Tools of the Trade

“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”                                              – Claude Monet



  • Set of 10 tubes of acrylic paints, assorted colors

    • Cad Red Medium, Cad Yellow Medium, Ultramarine Blue, Mars Black, Burnt Sienna, and Titanium White are the 6 we use the most.  I like heavy body paint. Do not purchase FolkArt craft paint. 

    • Other suggestions: Dioxizine Purple, Rose Madder Deep or Magenta, Cad Orange, Phthalo Turquoise, Emerald Green

  • Large tube of Titanium White paint

  • Assorted flat or filbert long-handled brushes

  • Palette (Preferably several Styrofoam or paper plates, disposable is a good thing)

  • Lightweight table-top easel

  • Washer cup

  • Spritzer bottle for acrylics ($1 in the travel size sundries section at Wal-Mart or Target, also available at Hobby Lobby)

  • Paper Towels 

  • Palette Knife

  • Inexpensive cotton covered panels or stretched canvas for practice, 9 x 12 or 11 x 14.   We use 1-2 canvases per class.

  • Notebook and pen

  • Reference Photos… Plan to bring some of your own photos to work from during your extra paint time. I supply what we will work from for my demo sessions, but some students paint more quickly than others and will want to make the most of our time together. I do suggest, however, that your bring images similar to the subject matter you have seen me paint (Still Life, Florals, Landscape, Dogs, Cows, Chickens etc.). No People/Portrait photos. I’ll recommend a figurative artist if you would like to learn how to paint portraits.

  • Tote bag or backpack or wheelie-cart to hold your materials

  • Smock or apron, optional

Drawing Basics 101

  • 8 x 10 Sketchbook (or similar) with 92lb or higher paper

  • Variety of Graphite pencils: 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B plus a Sharpwriter #2

  • Charcoal pencils: 2B, 4B, 6B

  • Pencil sharpener

  • Blending Stumps with pointed ends

  • Gum eraser.  Other erasers optional: Electric, Kneaded, Plastic

  • Charcoal stick, medium

  • White chalk pencil or white soft pastel pencil

  • Ruler


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  1. Set of Watercolor Paints (half-pans)

  2. 11 x 15 Watercolor Paper - I use 140 lb., cold press, Canson watercolor paper 

  3. Board (12 x 16 plywood, tempered glass, gessobord or dry-erase board for blocking)

  4. Masking Tape

  5. Set of Small Soft Sable brushes

  6. Washer cup 

  7. Uniball Signo UM-153 gel pen in white 

  8. Ultra-fine point black Sharpie marker

  9. Small tube of white gouache

  10. Paper towels

  11. #2 pencil with eraser (I prefer Papermate Sharp writer mechanical)

  12. Ruler

  13. Scissors or Self-healing cutting mat and xacto knife

  14. Cloth dish towel

  15. Notepad and pen for taking notes

  16. Tote bag to carry your supplies

Just for fun:  I also have a deckle-edged journal that I love! Great for traveling and painting watercolor studies. In my bag is also watercolor brush pens (Uloochi brand purchased on Amazon) also good for traveling.

To link to the exact journal I use, click here.  However, the last time I checked, they were out of stock. 

Questions?  Call or Text me at 615-668-8263


In the Studio, but not in Creative Spirits Class

For those who want to know the items I recommend in oils 


1.      The only musts are White, Cad Yellow Medium, Cad Red or Permanent Rose, Ultramarine Blue, and Black.  In the past few years I find I enjoy painting with water-soluble oils better than traditional ones, though both are in the studio. I have both Lucas Berlin brand and Winsor Newton. 

2.      Washer cup with water. No medium or mineral spirits are necessary with water-soluble oils.    

3.      Long-handled Flat or Filbert Brushes, size 6 or 8, depending on the brand and size canvas I'm painting

4.      Stretched Canvas: Sizes 9 x 12 or 11 x 14

5.      Palette Knife

6.      Blue Pastel Pencil

7.      White disposable palette covers or a plastic box with lid or aluminum foil (can use flat on table or with palette)

8.      Viva Paper Towels or Blue Shop towels 

9 .     Knockdown Knife (available at Home Depot) or printer's brayer

10.    Latex Gloves (available at Home Depot)

11.    Rubber sculpting tool, optional  (Found at Plaza Arts, Nashville)

12.    John Coulter Plein air easel (available online)

Link to Jerry's Artarama for Creative Spirit class supplies-Acrylics

Link to Jerry's Artarama for Workshops and your own studio work -Water-mixable Oils

Link to Jerry's Artarama for Workshops and your own studio work- Transparent Oils

Link to Jerry's Artarama for Adventure Awaits, Watercolor classes, and your own studio work- Watercolors