KIA Oil Class Supply List

This is the class list and instructions for the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Painting Class. The materials that I recommend are listed below for those just beginning the painting adventure. As a painting student gets more experience the desire will be to have better and more expensive paint and brushes. Most students in class that are mid level to advanced all have very high quality brushes and tube colors. These supplies listed below represent the minimum required to begin the process of painting. All supplies can be obtained locally from Hobby Lobby or Michaels or on the internet. The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts supplements their students supplies by offering fine quality professional artist colors in a wide range of colors that would be prohibitive for the beginning student to acquire.

  • A canvas at least 20" x 24" minimum size, pre-stretched is best. Many beginners feel that starting small or modestly is best. However painting miniature subjects is an advanced skill best not executed by those beginning.
  • Bigger heads, bodies, still life is easier for the beginner than excessively small.
  • A small jar of stand oil or linseed oil. Both are not necessary. A small jar of Windsor Newton's Liquin
  • A quart or gallon size of Mona Lisa brand odorless mineral spirits or Turpenoid in blue can. No substitutes such as mineral spirits from a hardware or home store or turpentine or other solvents. Coupons are available on line for Michaels or Hobby Lobby to reduce cost at 40% off. Do not get a can of Turpe. noid in green can-which is labeled Turpenoid Natural. It causes paint to delaminate. Avoid at all costs.
  • Select a modest group of colors to begin with. Venetian red, Burnt Sienna, Ivory Black, Titanium White, Ultramarine blue, Yellow Ochre-other colors can be added later. Try to get the best quality paint that you can afford. Less expensive paint means less pigment and more filler which makes the paint translucent. This requires the artist to coat several times to allow for a deep opacity. Winsor Newton professional grade is the best off the shelf local paint brand that is available although there are many top professional brands available on the internet including Natural Pigments, Old Holland, Willamsburg, Vasari, and Michael Harding. Try to avoid the super cheap Winsor Newton Winton (student grade) which is at the bottom of the food chain. As mentioned, the KIA has professional quality paint to supplement your purchases since a full complement of colors can be prohibitively expensive when beginning the painting adventure.
  • Two small jars with tops. One for medium mixture and one for cleaning brushes. As a better alternative, you can also use a jar for solvents with a coil in it which is available locally at Hobby Lobby and Michaels at a reasonable price. The coil helps in the brush cleaning process.
  • Plastic wrap and or aluminum foil for covering palettes with wet color, or consider obtaining a Masterson palette system which has a tuperware style top, which helps keep the wet palette from offsetting on clothes and car seats.
  • A palette, either store bought, or a sheet of wood with glass duct taped around edges if you do not wish to obtain a Masterson palette system at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.
  • Cotton t-shirts for rags are highly desirable.
  • Bounty paper towels.
  • Synthetic brushes (as used in acrylic painting) A medium size filbert, a small round brush that points up well, a medium fan brush for blending, a script liner rather small for details. A soft synthetic varnish brush. Hogs bristle brushes work well for underpainting in a layered painting technique. If you have miscellaneous brushes stick them in you paint box and bring them along.
  • Two palette knives, small diamonds. One to mix the paint and one to wipe off the paint in the mixing knife.
  • Subject matter-Get large reference material -at least 8" x 10" so you can see what is going on. Make first painting an image that has simple forms, do not make it complex or full of details, Simpler in starting out is much better. Choose a subject that you like or can identify with. The choice of subject matter is the most important factor in whether you enjoy your new painting experience. If the subject is too complex or the reference material is hard to decipher, you will not enjoy your painting experience. In the beginning, simplicity of subject matter until you hone your skills is best.
  • Put a detailed sketch on the canvas. Use pencil, conte crayon, or charcoal and we will fix the drawing prior to beginning the painting process providing it is an acrylic ground canvas. Draw it free hand, square it off, or trace it.
  • Do not start painting your subject until I can give you some guidance. We will discuss layered painting and Alla Prima painting technique. We will cover the advantages and disadvantages as well as the strategy behind painting technique.
  • Come in with joy, enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. Painting can become a life time experience of joy and satisfaction. Avoid negativity, self doubt and angst these emotions rob you of the joy that is inherent in painting. Reference a child playing in the sandbox.