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Old 07-11-2018, 06:51 PM
nwflycaster nwflycaster is offline
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New and looking for supplies advice.

Hi Everyone,
I'm new to painting and looking for some advice on getting some decent supplies using my local Michaels store and taking advantage of their coupons to stock up.

What I'm looking for most is what sizes and types of brushes are used the most for oil painting and which one should I have multiple of.

I don't need the best quality obviously since I'm learning, but I also don't want anything that will make me struggle more because of poor quality. If it matters I'll mostly be painting landscapes.

Thanks in advance for the advice,
Jeff
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:31 PM
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

The following book will give you that information, It is specifically to paint landscapes, and costs only pennies:

https://www.amazon.com/Painting-Oil-...illiam+palluth

The best way to find out what brushes work best for you is to actually try them, there are several sets quite cheap that you could purchase to make exercises.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:16 PM
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

I would suggest Dick Blick online, or in person if you are near one. Michaels? I'm not sure of the quality or kind of materials you can get there. Aarron Bros. owns them, Aarron Bros sells student grade Winsor Newton oils at highter grade prices, dispicable if you ask me.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:21 PM
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

I would suggest the Gamblin 1980s introductory set, with a coupon you can pick it up for under 40$ and it has a good range of colors, a panel to paint on, and some solvent free medium. Then you just need a couple decent brushes, luckily for oil painting nearly any decent hog bristle will work wonderfully and is inexpensive, even Michaels store brand (Artist Loft). That should get you going, for painting surfaces as a beginner I generally feel that cardboard boxes or heavyweight drawing paper are fine for learning. I even have just cut up cereal boxes and painted on those, it doesn’t matter much as the lessons to learn with oil paint are mostly in handling qualities of the paint at the start.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:37 PM
Devorahdraws Devorahdraws is offline
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

Hey Jeff! i second the suggestion for the 1980s Gamblin set (it was the nicest set I saw when I last went to Michael's). My other recommendation is signing up for Plaza Art Supplies membership/mailing list. They ALSO often have good coupons and are a better art store. Even if you can't go in person, they will have an excellent coupon or two regularly. Plaza's house oils are actually the Shiva Richeson line too.

Also Jerry's Artarama has a website section called "Buy it/Try It" and you can get a Mimik Hog Filbert in #6 for like, $2.25! Plus that section also has canvases to try out of all kinds - panels, stretched canvas, and cotton canvas pads, all for usually under $5.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:58 AM
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Lazarus E Lazarus E is offline
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

i can refer you someone using cheap brush and van gogh oils with amazing results. so dont be tempting for expensive brushes to do the job for you.
you can find at dick blick or utracht which are the same, very good brushes for cheap prices. if they have georgian oils, i recommend over van gogh or winsor.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:03 AM
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

Without knowing the size you want to paint, there's no way anyone can tell you what size brushes you need.

Regardless. All you need to start is a few flat brushes, either hog or synthetic, a few tubes of paint from Van Gogh or Winton and a few cheap prestretched canvases or canvas pads.

Last edited by kinasi : 07-12-2018 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:03 AM
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwflycaster
Hi Everyone,
I'm new to painting and looking for some advice on getting some decent supplies using my local Michaels store and taking advantage of their coupons to stock up.

What I'm looking for most is what sizes and types of brushes are used the most for oil painting and which one should I have multiple of.
Michaels is good at categorizing their supplies in separate sections like student and artists professional grade. WN is all good, student or artist.
Brush sizes by their numbers vary and the size of canvas you want to paint varies, but there are two types that I use most, a small round brush for thin drawing outlines etc. at the beginning, then a medium size flat or filbert for the basic painting, then back to that same small round brush for the details and highlights at the end.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:18 AM
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kinasi kinasi is offline
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

Yes, a round helps for detail. Just don't feel forced to go buy the $80 sable kind. A $10 synthetic works just fine. Maybe one day you'll find that sables hold a bit more paint and release paint more evenly. Or maybe you'll simply stop caring altogether like me, I often don't even know if I'm holding my round sable or round synthetic and I've stopped caring (well, I have stopped caring for oils, for watercolor I still care).

