haha what a pretentious title.
Alex asked me some oil painting questions in lecture thread so i thought i'd make a seperate section for random questions. if ends up just being oil painting shop talk i'm fine with that! hohoho.
things i know a lot about: photography, post-processing, oils and pigments, perceptual color theory, drawing, education in general and in art specfically
not so great: anatomy, perspective stuff
when it comes to painting materials i've yet to come across anything bad from gamblin. imo the #1 trustworthy and informative oil painting brand out there. check out the site for tons of great info. www.gamblincolors.com
lol i'm a commercial.
as for colors, if u'r starting out you can ditch a lot of those expensive paints for brighter, cheaper, higher tinting strength modern colors. unfortunately gamblin's site doesnt sort it's color by type, like earth, mineral (cads), modern like they do with flyers they send to art supply stores. you can also find it online if you look hard enough.
dont use black. nothing wrong with it, just don't buy it for now.
cad's were the color to have back in the impressionist days, but their science is no longer cutting edge. btw there's nothing really natural or pure about cads anyway.
only brown's i'd use is burnt sienna and burnt umber for quick cheap browns. but i bet u'd learn a lot more about color mixing if you left them out. brown is basically dark orange anyway. i currently don't use any browns/earths. ppl say don't paint with black, well maybe ppl shouldn't paint with browns! at least in the beginning... to be burnt sienna is more of an orange than a brown, and quite nice transparency wise but really necessary? who knows.
if u get aliz crimson, make sure it says it's permanent. some manufacturers still sell the original, HIGHLY fugitive aliz. the real stuff is basically a dye infused in clear pigment. dye's are bad!
when you buy paints make sure to look in the pigments list. it can get confusing but this is the only reliable way of knowing what you get. paint places are diabolical about how they name shit.
btw red yellow blue aren't the real primaries. cyan magenta and yellow are. million dollar printers use cmy and variants of it for a reason!
colors i use:
*thalo anything. thalo green, blue, emerald (turquoise is just a mix of thalo green and blue). thalo blue is a good cyan btw.
*arilyde yellow (or hansa yellows for gamblin). hansa yellow light for sure, maybe a medium.
*indian yellow (i like transparent colors)
*quinacridone red (looks like magenta actually) there's a quinacridone magenta too i think but i haven't used it. also quinacridone red + thalo green makes a PERFECT (or closest u gonna get) and neutral black. gamblin actually sells a black (chromatic black) that is a mix of quin red and thalo green.
*napthol red. a good 'regular looking' red.
the thing im looking for in paint: transparency, tinting strength, chroma. most of these paints have these qualities (arilyde isn't transparent so i have indian yellow aka diarilyde yellow).
there's nothing wrong with buying browns, but browns are a color too! mix your browns and you'll learn so much more about color.
think of painting as 50% color mixing and you'll have a lot more fun. try not to paint from 'recipes' like this much red + this much yellow + white = nice flesh.
use the paint that's already on your palette all ugly and weird, what do you add to those paints to get it to the color you want? when is it impossible and you have to 'start from scratch?'. when i paint i'm very lazy about washing my brushes, i like to see how far i can take the paint that's already on it. (not so easy when u wanna make a purple yellow hehe!)
this is very non-traditional approach. tradition would have you work from super limited palette (burnt umber + black), then limited (earth colors, ochres, venetian red, etc), then 'full palette' that really iesn't 'full' at all, cause it's just a buncha cads anyway.
up to you which way to go. just remember back in the day people just killed for a good blue, then ultramarine came along and made it common place. just cause pigments are more commonplace doesn't mean we shouldn't have the same reverence for the best colors available. to me thalo has a place in my heart that ultramarine never will.
its also much less frustrating to paint w/ these colors that have huge tinting strength. one of the problems with painting is that adding white will desaturate and cool down colors to a huge extent, forcing paintings to have a certain value range where the saturation is optimal, or forcing the use of time consuming glazing techniques and forcing the painter to jump through hoops to get the paint to 'behave'. a lot of this is alleviated with better pigments.
i suppose after a lot of experience w/ a *real* full palette, you could try out a limited one. you'd be shocked in two ways: 1. how impossible it is to mix what you see and what a compromise they are. 2. how much color you can get out of these crappy colors, and how you can get away with mediocre color if your drawing/values are strong.
there's also charts and stuff you can make to really understand your pigments, but only if u'r hardcore about this stuff hehe.
one last thing about paints: BUY THE BIG TUBES. it'll be a big initial investment but those tiny little tubes are a waste of time and money. even if you end up with colors you dont like, they can always be the base for a color you do like. small tubes will mean small dollops of paint on your palette and stingy, miserly paint use. be smart and economical. u can buy huge tins of white paint from gamblin and also utrecht i belive.
for washing brushes, clean with oms in a tin can w/ grate (these things are expensive but worth it) and then with soap and water. i like ugly dog brush soap (google it) and everyone i've recommended it to loves it but ymmv. i particularly don't like the company that makes it, but the soap is nice!
brushes> stick with flats and brights! (flats become brights eventually anyway . who the heck uses rounds these days. and i dont recognize some of the other brushes you have. simplify. maybe a few filberts... but typically you can do everything you need with flats.
for surfaces, i used the cheapest canvasboards i can find. gesso them if they feel like they are absorbing too much oil but i personally never bothered. course now i paint on canvas, but the shit is still store bought. i'm not much of a stickler on surfaces, it gets expensive.
what kind of medium do you have? hope it's not homebrew/old masters stuff. nothing wrong with mediums (im a galkyd fiend) but i'd stay away from it at first. how far can you go with just turps as a thinner. working with the viscious nature of oil. it'll be hard, colors will get muddy, but when it does... scrape it off or clean it off with paper towels/rags and reapply clean color!