Materials needed

Brushes 1

This page is to inform participants about materials needed for my workshops (Colour workshop, or Face & Figure workshop). Participants have to supply their own materials, except for easels and tables, which will be provided in my Stellenbosch studio, and will normally also be provided for workshops elsewhere.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Participants flying in from elsewhere have had their tubes of oil paints confiscated. This is most likely to happen if you have the paint in your hand luggage, but it may also happen if you put in the luggage going into the hold. I will in future try to have a supply of the most important colours in my studio, for sale to participants at cost, but check before coming.

PAPER & CHARCOAL or other drawing instruments: Paper and charcoal will be a good idea, especially for the Face & Figure workshop – at least the first part of this course will be devoted to drawing. Much of what I address in the F&F workshop applies equally to drawing and painting, and drawing is a quicker way to make mistakes, correct them, and learn from the process. (In some of my F&F workshops there are people who elect to spend the whole workshop drawing, and with very good results, so for them it is the right decision. Others want to start painting as soon as possible.)


I prefer smooth board, or paper/cardboard – board, paper or cardboard prepared with one to two (for boards sometimes three) layers of acrylic gesso, a good PVA like Polvyn, or even Alcolin Cold Glue – to cheap commercial canvases with their rough, mechanical surface (which tends to obscure the variety of the brush strokes one applies, while the gessoed masonite preserves this variety better). I’ll tell you more about good canvases during the workshop.

* For the COLOUR workshop: About five canvas boards, pre-stretched canvases (more if you work fast enough to make more than one painting a day). If you go for primed paper or canvas, it is easy to bring a bigger supply. I suggest working on a fairly small scale for the purpose of this workshop, except if you know of yourself that a small scale just doesn’t do it for you. Just covering a big canvas with paint takes a long time, leaving less time to fine tune for colour and tonality. 24X30 cm (NOT inches!), 30 X 40 cm and 20X24 cm are useful sizes; you may even want to go down to 16X20 cm.

* For the FACE & FIGURE workshop: the size of the canvas or other support depends on the participant. If one can translate the figure one is working on onto a smaller scale, there are many advantages, but sometimes people want more space, for instance because they otherwise lose their sense of the proportions of the figure. So bring a couple of different sizes (if you have them), and only buy more once you see what size you prefer. (It is easy to cut down prepared paper or cardboard in two, or trim it down to size, so this is an advantage of working on paper or cardboard).


* FOR THE FACE & FIGURE WORKSHOP. For this workshop especially useful three-colour palettes are:

white, raw sienna or yellow ochre, viridian (Winton or Van Gogh – rather NOT W&N Artist’s Quality viridian; the same colour is made and sold by Rowney and Williamsburg under the name Pthalo Green), and then for the red: Indian red

white, raw sienna or yellow ochre, viridian, and then for the red: a mix of burnt sienna and alizarin crimson (magenta, for instance the cheap but perfectly good Daler-Rowney one, can replace alizarin crimson) 

One can also try replacing the viridian in any of these palettes with black (type of black doesn’t matter) or Indigo (here I recommend W&N Artist’s Quality Indigo; the Lukas indigo is very purplish; this can be remedied by premixing it with the right amount of Phthalo Green or Viridian to make it blue-black instead of purple-black).


  • Winsor and Newton Artist’s Quality Magenta (NOT Permanent Magenta – that is a different colour! The Winton Magenta gives you a less bright blue when you mix it with the Viridian or Phthalo Green specified below) PRICE 2
  • Winsor and Newton Artist’s Quality Raw Sienna PRICE 1 (for this colour buying Winton will not affect the end result too badly; Yellow Ochre also an option but harder to mix really dark colours with this). Even better is

a) Maimeri Puro Oil Colour. Series: 2. Color: Transparent Mars Yellow (available from The Italian Artshop, Riverside Mall (Ground Floor), Cnr Main & Belmont Road, Rondebosch 7700, Cape Town; 021 6851877; OR

b) Transparent Yellow Oxide, either Van Gogh (inexpensive; don’t know whether it is available in the Western Cape, available from Herbert Evans in Johannesburg) or Old Holland (expensive, not stocked by anyone in South Africa, to my knowledge)

