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Materials for the painting course.


Recommended List of Materials for Students - Richmond School of Painting

Portfolio to carry materials (Size A1 or A2)                                                                                                 

For the drawing sessions: Natural charcoal, professional white eraser, chamois leather (From the Pound Shop) Charcoal blender (stomps) Please bring your own Fixative.


you can buy either ‘Artist’s range’ or ‘student range.                                                 Artist range is better quality. The prices vary: Series one is quite close in price to the student range but a higher series could be double or triple the price.                             


‘Student’s range’ (Winton’ for example) is much cheaper but as the tubes contain more oil and less pigment, the paint drys more slowly. 

You can also buy a few from each range.

Recommended brands- Winsor & Newton, ‘Cass Art’ own range,                                        Michael Harding / Old Holland (usually more expensive)

Get the 37ml size tube:                                                                                                 Lemon yellow S4* (Winsor Lemon S2)
Cadmium yellow Deep S4*

(or Winsor Yellow Deep S2)                                                                               

Gold ochre S1
Cadmium orangeS4*   (Winsor Orange S2)                                                                 Alizarin crimson S2
Cadmium red S4* (Winsor red S1)                                                                         Ultramarine Violet S2
French Ultramarine S2 (or Ultramarine S1)                                                                  Cerulean blue S4* (or student range instead)
Sap green S2
Burnt umber S1
Burnt Sienna S1

In addition, get a 200ml Titanium White (get Artist range or the same range as most of your paint)
Big wooden palette (A3 size, preferable a rectangular shape)
Palette Knife                                                                                                                2 small jam jars with caps, additional Jar's tops.
Masking tape
Cotton rags and paper towels                                                                                                                                                                      

Two foam boards (to fit in your portfolio case) to protect wet paintings.

You can buy 10 sheets of canvas paper from us for £20 or a single sheet for £2


Brushes: get about 5 Brushes SHORT FLAT with a long handle, in various sizes. 

I recommended Synthetic Bristle, short flat from Russell and Chapple. numbers 0,2,4,6,8 and 10. 

Or Winsor & Newton’s ‘Galleria’ / ‘Monarch’ all Short Flat or Filbert for the start. 

Later on you will have to get a Medium for oil painting by Winsor & Newton or Old Holland


Please note:

Please bring your own roll of paper towels and cotton rags.

You should experiment painting on different surfaces. This will help you to discover which is the right one for your style.

Do not buy “canvas paper for acrylics”. 

It is poorer quality than “canvas paper for oils”.

I DO NOT recommend paint from Daler Rowney. 

Do not buy Brushes/ palette knifes in sets.

You can buy paint in sets - but buy a few extra tubes that are missing from the list. 

You don't have to get everything immediately. If you are not sure what to buy - better not to buy.

There is a big difference in price across online shops and high street shops. Do some research and compare prices.

Brushes won’t last forever. Get a variety and keep buying a few more from time to time. You will notice that new brushes behave differently then the old brushes, which will be useful for some tasks.

Show your student card at the shop and mention Richmond School of Painting.

oils for beginner
painting for beginners
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painting made easy
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Clean your brushes with an oil soap bar.

Materials for Painting - Glossary


White Spirit is a toxic material for cleaning brushes and I do not recommend its use during the class. If you do use white spirit please keep it in a closed jar all the times! It evaporates very quickly and is toxic. Instead you can use an Oil Soap bar.

Turpentine or wood turpentine is a natural substance that can be used to create a medium* or to dilute oil paint, mainly for the first layer*. Please keep it in a closed jar all the times

Linseed Oil: Oil paints contain linseed oils as a binder. You shouldn’t mix it to the oils as it might create problems with the upper layers. It can be used for a medium*.

Medium can be bought as a readymade solution (medium for oil painting) or to be mixed by the painter. It is used for oils in the process of layering, mainly in the second and onward layers. Do not use medium for the first layer and never use it on its own – Oil paint must be added to it.
A basic recipe for Medium: Mix one part of linseed oil with one part of wood turpentine. Keep in a jar and shake before use. Mix small quantities as the turpentine evaporate quickly.

*Working with layers: When working with layers you must make sure that the initial layers will be ‘thinner’ than the later layers, which should be always be fatter. Adding turpentine to oil paint makes a hard and thin layer. Adding medium will makes a fatter and more flexible layer. If the thin hard layer is painted on top of a fat layer, it will crack.

Glazing: A permanent layer, half transparent or transparent with some paint in it, to be painted on top of the final layer. Use a readymade Glazing medium. Do not use any other mediums as it will not ‘sit’ nicely on the painting. Always add some paint to the glazing medium. 

Overall glazing will give a coloured tint all over the painting.

Local glazing: to be painted on top of specific areas that needs to turn colder, darker etc.
I recommend using ready-made glazing.


Retouch varnish: a varnish that you can use whilst painting. It will bring all the layers together in terms of gloss, so you can decide how to keep going with the painting.


Varnish is a protective transparent layer, usually glossy but could be matt.  Matt varnish needs to be heated before applying. Varnish is applied after the paintings is dry (usually 4-6 months). It is a temporary layer that can be removed after about 50 years or when it becomes yellowy.
NEVER add paint to varnish. 

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