We all have our own working styles and that’s as it should be. This set of guidelines is designed to help avoid most of the problems painters tend to encounter.

EASEL:  Make sure you have access to a stable, working easel. And even though this seems obvious, it is not - make sure you can see what you are doing. (easels are available at The Red House when painting there)

REFERENCES:  If you are working from references other than nature, make sure that they are adequate to your needs.

o   Good photographs can be very helpful.

o   Bad photographs can help sometimes, but they can drive you crazy too.

o   Printed stuff ( magazines, calendars, internet ) is usually terrible.

SURFACES:  I’ve painted on just about everything, and each different goal has its own needs. Make sure that your surface is prepped - gessoed or oiled or sanded down or whatever - as long as it is ready to receive paint. You don’t want surprises.

BRUSHES:  Everyone has their favorites. Just make sure that they are in good shape. Painting with a crummy old brush is like trying to cook on a hot rock - it’s possible, but ugh.

Odorless thinner, and whatever medium you prefer. Paper towels.

Palette cups, rags, painting knife, pliers, and all that stuff.

COLORS: Okay, this gets interesting. I use a casual mix of alkyds and oils, mostly to control drying time (Titanium white oil takes a week to dry - the alkyd dries overnight). I usually have something like 14 colors out (it changes all the time) and they can be divided into two categories:

o   Opaque Colors:  Titanium white, the cadmiums ( yellow, orange, red, green ) yellow ochre, cerulean blue, and ivory black.

o   Transparent Colors:  Indian yellow, transparent orange, alizarin crimson, sap green, Phthalo blue, and ultramarine blue deep.

You don’t need them all of course, but choices are nice.

QUESTIONS?  Call Martin at:  607-962-5988