Don't overfocus on material either. At the end of the day it actually does not matter all that much. The choices during painting you make is what determines almost everything, not which brush or brand you were holding at the time.

Last edited by kinasi : 07-12-2018 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:38 AM
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

Hi nwflycatcher and welcome to WC! The supplies you need depend so much on what and how you want to paint. It would be helpful if you could tell us that or show an example of the kinds of paintings you like. Some of the considerations are whether you like impastos (applications of thick paint) or thinner paint application including painting in layers or glazing (application of thin transparent layers). But if you don't have a preference yet, don't worry - you'll figure out what you like best as you gain experience.

That said, the recommendation of Gamblin 1980 oils is a good one. I used them at the beginning and still do for some painting tasks. Wintons are generally good for beginners too, especially if you hope to paint in an impasto style, since they're a bit thicker. Utrecht has a student line which I haven't tried but expect to be pretty good. I'd avoid the Blick student line except for the highly staining pigments such as the pthalos.

For brushes, some brands that I've found to be economical are Robert Simmons, the Utrecht brand which are also available at Blick stores, and Royal & Langnickel (the ones I have experience with are the SableTek line, which are soft brushes, especially useful for blending and glazing). Try to avoid sets of very inexpensive brushes, as they often aren't made with care and therefore have annoying flaws. Why put yourself through that frustration?
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Last edited by AnnieA : 07-12-2018 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:39 PM
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

I’m like you, a beginner, and I had the same questions on April .

I thought I needed small brushes for details, but now I often use bigger hog brushes around size 6-10... with flowers I use synthetic cheap brushes.

I also use one very big synthetic brush, around 1-2 inch for spreading primer, background.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:50 PM
nwflycaster nwflycaster is offline
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

Thank you all for the recommendations.

Humbaba- I'll be ordering the book as soon as I complete this post. I'll have to look further into his works, maybe he has the equivalent in seascapes also?

I have much to learn and with a still young family, very little time to which I can spend learning or practicing any art.

I have plenty of paints and canvases stocked up from past sales, but brushes is where I lack. I have a few but when I purchased a better quality liner brush recently to try on something the difference really opened up my eyes that I should probably get better brushes all around. I still don't know what I'm doing but if using better quality cuts the learning curve then that's the direction I want to go. At this point I would have no idea if I'm doing something incorrectly or if I have the wrong tool for the application I desire.

So far I've taken 1 short set of classes from the local art center and learned quite a bit of information, but was also a bit lost from information overload and I couldn't grasp it all or understand how it all works. More classes are in my future to hopefully remedy that.

Thank you again everyone for all the information. As a complete newbie I'm sure I'll have many more questions and unfortunately many will seam overly obvious and basic, but that's where I sit in this new adventure.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:51 PM
JCannon JCannon is offline
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

Hi. I'm the cheapest SOB in the history of cheap SOBs. Perhaps I may be of service here.

I always like to put in a good word for Shiva oil paints, since they offer pro paints at student prices. They're sold at Plaza Arts as their house brand.

If you live in a town with a Plaza Arts, get a couple of Groupons when they are running a special. (When Groupon offers an additional discount, pounce!) Twenty bucks worth of Groupons will buy forty bucks worth of art supplies. That's enough to purchase the $33 six-tube introductory Plaza Art (Shiva) oil paint set, and you'll still have some money left over. I suggest some Masters brush cleaner.

The "artists quality" materials at Michaels are not all that great, frankly. Still, I think Michaels can be a good place for cheap brushes, especially since you can almost always find a 50 percent off coupon.

Unlike many contributors here, I think that one should collect low-grade brushes as well as good brushes. Sometimes you just need a brush that you can use for frenzied slamming and scrubbing and stabbing and slashing without worrying about how much money the thing cost. (Think of Kirk Douglas attacking his canvas at the end of Lust For Life: "It's IMPOSSIBLE! IMPOSSIBLE!") Michaels used to offer -- and may STILL offer -- a collection of bristle brushes of various sizes wrapped in a canvas carrying sack. I find them useful for all sorts of purposes, not just painting. The 5 buck super value pack includes a lot of sleazy, cheesy brushes. They're not good, but they still have their uses, and the plastic palette knives are fine for mixing paint.

