ultramarine, love the M.Harding colour of this

Titanium (strong opaque),  Zinc (soft strength semi translucent),  Warm (medium strength good mixer)

The colours really differ between brands and I'm now leaning towards Michael Harding paint although it's on the top end of cost its quality is amazing as you only need a little to tint a colour mix for example their Cadmium Yellow Lemon is so powerful usually lemon yellow is a bit wishie washy not this, you just need a smidge to change the colour of your mix.
You can see which colours I use the most by the size of the tubes

The occasional use tubes (see pic) I will add extra to my palette depending where I go to paint eg a seascape I will add my two extra blues: Cobalt & Kings Blue Deep.
The Manganese Blue is a translucent version of the Cerulean, nice colour and useful for early stages in a painting when you want it thinner and translucent.
Raw Umber this used to be a favourite earth it's great for mixing with other paint to mute colours down also a greeny earth colour good for tree mixes.

Whites are important as we use so much of them in oil painting. I find Jackson Artist Titanium white good, and excellent value. Warm White is useful when you want a warm tint instead of the Titanium cool. Zinc is new for me, it's good for tinting a mix without loosing the colour to milkiness.

The ridged paint tubes - I have a tool to get all the paint out the tube! I will put on another equipment post.

I have written the next equipment post on brushes do sign up to receive my posts so you don't miss the next one. If this post has been helpful please leave a comment, and if you have any questions I welcome feedback. Thank you, Clare


  1. To any aspiring artist, this information is sooooo helpful. Very many thanks for taking the time to do this so thoughtfully.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to share. As a beginning artist it's reassuring to see some of my own choices validated by someone of your ability.

    1. Thank you for letting me know. I'm pleased its helpful to you :-)

  3. I love reading about what other people use as I dither from one selection to another - then take them all with me ‘just in case’. I will put a limited carefully chosen selection in my painting bag - then throw all the others in anyway. There is no hope for me!

    1. Thanks Nettypoole it is tricky deciding what to take paint colour wise. I use a Palette Garage which stores all your paint in it so no need to take tubes with you! I will be putting this item it in a future equipment post. Clare