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Established in 2004

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What painting materials do you need to bring?


Before the start of each holiday guests will be contacted by their tutor to have a conversation about their style of work, their media preference and what they want to achieve from the week in preparation for the week's holiday.  Guests will be sent a "Suggested list of equipment" put together by the tutor of the week the guest is coming on, as each tutor will have a difference preference on colours etc.

Guests usually bring their own painting equipment with them but we will have lots of equipment available for those guests that don't want to carry painting materials for all sorts of reasons such as they don't want to invest a lot of money until they are sure that painting is a hobby for the future, or if they are travelling after the holiday and don't want to be encumbered by extra luggage.  We supply Chairs (different heights), easels, boards, white spirit, rags, gummed paper, masking tape, some paper, erasers, sketching pencils and charcoal.   There will be a limited range of colours in oils, acrylic, water colours and pastels available so that guests are able to experiment if they wish.  For those guests wanting their own equipment on their arrival we are able to order these on their behalf and have them delivered to their hotel.


As said before, the tutors will be sending out their own "Suggested List of Equipment" prior to the holiday, however, you might find the following useful.


Guests are able to paint in the media of their choice.  Our tutors are equipped to tutor in all media.  On some of our weeks there will be the option to print.  All equipment for printing will be supplied.


We recommend two art suppliers in the UK “Great Art” who have very attractive discounts and also "Jackson's Art".  All of our guests receive a one off 10% discount on Jackson Art products prior to the holiday - a promotion code will be given.  Go to the bottom of this document to link up with these art suppliers.


Water colour paints are available in two main forms: as small compressed blocks of colour, “pans” or “half-pans”.   The formulation of tube and pan colours is very similar and is a matter of personal choice.  Always choose Artists Quality over Students quality water colour paints.    Pans are light and easy to use when working outside.  Tubes, as they contain larger quantities of paint are thus more suitable for large-scale work.


LIST OF BASIC COLOURS TO GET YOU STARTED: Cadmium Red, Hooker’s Green (light), Raw Sienna, Indigo, Raw Umber, Yellow Ochre, Winsor Lemon, Ultramarine Violet, Cobalt Blue, Payne’s Gray.  Individual tutors will be giving additional colour suggestions depending on destination i.e. Venice.


As brushes are very important with water colour, it is worth buying the very best quality that you can afford.  A good brush should be capable of holding plenty of colour yet releasing paint slowly and evenly.  The brush should also point or edge well when loaded with water.  All water colour brushes are graded according to size, ranging from as small as 00000 to as large as a No. 24 wash brush. 


We recommend:  No. 12, No 5, No3 and a good flat for washes.


We recommend a white ceramic plate but plastic palettes are available. Water Pots 



Choice of water colour paper is very much a personal choice and also, the subject matter may well dictate which surface you will choose.   Basically, they come handmade or Mould-made, in various thicknesses with different textured surface.  You can purchase paper in sketchpads, blocks, sheets and boards.  If the paper is under a certain weight then it should be stretched, otherwise the paper will buckle. 


We recommend you buy a larger size than required as it can always be cut to size afterwards. 




Painting in oils presents difficulties as it takes a long time to dry.  It is recommended to use a quick drying solution together with your oil paint. “Alkyd” oil paints dry twice as quickly as normal oil paints.  You might also give some thought as to how you will transport your work home with you at the end of the holiday.  We supply “Fast Acting Oil Painting Medium” to mix with oils that aids quick drying and improves flow and transparency for glazes.  It also has a good resistance to yellowing.  There are several devices on the market for transporting wet canvasses. 


You will need: paper palettes, small rags, dipper(clips onto palette), good quality oil paper pad or linen/cotton covered cardboard and heavy  weight cartridge sketchbook.  All canvases need sizing and priming first.


Paints:  As with water colours, Artist Quality, although more expensive because they are more pigment rich, is preferable to Student Quality oil paints.


LIST OF BASIC COLOURS TO GET YOU STARTED:  Winsor Lemon, Permanent Green, Cadmium Red, French Ultramarine, Titanium White, Indigo, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Purple Madder.



A selection of rounds, filberts and a couple of flats. Brushes are personal, but unlike watercolour brushes, the cheaper range is fine.




We recommend you buy a larger size than required as it can always be cut to size afterwards.


You can buy a heavy weight 300 gsm acid free oil paper which has a canvas effect grain recreating the effect of linen canvase.  We recommend a pad of 10 sheets in the size 36 cm x 48 cm.


You can also choose to paint on 250 gsm paper with no surface.  We recommend a block of 12 sheets in the size 30.5 cm x 40.6 cm size.




Chalk pastels are a fantastic way to use colour quickly and effectively and works well alongside  both water colour and oil paint.  We recommend Unison Pastels.  Although they are expensive the colour range is glorious and the chalk of the finest quality.  However, any good quality pastel will do. 



Pastel paper must have a weight of minimum 175 grs.  There are several different types of paper available for pastels.  There is the Ingres paper which has a ‘laid’ effect ie a grain of closely spaced fine lines on one side with a slightly mottled surface on the reverse.  Other brands of pastel paper have a velvety texture giving a very smooth finish to your work.  Some people use carborundum paper (wet and dry) or even coarser sand paper.  Rough surfaced water colour paper provides a gentler surface that still has enough tooth for the pastel to adhere.  Pastel paper also comes in a variety of colours.  A reddish-brown paper, for example, will give a deep, warm glow to your picture and allow light colours like yellows and creams to vibrate.



Charcoal, an A4 sized sketchbook, water soluble pencils, putty rubber, 2B and HB pencil.

A lidded plastic pot for holding water and a bag/rucksack for easy carrying.  Essential is a good hat,  light long sleeved shirt and sun screen.


If there is any equipment you don’t want to carry with you please let us know.  We can order it on your behalf and have it delivered to your hotel.