Tools of the Trade

Flat Wash and Glaze brush

A good flat 1 inch brush is essential for painting gradated washes in watercolor.They do not have to be expensive...just make sure they have a good spring to them and are not to floppy

When an artist or student gets ready to paint or start any artistic study, they are going to need art supplies from a dependable source.

With the convenience of ordering online, the days of getting big fat catalogs in the mail seem to be dwindling. Fewer suppliers are spending the time and money to mail and produce those catalogs. So you go to the computer… start typing in art supplies and are hit over the head with page after page of suppliers. Who can you trust? How do you know they are for “real”?

 Even if you decide which supplier you are going to try, the time it takes to navigate the endless pages can get rid of the urge to order pretty quickly!  Maybe I can help you out. I will post suggestions of my favorite suppliers and supplies I recommend and use  here  on my web site …First a Few brushes and some information about them…

Brush Up For Talent
 There are 3 questions I receive at every workshop, demonstration, or anytime folks see me painting.
What brush are you using?
What brand and number is it?
Where do I get them?
They are interested in finding and using the brushes I use because they see how well they seem to work.
Below is a list of my favorites and where you can get them. They are affordable, well-made and easy to use.
 Robert Simmons is a well known and popular brand of brushes. They are affordable and well designed for comfort. 
My favorites for water medias are
Student Grade:  Simply Simmons Series- all priced the same at $3.95
{www.Dick Blick Art} I would get a variety of rounds from a # 4-10 order no. 06725
      Also you may want to get brights in sizes from 4-12
For this great price… get a sample of each rounds, brights, scripts, etc. They are all good.

 Robert Simmons Expressions Script Liners are a staple I can’t live without. My picks: 05254-1002 {Dick Blick}
                                     06702-1003 [Dick Blick}
For oil or acrylics you may want to get a variety of large hog bristle brushes. I don’t usually spend a lot of money on these because I use them mainly for scrubbing and the laying in of underpaintings.
My picks: Black Scholastic Series Brights order sizes from 05950-8 to at least 05950-1012   also get a couple of fan brushes #05951-100
Finally the jewels of the oil brushes for me are Royal Langnickle Series 5000. I find these at www.Jerry’s Website.
 I like the short brights 5015 get  # 2- #12. Short or long handles. Get a couple of their filberts too [for florals.]
There you are … my favorites. Just get what your budget allows. And then use them until you are familiar with the way they feel, what the stroke looks like on your paper or canvas.

Want to learn to watercolor, but do not know what to buy? This is the list of beginnning supplies Iwould have my students purchase…

You don’t have to follow this list to the letter. I prefer to work with pigment from tubes, . Use student grade watercolors to cut down on price .
DO NOT scrimp on paper… you will pay for it in frustration and wasted time. Basic brushes are a large wash at least 1 inch or more… flat. Several sizes of Rounds [in sableine or soft nylon] 2, 4, 8, Script Liner 1,or2    Bristle Fan brush *8  Bristle Flat 1/4 in.

Watercolor paints in tubes.Clean large plastic palette or  enamel butchers tray
 The following 10 colors are a minimum basic palette and a good place to begin.
Cadmium Yellow
New Gamboge
Cadmium Red Scarlet or Grumbacher Red or Napthol Red
Alizarin Crimson
Ultramarine Blue
Cerulean Blue
 Thalo Blue
Burnt Sienna
Viridian or Hooker’s Green Deep
Paynes Gray
Raw Sienna
Lamp Black
Chinese White or small tube of acrylic white
Masking Fluid
140# cold pressed De Arches watercolor paper in sheets
and a practice pad 140# cold pressed  watercolor paper
in Strathmore or Canson Brand 9×12
 A set of Washable markers {Children’s kind}
Notebook Binder with rings to save lessons in.
 A small sketchbook
4h pencilsand other various pencils to use for sketching.
Plastic Page savers for your notebook
Masking tape …sponge… drawing board for stretching paper on.
Erasers kneaded is best… rubber leaves residue  and sometimes can scratch paper.

After the rain watercolor painting by Jamie Carter

After the rain watercolor painting by Jamie Carter

Now for you Oil painters… this list is tried and true.

Paints Grumbacher Academy or Winton (economical student  brands)
Grumbacher Red
Alizarin Crimson
Phtalo Blue and or Ultramarine Blue
Cadmium Yellow Light Hue
Raw Sienna [extra Yellow]
Titanium White
Ivory Black or Paynes gray
 Squirt out ample amounts of each color and pre-mix your values. Put the color on the edge of the palette not in the middle…that is where you mix and/or put paint on your brush.
Linseed Oil can be used alone in small amounts as a medium.
 To clean your brush dip and wipe … no stirring. Continue until linseed oil is all you see on the brush…then rinse with soap and water.
Mineral Spirits [if you just have to have something to make a soupy wash of color with.]

Gesso To prepare the canvas surface with … let it dry before you paint.

#12 or 1 inch flat  Hog-bristle
#1 Script Liner
1/4 inch to 1/2 inch sabelon flat
extra #5 sablon Round
#8 Fan bristle brush

12×16 canvas board or stretched canvas {better}

Table wooden easel  for indoor use or portable pochade type “box” easel for outdoor “plien-aire” painting

Disposable Palette or cardboard covered with freezed paper  approx. 9×12 or 11×14
old bath towel
Palette knife trowel shaped small size
 Sketchbook and pen or pencil. Make those thumbnail “planning” sketches and use them!

Bluebonnet Trail Oil Painting by Jamie Carter

Bluebonnet Trail Oil Painting by Jamie Carter

Here is an outstanding supplier that I know delivers the supplies in good condition and without security worries. I ran an art shop and gallery for 24 years… other than wholesale sources … Dick Blick was the most timely and dependable for me and my retail shoppers/students. The supplies were fresh, and were rarely damaged during shipment.

I know they  are good for their word, and they run wonderful sales and promotions.
When you are ready, just click on the banners below.

To purchase your art supplies from the same art supplier Jamie
uses and trusts, go to http://www. and click on the banner “Artists Pick Blick.” You can scroll through all their departments and make your choices.

Links To Suppliers: - Online Art Supplies

Recommended Books

How To Become A Famous ArtistHow to Become a Famous Artist and Still Paint Pictures by W. Joe Innis

Hands down, one of the best books that I recommend to all my art students is How to Become a Famous Artist and Still Paint Pictures by W. Joe Innis.

This book is a timeless classic that will make you laugh plus you will learn what it means to “be” an artist and all the pimples and bumps that come with it.

Mr. Innis is a successful international artist who offers a no-holds-barred approach to making it in the arts and selling your work.

Other Books I recommend and that can be purchased through Amazon:

Alla Prima By Richard Schmidt

Alla Prima By Richard Schmidt

Fifteen years in preparation, this must have book offers to painters the wisdom and technical savvy of a lifetime. Writing as an acknowledged master, Richard Schmid leads his reader gracefully through the fundamentals and subtleties of painting technique with refreshing clarity, authority and deep affection to all who strive for self-expression, regardless of their level of skill. Soon to be in its tenth printing, it is treasured by artists worldwide. If you can only afford one book on oil painting and truley want to learn… this one is the best on the market as far as i am concerned…

Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain Betty Edwards

Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain Betty Edwards

The best book on Drawing there is… a perpetual favorite used by educators and by indiviual artists beginners or advanced …all enjoy this well written and well illustrated book.

Available in Hard & Soft Cover  – 204 pages 118 Full Color Plates


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