My Materials

I am always experimenting with new materials. Here is what I am currently using.

Painting supplies (Studio):

  • Glass palette over middle value gray OR
  • ParellelPALETTE, an amazing vertical mixing system that allows you to see your painting and your color mixtures side by side in the same light.
  • Paper towel (Viva - I have an Amazon subscription)
  • Cling wrap (keeps leftover paint fresh on the palette for about a day)
  • Palette knife (3” straight blade)
  • Odorless mineral spirits (Gamsol) in an airtight metal brush cleaning jar (Holbein)
  • Painting medium (Oleogel)
 Painting Surfaces:


  • Titanium White (LeFranc) 
  • Transparent Oxide Brown (Rembrandt) 
  • Transparent Oxide Red (Rembrandt) 
  • Ultramarine Blue (Rembrandt) 
  • Cobalt Blue (Gamblin) for dark skin tones 
  • Viridian (Rembrandt) 
  • Yellow Ochre Pale (Winsor & Newton) 
  • Cadmium Lemon (Winsor & Newton) 
  • Cadmium Yellow Pale (Winsor & Newton) 
  • Cadmium Orange (Rembrandt) 
  • Cadmium Scarlet (Winsor & Newton) 
  • Alizarin Crimson Permanent (Gamblin) 
  • Radiant Green (Gamblin) 
  • Radiant Turquoise (Gamblin) 
  • Permanent Mauve (Winsor & Newton) 
Other colors I use (depending on the subject) include: Quinocridone Magenta (Gamblin), Burnt Sienna (Gamblin), Cadmium Red, Radiant Violet (Gamblin), King's Blue (Vasari), Thalo Blue, Permanent Rose, Mentler Mustard (Rembrandt), Olive Green (I like both Winsor & Newton, which is darket, and Gamblin, which is lighter), and Thalo Green.


  • Rosemary Long Flat Mongoose brushes, series 279, in sizes 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 
  • Rosemary Short Flat Mongoose brushes, series 274, in sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 
  • Flat hog bristle brushes in all sizes from 2, 4, 8, 10, 12 (Robert Simmons Signet or Rosemary Ivory series) 
  • Long filbert hog bristle brushes in sizes 2, 4, 6, 10 (I like Silver Unlimited Grand Prix) 
  • Round sables in sizes 00 (or as small as you can go!), 2, 4, 6 (such as Rosemary mongoose series 272, or Rembrandt) 


Lighting the model properly is VERY important. One should try to have the same temperature lighting on their canvas and palette as on their model. I work with a couple different lights: a 5500K fluorescent daylight-balanced softbox set-up on a boom stand (available through Cowboy Studio, see below), and an LED temperature-adjustable light from Aputure. These lights offer cool lighting that comes as close to natural north light as one can get.

Click the image to view this continuous set from Cowboy Studio:

Click the image to view the Aputure Light StormLS1C:

 Painting Supplies (Plein Air):

  • I use an 8x10 Open Box M (with a Pelican case), for plein air/hiking. 
  • I use an Edge Pro Paintbook for all other times when I need to pack up my gear and take it somewhere (i.e. for open studios, portrait demos, etc.), but it's awesome for plein air as well.
  • Camera Tripod 
  • Walnut oil or painting medium in small jar
  • Airtight metal brush cleaning jar filled with Gamsol
  • Long fl at bristle brushes, one or two medium sables
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Limited palette: Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White, Thalo Green, Cadmium Yellow Pale (Winsor & Newton), Cadmium Red, Cadmium Orange, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson
  • Sunscreen, bug spray, bottled water, hat or visor



  1. Hi Anna,
    I am a big fan of your work. I am an artist in Canada, and have a question about varnishing oil paintings. I just finished a piece that is going to a juried show in Vancouver in two weeks, but when I varnished it with retouch varnish, the glare off some of my brushwork is distracting. I know I can get matte varnish, but that can not be applied for about six months. The only other thing I have read about is wax varnish, or cold wax medium (Gamblin). apparently I can apply it to a dry-to-the-touch painting, and buff it, and get a matte finish. This sounds good to me, but I would like an expert opinion on it. Do you have any experience with this? Any info or advice would be appreciated. I know you are a busy new mom (congratulations), and I know what it is like trying to work with kids around (we have three and home school). But any info would be apreciated! My e-mail is, and my website is

  2. Thank you Anna! Helpful information for Artists like myself, still trying to discover our identity as an Artist. - Susan


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