What you need

Painting Landscapes - What you need

Every Artist has a set up that is right for them within a budget or otherwise; hey who does not work to a budget, eh? For me I will go for excellent quality pigments and canvases but I will sometimes use a bit of ingenuity to add the things I need at an affordable price. I will share this with you now.

As you can see in the picture my box is easily stored and ready to go with everything I need to paint. I call it my studio in a box. It takes up little room being only a yard wide. In my box I have my paints spread across wooden dividers that I made with the colours basically grouped together. You might want to watch the video too.

I use 38m Rowney Artists paint and sometimes other brands as well. Painting large canvases involves lots of white paint so I choose to use Rowney Artists 120ml tubes of Titanium White, keeping good stocks.

Landscape painting involves lots of the earthy colours such as the Siena's, Ochre's through to the stronger dominant primary colours such as Cobalt and Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Greens, Vermilion and Scarlet Alizarin Reds.

Lots of natural greens are wonderful to have such as Sap Green, Terra Verte, Hookers and Cadmium Green for its saturation qualities. In the reds I will keep some Vermilion, Light Red Oxide and Scarlet Alizarin, Yellows include Yellow Ochre, Lemon Yellow and the bright and dominant Indian and Cadmium Yellow. I have many tubes of paint in my collection.

Let's look at the tools of the trade. Firstly a pair of vice grip pliers. What? You say…

Andrew's little gem...

Because of the thrifty nature of most Artists, myself included, we will want to squeeze out every last drop from our expensive little tubes. Vice grip pliers are my tool of choice for doing exactly that.

Two glass jars on the left contain fat and lean pre-mixes and a big jar for wastage. The waste jar is now 12 years old and not even full yet. I don't like to waste any paint and I can share with you my way of making it last once it is out of the tube. You will be pleased you have purchased this information because I can save you hundreds of dollars over the years.

Andrew's little gem...

Keep a flat plastic container with an airtight lid. Save tin lids from glass sauce jars. When you have excess paint on your palette simply scoop it up, place it in a tin lid then into your sealed container and put it in the freezer. The sealed lid will stop you making a mess and tainting the domestic freezer with the smell of pigment. The temperature inside the freezer will not freeze the oil paint but it will slow down the oxidisation process, as will the airtight lid.

Oil paint will last 6-12 months in this storage system. It may form a crust over a few weeks. When re-using the paint break through the crust and scoop out the paint under it, as you don't want bits of the crust to contaminate your palette.

You can see in my photo a tall plastic childproof container of clean turpentine. A glass sauce jar of dirty turpentine and an empty glass jar for clean up. Now I am going to show you how to save your brushes and be nice to the environment.

When cleaning your brushes simply pour off the top layer of cleaner turpentine from the storage jar into the clean up jar. Clean the brushes with it and then pour it all back, sediment and all, into the storage jar. The solid paint will quickly settle to the bottom to join the sludge. The only turpentine you will waste will be what is evaporated. Don't ever pour waste down the sink, it is very bad for the environment and your pipes will stink of turpentine for weeks.

Now get some extra strength dish wash detergent and wash out what paint and turpentine remains in the brushes and rinse. I use a glass jar (pictured) and a handy plastic bowl, which saves the paint scum around the sink. Run the bristles through your fingers and store your brushes upright to dry naturally. Do this and your oil brushes will give good service for many years. You might want to watch the video too.

At the back of my box you will see I keep a journal for notes on colour mixing and my works, a spare glass palette and a clear folder for photos and sketchs

My brush stand is simply an office product pen stand of a good size. I keep two palette knives, one small and one large. A pen, soft pencil, a dipstick for my mix's and all sorts of brushes. You can never have enough brushes and I have collected maybe 5 of each type I am fond of. I always have a clean fresh one at hand. A collection of sizes of soft and firm bristles is a good idea. I defiantly need a fan brush of natural fibre. I use it to blend colour on canvas especially in the sky. More on this later.

My Easel is not the average invention. You can purchase a proper stand up Artists Easel if you like. I prefer to use my converted computer desk. By screwing a homemade wood stand to the top I have made a versatile little table on wheels. I can rest my weary bones and wheel it into the light when I need. I secure my canvas by attaching a screw eye to the back and hooking an elastic bungee cord from the canvas to the table.

I have a cheap and good-sized glass chopping board for my palette and I am ready for action. Glass makes the best palettes as far as I am concerned. They are easy to clean, meaning old oil will never contaminate your new colours especially the whites. Throw that old wood palette away.

I also keep plenty of cleaning rags on hand. Absorbent materials are best. I often use a piece of clean white rag to apply paint or remove paint from the canvas.

Now you have seen my simple and effective set up. Lets get painting.