Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Supplies

I'm often asked what type of paint supplies I use to achieve that nice thick impasto texture so I thought I would share with you my go-to's. Since I work in both oils and acrylics depending on the size and project, I'll share both of my lists. There is nothing like the beautiful buttery consistency of oil paint, however, acrylic paints have come a long way in the past decade and the heavy body paints and mediums that I mention below almost mimic the textural qualities of oils. Below are some of my favorite supplies that will give you an introduction to textural painting at an affordable price point. Enjoy! (**This is not sponsored by any of the following companies, it is simply my best of best list)

Oil Painting Supplies

1. Gamblin Titanium White Oil. This will help you achieve a nice buttery consistency and is about $50 for a 16oz can from Dick Blick. I tend to use at least three times the white as I do other colors combined, and even though I normally paint oils in small scale, it's more cost efficient for me to buy in cans.

2. Mediums. Liquin Impasto Medium is a semi-gloss, quick-drying, non-yellowing medium perfect for palette knives and will retain crisp textures. Another medium I enjoy that creates a softer texture is Gamblin cold wax. It is made of beeswax and will dry no harder than a candle, so it's important to only mix in about 1/4 wax to 1 part oil paint for a nice smooth, matte finish.

Below:Detail of piece using cold wax medium

3. Colored Oil Paints. In terms of selecting which brand of colored oil paints to purchase, I use a range from Winsor & Newton, M. Graham, and Gamblin. I suggest buying small tubes of the colors and experimenting until you find which colors you like. You'll be surprised at the differences in prices, heaviness of texture, and brilliance of colors across brands. I always buy exclusively through Dick Blick since they almost always offer discounts and free shipping for large orders.

Acrylic Painting Supplies

1. Dick Blick Titanium White. For acrylic painting I generally stock up on large jars of Dick Blick Titanium White. Similar to my oil painting process, I generally go through at least one jar of white per painting while using small amounts of color from other tubes.

Above:Impasto texture using acrylic paints.

2. Colored Tubes. For bright beautiful colors that maintain their peaks I like to use a range of tubes including Liquitex Heavy Body and Golden Heavy Body. It is important to only buy the "Heavy Body" variety because the "Soft Body" will flatten out while drying. Some of my favorites include manganese blue, cadmium red, pthalo blue, prussian blue, and sap green (all by Liquitex). Golden also has a range of beautiful heavy body acrylics, with some of my favorites being their hansa yellow medium and florescent pink. These tend to be a little pricier than other brands so you may just want to sample one or two to see if you can tell the difference.

3. Heavy Gloss Gel Medium. I also always use the super heavy gloss gel medium by Liquitex, which can create sculptural effects that maintain their high peaks. I prefer the gloss for a nice shine, but they also have matte if you prefer.

Knives and Canvas

1. Palette Knives. I suggest purchasing at least five different knives in a range of sizes and shapes and playing around until you find your go-to favorites. There are many brands on the market but you should always get stainless steel if possible to prevent rusting and in my opinion they tend to bend less easily than other types. You can find knives by Liquitex for around $8.

2. Canvas or Wood. For an affordable, good quality canvas I like to go with Dick Blick Premier Cotton Canvas. If you are planning on framing, the 7/8" profile canvas will give you a much broader and affordable range of framing options, but if you would like the gallery wrapped look with painted edges I would go with the 1.5" profile. Another option is cradled wood panels. I like the Blick panels with 1 5/8" sides, but you do have to gesso the surface beforehand so it does have an extra step. Alternatively you can purchase pre-gessoed panels for a small extra cost.

I hope this has provided you with some useful information for starting out as a textural painter or simply trying something new. Any questions?? Let me know, I'm always happy to offer suggestions or answer questions. Have fun!!