You can find ultra-cheap brushes from China via ebay. Most of them are pretty awful, but there are some nice ones in there. The fan brushes are REALLY nice. Soft and luxurious.

Cheap make-up brushes can serve as blender brushes in oil painting.

Over time, you'll want to collect nicer brushes, especially if you do realistic work. Kolinsky is the best natural fiber; look for makers like W&N, Raphael, Isabey and Escoda. These are expensive. That's just a fact of life.

I've learned not to disdain the better synthetics. The Escoda Prado is almost as good as their Kolinsky. The Princeton 3950SL (hard to find) has proven invaluable for crisp details. The blue-handled Princeton 3750 line (easy to find) is very inexpensive, and usually does the job.

Collect every kind of brush you can get hold of, because only experimentation can tell you what truly works for you.

I went through a period where I experimented with all sorts of mediums, but the truth is, all you truly need is a solvent (usually OMS) and an oil. Most artists use linseed oil, but walnut oil (the choice of Raphael and Leonardo) also works, though it dries a bit slower. Spectrum Natural Walnut Oil (the kind without additives) is inexpensive and available at the classier grocery stores. You may want to add in an alkyd drier like Liquin or Galkyd. Lead fishing sinkers in your medium can speed up drying time.

A big concern is something to paint on. Costs can add up here. When I started out (more years ago than I care to recall), everyone used canvas, but today's artists have learned, once again, the virtues of panel.

MDF at the hardware store is still pretty cheap, though I noticed that the price has gone up. Here's a secret: Free wood panels are EVERYWHERE if you look for them.

Walk through alleys on trash day. Cast-off furniture may prove useful. You probably already have something in your garage or basement. Ask your friends.

Cut the panel to your preferred size and prepare the panel with a sealer. GAC-100 is commonly recommended, though you can use Kilz or a similar primer from the hardware store. Over this first coat, put a number of layers of Gesso, using a cheap foam brush from the dollar store. Since I like an absorbent panel, I often use inexpensive student-grade gesso mixed with a good amount of marble dust or talc (in the form of baby powder). Some artists hate an absorbent panel, so you'll have to experiment in order to determine your own needs. Sand the panel eggshell-smooth. (Sandpaper is another expense, alas.)

A piece of tempered glass works nicely as a palette, if you can find one that is the right size. Tape a sheet of paper to the reverse side, and tape up the edges of the glass, if those edges are sharp.

Finally, you'll need a varnish. For me, there is only one choice: Gamvar.

Last edited by JCannon : 07-12-2018 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:42 PM
Michael Lion Michael Lion is offline
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

Everything at Michaels is list price. You can literally get stuff for half the price at dickblick.com. For example, right now Winsor & Newton Artists Oils are on sale for only $6.30/tube, 50% off list price.

For landscapes I use Princeton Catalyst Polytip short-handle brushes, brights, sizes 2, 4 and 6. If you want to experiment with filberts, buy them in the same sizes, 2, 4 and 6. Assuming you are doing small paintings.

And for detail and painting tree trunk and branches, Princeton Umbria, short-handle, rounds, sizes 2, 4 and 6.

All the brushes I recommended above are pretty inexpensive. Warning: the polytip catalyst brushes become frizzy after using them a few times, it's part of their charm.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:05 PM
nwflycaster nwflycaster is offline
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Re: New and looking for supplies advice.

Thank you JCannon, lots of information there.

I'm now signed up for the Plaza emails, unfortunately the nearest neighborhood store is roughly 2,000 miles away, but I can always ship.

You and a few others above all talk highly of the Shiva paints, so as I go through what I have I'll try replacing with those and give them a try. I think as soon as I see a sale I'll get a few of the brushes mentioned to try out also and start building up my collection. Now if only I could find someone that sells painting fairies that could sit on my shoulder and teach my how to paint better.

Thank you Michael, I'll give those brushes a try also.

Last edited by nwflycaster : 07-12-2018 at 07:07 PM.
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