Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Favorite Art Materials...

As an artist, I'm constantly being asked about my favorite art-brands and materials. There are so many wonderful products on the market today that it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming just to search through the many stores, catalogs, and websites, to find what I need. I've found however that doing personal research -and ultimately testing the materials for myself- is just about the most beneficial method of making choices that I can feel good about where my art supplies are concerned. 
Another great way of getting started though is to find out what products other artists are using, and give them a try. So, here I've compiled an updated list of what I use to make my art...

 Please note: I'm not the final authority on the subject of art-materials by any means (nor am I endorsed by any of the companies mentioned here), and my own list has certainly evolved over the years. But, I wanted to share with you a little of what I know, in the hopes that you'll take it -and perhaps adopt parts that you need from it- and expand from there.
Due to the number of emails I receive daily, I'm no longer able to answer them individually. Please read through the list below and contact your local art supply store, or the companies mentioned, with questions regarding the materials listed.



Windsor & Newton

~Alizerin Crimson
~Cadmium Red
~Cadmium Yellow Pale
~Permanent Rose
~Terra Rosa
~Yellow Ocher Pale


~Cadmium Lemon
~Cadmium Yellow Deep
~Cadmium Orange
~Cobalt Blue Light
~Transparent Oxide Red
~Transparent Oxide Brown
~Ultramarine Blue Deep


~Cadmium Green Light


~King's Blue

Lefranc & Bourgeois 

~Titanium White

Other recommended brands:
Holbein, Gamblin, Old Holland


 I use canvas made by New Traditions Art Panels www.newtraditionsartpanels.com 
 L600 primed linen is very smooth and is available on birch or gatorfoam boards. It's also available by the roll.


My favorite brushes come from Rosemary & Co! www.rosemaryandco.com 

 I use the following series' in all available sizes:

 2025 "Chunking" bristle, long flats

"Ivory" filberts and flats.

"Mongoose" series' 272 (rounds [smaller sizes]), 275 (angular), 278 (filberts), 279 (flats)


I make my own medium using three ingredients and a ratio of 5-1-1: Rectified Turpentine (five parts), Stand Oil (one part), and Damar Varnish (one part). 
Mix all three ingredients in a lidded jar (using the 5-1-1 ratio), and use as needed to thin paints while painting.


  1. Hi Daniel,thank you for you time and help.You are great man and great teacher!!!Tony from Czech Republik

  2. Hi Daniel, thanks for supply list, but I do not recall where to buy the templates for doing the color charts. Enjoyed your last June wkshp in Carmel! Mary from Spokane

    1. Hi Mary,

      Try www.colorfrontier.com

      Happy Painting!

  3. Great post! Thanks Daniel, I'll try out the medium!

  4. Thanks for the info, Daniel; what does adding the damar varnish do? I'm trying out OMS and stand oil 50/50 right now- it's still new to me.

    1. Adding Damar gives some "stickiness" to the medium, allowing the paint to stick to the substrate while also gliding on with the aid of the other two ingredients.

      Gamblin has a wonderful glossary of mediums that is quite interesting to read, even if you make your own... http://www.gamblincolors.com/mediums/index.html

      Hope this helps!

    2. Thanks Daniel- I think I will try adding some Damar, unless it's too smelly- I worry about that kind of stuff.
      I appreciate your helpfulness, and your talent!

  5. Thank you for the great information. I must try the New Traditions Art panels. Look forward to your future posts.

  6. Thank you very much Daniel for your information.

  7. Thanks Daniel for your information.

  8. Daniel, I love your work, I'm from Brazil, plastic artist, you've got in my face, you think you can import this material do you use?
    Thank you for your attention!! hugs

    1. I'm not sure whether or not each of these products are available in your part of the world. You'll need to look them up online and find out to be sure. I hope you can find what you need to get started!

      Stay inspired!

  9. If anyone has great passion for art. So, exploring art materials is very essential for young minds.Artist expresses his great emotions through its designs and colors that he puts down along with his imagination on canvas.

  10. Hi...

    Making pictures, photography and painting is the best examples of Art. Its a good way to make creations by your unique ideas from your own mind..

  11. Hi Daniel

    Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. Your videos have been extremely helpful for me as a beginner.

    I have a quick question, are the brushes that you recommend above okay for large canvasses? I'm painting on approx 1.5m x 2m canvasses.

    I'm based in Mauritius and will have to order them online and just want to make sure before I go ahead.

    Thanks very much.

  12. Hi Daniel -

    I was scrolling through Richard Schmid's facebook page, and found the announcement about your Small Treasures show last November. Tucked in the corner was your DVD "Antique Jar & Summer Fruit." I was so impressed with your painting of roses, I downloaded your DVD and watched it immediately. Wow. You are some accomplished artist. And that was the only instructional DVD I have ever seen that showed the palette and mixing colors. That is hugely helpful! Question: Do you use walnut oil as a medium now?

    Jane Lawton