Drawing Materials

Pencils – either traditional wood pencils or 2mm lead holders (click for picture). Various hardnesses– at least two each (wood pencils or 2mm leads): 4H, 2H, H and HB

Something to sharpen your pencils with – for wood pencils: either a traditional sharpener, or a razor blade and sandpaper. For lead holders either sandpaper or a rotary sharpener (the Staedtler brand sharpener is the best, sometimes they are called lead pointers)

Kneaded erasers – these are gray, and act like rubbery clay

Stylus erasers – these are thin erasers that advance out of a holder like the lead from a mechanical pencil. You can purchase these erasers, and their refills at Dick Blick in Philadelphia, or at JetPens.com if you can’t find them in a local store. Don’t go crazy looking for them for your first week of class, you won’t need them until about the third week: thin stylus eraser, thicker stylus eraser

Drawing Pad – For block-in practice – Strathmore 400 or 500 series drawing paper, not recycled (sorry trees!)

Drawing Paper –For longer drawings – Artistico Fabriano, 140lb, Hot press paper (either Extra-White or Traditional White). You can cut it in half and get two drawings out of a sheet.

Drawing board – around 20×30 inches, the ones with the clips and handle work, or you can just use a flat board around that size.

Knitting needles, kebab skewers, or bicycle spokes for measuring: around one foot long (25 cm). These are used for measuring and for taking plumb alignments, so they must be straight.

If you have any questions about materials, even if you are at the store in the aisle and are trying to decide between two items, you can give us a call.

Painting Materials

Canvas – 10” x 12” or 14” x 18”. Students are asked to bring their canvas to tone beginning of class the first day. We recommend a linen portrait weave (smooth), oil primed. Two types of canvas that we like to use are: (these are really nice canvas but not required):

Claessens 13

Artfix P72U, L64C, L64U, L84C, L84U

Whatever canvas you bring, ensure that it is double-primed with oil (or triple).

Stretcher Bars – Medium duty stretcher bars – size of choice 10” x 12” or 14” x 18”

Retouch varnish – Winsor Newton

Turpinoid – blue can, not Turpenoid natural!

Brush washing container – Silicoil tanks are good, but it can be any type, as long as the lid closes securely.

Brushes – sable brushes: an assortment of small rounds and filberts (mostly rounds). If you already have some brushes, bring what you have, and if you need anything else we will let you know what you need to fill out your selection.



Any major brand is fine, as long as it is artists quality. Avoid colors that have ‘hue’ in the name – ‘cobalt blue hue’ is not cobalt blue, it is a blend of cheaper pigments and filler meant to simulate the higher-quality color. Avoid student grade paint, as it has a very high filler content, generally cheaper pigments, and its poor handling and coverage make for an unnecessary source of frustration.

Important note – don’t go out and spend a lot of money. You need to bring your own earth colors, black and white. Bring the cadmiums, cobalt blue and viridian if you have them, but you only need a little bit, and we can spot you for it if necessary. Spend your money where it counts: good canvas, good brushes, and high quality white paint.

If you are planning on only painting in grisaille (grayscale) then you only need titanium white, mars or ivory black, and burnt umber.

White – Both flake white & titanium white

Black – mars black or ivory black

Burnt umber

Yellow ochre or raw sienna

Raw umber

Burnt sienna

Terra rosa (optional)

Yellow – cadmium yellow pale or cadmium yellow

Orange – cadmium orange

Reds – both alizarin crimson and either cadmium red light or cadmium red

Blues – both ultramarine and cobalt blue.

Green – viridian