  • Winsor and Newton Artist’s Quality Burnt Umber PRICE 1
  • Among the less expensive whites I find the Lukas Studio Titanium White excellent value for money. Winsor and Newton Artist’s Quality Titanium White is probably better – PRICE 1. W&N Artist’s Quality Flake White is even better, but I haven’t been able to find this or any other genuine Flake White in South Africa. NOTE: Flake White Hue is a different colour. Williamsburg’s Titanium-Zinc White is also excellent, but I don’t know of any place in South Africa that stocks it).  What is good about these whites is that they don’t deaden the colours you mix them with as much as cheaper alternatives, like the Daler-Rowney Titanium White, or Winton Titanium White – the Lukas Studio Titanium white is cheap but good, so avoid the Daler-Rowney and Winton ones, as well as local brands like Zellen or Artiste.
  • Winton Viridian (PRICE 3) OR Daler-Rowney Phthalo Green (PRICE 4) OR Talens Van Gogh Viridian (no price available). (The W&N Artist’s Quality Viridian gives you a less bright blue when you mix it with W&N Artist’s Quality Magenta than do these other brands/qualities of Viridian or Phthalo Green)

Further colours that are useful, but less essential (for these colours it matters less if they aren’t Winsor and Newton Artist’s Quality; in the Winton range they are all PRICE 3; in the W&N Artist’s Quality the Blacks and Indian Red are PRICE 1, while Indigo is PRICE 2):

  • Lamp Black or Ivory Black
  • Indigo (W&N Artist’s Quality PRICE 2; not available in the cheaper Winton range. The cheaper Lukas Indigo is a purplish black, which becomes the desired blue-black when mixed with some Viridian or Phthalo . The Italian Art Shop in Claremont, Cape Town ( stocks Sennelier Indigo, which is less black than the W&N Indigo – this gives an interesting alternative. Sennelier Yellow Ochre is also an interesting, brighter, lighter alternative to Raw Sienna or to Yellow Ochre as made by other companies, but then harder to approximate black when mixed with, say Viridan and Magenta)
  • Indian Red (only know it in W&N artist’s quality; Light Red is an alternative but using it tends to make one’s whole painting warmer)
  • Optional: A bright yellow like Cadmium Yellow or Chrome Yellow


Winsor and Newton Liquin Painting Medium PRICE 5 (or Winsor and Newton Drying Linseed Oil – both are quick drying mediums). You can bring a normal painting medium (one that is not fast drying) if you absolutely prefer that, and you have a way to get wet canvases back home with you at the end of the painting workshop.

A3 TEAR-OFF PALETTES, which are very cheap but perfectly functional: I have belatedly discovered how useful tear off pallettes are (1: I find mixing colours easier with the palette right up against the painting [rather than on a big palette on a table]; 2: it is quicker, easier and probably better for the environment [and your respiratory system] to just chuck away the sheets of the palette, rather than to use oodles of turps and rags/toilet paper to clean your palette). In fact I myself always have two available – I transfer the paint left over from the previous day to a clean sheet on the other palette before starting the day’s painting.


You will also want

  • some brushes – I recommend round or bright hog’s hair brushes, but this is not a must
  • mineral turps (commercial quality – buy at hardware store!)
  • two flat tins, like those sardines or tuna come in (this is for your turpentine – one for the first rinse of your brushes, the other for the second rinse; glass jars bad idea, as they tend to break or spill their contents when they fall over)
  • some old rags/towels and/or towel paper for cleaning your brushes and hands
  • some paper and pencils for sketching
  • Prestik, for sticking things (smaller canvas board onto bigger boards so that painting right up to the edge of the canvas becomes easier, and flat tins mentioned above onto your palette)


PRICES (March 2019):

1st price: Uni-Stat, Stellenbosch; 2nd price: Deckle Edge, Cape Town

PRICE 1 (37 ml): R250/R220 (W&N Artist’s Quality)

PRICE 2 (37 ml): R335/R300 (W&N Artist’s Quality)

PRICE 3 (37 ml): R80/R76 (All colours in the W&N Winton range sell at this same price)

PRICE 4 (75 ml): Not available at Uni-Stat, Deckle Edge price: R90 (All colours in the Daler-Rowney Georgian series sell at this same price, making them even cheaper than the Winton range)

PRICE 5 (75 ml): R220/R206 (Liquin quick drying painting medium)

Lukas Studio (37 ml; recommended for Titanium White, or Indigo): R70/R65

Lukas Studio (200 ml Titanium White): R260, big tubes available at Deckle Edge, but not at Uni-Stat

A3 tear-off paper palette: R105/R88


WELL-STOCKED ART SUPPLY SHOP IN STELLENBOSCH: UNI-STAT (slightly more expensive than The Deckle Edge in Cape Town)

Shop Number: G09, Neelsie Student Centre, Stellenbosch

Find us: On the ground floor, near the main entrance

Tel: 021 887 1266

Email Address:

Trading Hours: Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm, Saturday 9 am – 1:30 pm



Ask about discounts

Address: 13 Brickfield Rd, Salt River, Cape Town, 7925

Phone: 021 201 4100