Sunset with Clouds by Joe Sweeney

Sunset with Clouds Pastel • 25 x 31"

Materials List

Materials Needed for Oil Painting
  • One small set of oil colors, or water mixable oils colors, or acrylics of at least 12 colors. This is standard for a small set.
  • Must have one large tube of titanium white.
  • And a note about Sap Green. This color should be called Pennsylvania Green. If you are painting in Pennsylvania, and if you have no other color, you should have a tube of Sap Green.
Additional colors you may want
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Cadmium Yellow Hue
  • Cadmium Red Hue
  • Cadmium Orange Hue
  • Dioxazine Purple
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Phthalo Green
  • Phthalo Blue
  • Sap Green
  • Titanium White
  • Payne's Gray
  • Lamp Black
Earth Colors
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • Raw Sienna
  • Raw Umber
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Naples Yellow
Additional Materials
  • Brushes: White bristle Brushes or White Nylon Flats 1 inch, 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch ... and small 00 size brushes (at least 8 total) and any other random brushes you think you will need or like.
  • Rags, paper towels, handy wipes, baby wipes. Good for cleaning hands, pallet knife, etc.
  • 1 white charcoal pencil. General's #558 is a good choice.
  • 10 small canvas panels, or wood, or masonite, or thick water color paper primed with a toned or gray gesso.
    • Two thin coats of gray gesso are recommended for material that has no priming at all. If canvas is pre-primed half of your work is done. Just add one thin coat of gray gesso to the panels. This will be demonstrated if needed.
    • Size: 8x10" or 11 x 14" is good.
  • Disposable pallet or a roll of butchers paper. (butchers paper or freezer paper is available at any grocery store)
  • Black charcoal will not be necessary.
  • For the environment: A trash bag. You will need to carry out what you carry in.
  • One last thing. You will need to have some way of carrying your wet paintings home without getting the paint all over your car. One way is to build a slotted box and drop the paintings in there. Or a large rubbermaid storage container. Or pizza boxes. Usually available from the local pizza shop for a small fee.
  • Some kind of light weight easel for working in the field will make your painting life easier. French folding easel is best but not mandatory. The Julian French easel seems to work best with the least trouble. It tends to be on the heavy side but is an advantage in high winds. Sitting is not generally recommended while landscape painting, but for those who must sit a simple card table and folding chair will work nicely.
  • Think about bringing small amounts of water, food, sunscreen, insect repellent. Consider working outside the way you would hiking, fishing, or camping. Travel light but travel right!
Materials Needed for Pastel
  • Box of pastels as large as you can afford. The more pastel choices you have the less mixing you have to do.
    • Prismacolor Nupastel, Made now by Sanford at www.sanfordcorp.com are least expensive of the professional pastels made in USA They should be available at local art stores or through catalogs. Try these first. Box of 96 colors is minimum. They work well and are less expensive than imports.
    • If you have Rembrandt Sennelier, Schmincke, Holbein, and Daler-Rowney, bring them but save them for the finishing touches of intense color.
  • 1 white charcoal pencil General's #558 is the best. Strong, hard and fits in most pencil sharpeners.
  • Ruler 12" or 18".
  • Small sheet of fine sand paper. 200 Grit will work.
  • 5 sheets of Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper, Light Gray or Dark Gray or Black. Size 19 x 25" approx.
  • Soft eraser. Staedtler (Mars Plastic) white is good.
  • Small roll of tape. Masking tape is okay, White Paper tape or (Artists) tape is better.
  • Matte Knife.
  • A smooth flat portable surface to work on: wood, Masonite.
  • A small, hard bristles, oil painting brush for removing or brushing away excess pastel. (e.g. White Boar Hair bristle)
  • Some kind of light weight easel for working in the field will make your painting life easier. French folding easel is best but not mandatory. The Julian French easel seems to work best with the least trouble. It tends to be on the heavy side but is an advantage in high winds. Sitting is not generally recommended while landscape painting, but for those who must sit a simple card table and folding chair will work nicely.
  • Think about bringing small amounts of water, food, sunscreen, insect repellent. Consider working outside the way you would hiking, fishing, or camping. Travel light but travel right!
Green Brush Cleaning For a while now I have been showing my classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia what I think is the easiest way to clean oil soaked paint brushes without poisoning the environment. No Turpentine. Just straight Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. (I have no connection to the company) Procedure
  1. With a rag or paper towel, clean of as much oil paint from the brush as possible.
  2. In a small cup or the bottom of the sink pour a small amount of straight Dawn dishwashing liquid. This is important no water …yet.
  3. Work the Dawn into the brush by pushing them into the cup or sink. Work up a lather.
  4. Let it sit for a few minutes while you work the rest of the brushes.
  5. Next rinse the brushes with water. I think warm water is best but I have had to wash them in cold and it still works fine. That is it. The brushes will be totally clean. No turpentine no toxic fumes. Less expensive. And no rookie painters pouring flammable liquids down the utility sink drain. Try it.
How this came to be Most landscape painters also are concerned with the environment and want to keep the place clean. Back in 1992 when I was teaching a landscape painting class on a farm in Central Pennsylvania a problem cropped up with the cleaning of brushes. What was the best way of cleaning brushes filled with oil paint and how to dispose of the Turpentine used to clean them? The old way keep two jars. One with clean turpentine other jar is for used turpentine or paint thinner. You could let the used turpentine stand over night and it would settle out and become clear again. We could let the dirty turps settle and use it again and again but at some time the residue has to be disposed of. At the time there were no toxic waste dump sites in the area. Dumping the used paint thinner on the ground is out. It could get into the ground water. Dumping it in the drain was out because on a farm it is usually a septic system and not municipal waste. This can damage some septic systems. What to do? A good friend of mine, Glenn Gauvry, who worked with Tri- State Bird Rescue in Delaware, explained how they were using Dawn dishwashing detergent to clean ducks that had been caught in oil spills in the Delaware River. The bird rescue people had run test on many different cleaners and found Dawn to be the best at cutting the grease while keeping the ducks alive. The bristles on a brush are similar to the feathers on a duck in that the oil can get trapped in between. It was an easy leap to try this on paintbrushes that were loaded with oil paint. If Dawn could cut crude oil maybe it would work for oil paint which is mainly composed of linseed oil. There may be other additives as well such as: damar varnish, turpentine, Liquin or any number additives. So far I have found Dawn cleans them all. And worked better than cleaning the bush with turpentine which still had to be cleaned with soap and water in the end. It is my theory that just cleaning with straight Dawn and water eliminates the need to carry jars of turpentine in the car which if not secured can leak. I think that a standard municipal waste water system can handle the small amount of paint broken down with detergent considering the volume of cleaners that are dumped down the drain every day. You don't have to deal with paint thinner, the toxic fumes and the disposal problems associated with it just to clean a few brushes.