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Tools of the Trade

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

Painting in Acrylics


  • 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 Folk Art 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, 8 x 10 or 9 x 12.  We typically use between 1-3 per day for Creative Spirits.  (For Third Time's A Charm workshop, you'll need four 8 x 10 canvases plus one 12 x 16 canvas)

  • Inexpensive sketchbook, pencil, black marker, and gray marker

  • 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 you bring images similar to the subject matter you have seen me paint (Still Lifes and Landscapes). 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


  • 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

Painting in Watercolor

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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. Smooth Board (12 x 16 plywood, plastic, 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 

  16. Travel Watercolor Journal

  17. Tote bag to carry your supplies

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


Painting in Water-soluble Oils

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.      Wooden Palette

8.      White disposable palette covers (can use flat on table or with palette)

9.      Viva Paper Towels or Blue Shop towels 

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

11.    Latex Gloves (available at Home Depot)

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

13.    John Coulter Plein air easel (available online)

14.    Inexpensive sketchbook, pencil, black marker, and gray marker

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

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