Resources for Brushes, Paint, Books & more..

The following links are examples for convenience and are not affiliate links.  We do not receive sales commissions or kickbacks of any kind.  Some companies that we've developed personal relationships with do offer discounts for our students.

Many of these resources can be found at a variety of online suppliers including:
Natural Pigments, Natural Earth Paint, Jerry's Artarama, Dick Blick, etc. 
Shop around for best value.




SOMA is a line of superior quality, fast-drying, non-toxic, certified organic painting oils that are unavailable in any stores. We produce and exclusively use these painting mediums in our original paintings and in our classes. There's truly nothing else like them.

Other Mediums & Solvents

Blue Ridge Oil Colors DeMayerne Medium
Canada Balsam + Brazilian Turpentine + Sun Thickened Linseed Oil

Rublev Balsam Essential Oil Glazing Medium
Canada Balsam + Spike Lavender Oil + Linseed oil 

Rublev Canda Balsam
Resin of the balsam fir tree for varnishes and paints.

Oil of Spike Lavender
A natural, low-toxic substitute for turpentine.

Rublev Sun-thickened Linseed Oil
Rublev Sun-Thickened Linseed Oil is made by exposing raw, cold-pressed linseed oil to sunlight in shallow enamel trays covered with clear glass but exposed to the atmosphere for at least one year.

Refined Walnut Oil
Slow drying and organic.

Lukas Balsam Turpentine
Spirits of gum turpentine from the balsam fir tree.

Rublev Gum Turpentine
Pure spirits of gum turpentine is steam-distilled (rectified) from pine trees (Pinus elliottii) in Brazil.


Aloria Weaver uses Escoda brushes that are made by hand in Barcelona. Their brush series' range from synthetic sable to traditional natural bristles. The synthetic Escoda brushes are highly recommended for finely nuanced detail work and local glazing.

  • Escoda Prado Tame Synthetic Sable Brushes for oils
    Filberts: 8, 10, 12
    Rounds: 1, 2, 4
  • Dynasty Faux Squirrel Brushes
    Oval Wash 3/4”, Flat Wash 2”
  • Rosemary & Co. Goat Hair Mop
    Series 107 Goat Hair Oval Wash -or- Series 108 Goat Hair Domed White:
    Small & Medium
    Silver Brush White Goat Hair Mops
    Round: 14, 16, 20
  • Silver Brush Ruby Satin Synthetic Brush
    Round: 4, 6


    As a more economical alternative, Silver Ruby Satin has a variety of soft synthetic brushes, including Monogram and Script Liners, which work well with egg tempera to achieve fine hatching.  Silver Brush also produces a good quality goat hair mop that is a nice alternative to the Rosemary & Co. goat hair mop brushes.


    As with all other materials, we suggest to our students to buy the best paint that their budget allows for. Low-end materials have their place when learning to use a given medium, but at a certain point of artistic sophistication, higher quality materials can make a big difference, not only in the appearance of the finished work, but in the handling and construction of the layers of an indirect painting. There is a distinct qualitative difference between student and professional grade oil paint.

    Blue Ridge Oil Colors is a family-run business in Asheville NC in the Blue Ridge Mountains where the family has worked for three generations. They use a manual tube filler, handwritten labels and hand-painted color swatches. Good source for Cremnitz white.

    Michael Harding
    makes a very high-quality line of handmade oil paints, including their Genuine Naples Yellow in two shades that are comprised of traditional lead pigment, rather than the mixtures produced by most other companies.

    Rublev Oil Colors
    are produced and sold by Natural Pigments (George O'Hanlon & Tatiana Zaytseva) and are different from all other commercial oil colors. They use natural and historical pigments like those used by the old masters. And the paint is made as it was before modern oil colors—without additives.

    Old Holland is at the upper end of the spectrum of store-bought tube oil paint.
    Their paint is truly pigment-rich in comparison to most other brands.

    Once purchased, oil paint has a long shelf-life, so it can be worth investing in the highest quality available to you.



    Gesso - Raw Materials
    Rabbit Skin Glue
    This is a high grade glue made in the U.S. of pure animal collagen. It is a fine mesh granular glue that is easy to dissolve in water ideal for preparing sizing for canvas or panels, use in chalk or gesso grounds and as a medium in distemper painting.
    Marble Dust  Available in medium, fine and ultra-fine.
    The finest marble dust for making brilliant white grounds and for adding texture and body to paint. This whiting is dry ground from marble deposits in the United States.
    Chalk (Calcite)  Available in fine or extra-fine.
    The finest whiting for making brilliant white chalk grounds and for adding texture and body to paint. This whiting is dry ground from limestone deposits in the Lucerne Valley, California.
    Gesso Kits
    Easy Gesso Kit from Natural Pigments

    An easy way to make genuine glue grounds, also known as ‘traditional gesso’. This is not an acrylic "gesso" mix. It's the real thing: hide glue and natural ground whiting (chalk).
    Also available in Extra Fine (with extra fine chalk and titanium dioxide).

    Eco Gesso Kit from Natural Earth Paint
    An animal-free alternative to traditional RSG gesso.
    The world’s first eco-friendly, petroleum-free and vegan gesso for artists, made with earth and mineral ingredients and methyl-cellulose binders. This gesso is professional-grade, archival and based on time tested Renaissance recipes.
    We personally tested a number of plant-based glues for their gesso formula.

    Pre-Made Panels
    Ampersand Museum Series Claybord
    Made using 1/8” hardbord panels, featuring a kaolin clay ground formula.  An ultra-smooth sanded, highly absorbent clay ground.
    Ampersand Gessoboard Made using 1/8” hardbord panels. A titanium white acrylic-primed ground with a lightly sanded surface.
    For Transporting Wet Oil Paintings
    Many other kinds of painting transports are available at most art supply stores.


    Nitram Charcoal
    The preferred drawing charcoal of the European Atelier tradition. Charcoal Stick Academie Fusains in H, HB and B.

    Palette Knives (aka painting knives)
    For oil painting, only steel palette knives are used (no plastic).
    RGM Idea Line solid stainless steel palette knife made in Italy - size 13 IR
    RGM Idea Line solid stainless steel palette knife made in Italy - size 19 IR
    Set of 3 wood handle palette knives

    Oil Palettes
    For oil painting, acceptable palette materials are: glass, wood, ceramic, a butcher tray or disposable palette paper.  Plastic palettes should never be used for oils, as the solvents can melt the plastic. 
    Our favorite is clear glass, as it can be placed atop white or grey paper for value reference and it's easy to clean.
    Butcher Tray
    Porcelain enameled metal trays with a convex center.  For use as a palette or glazing tray.  Useful for travel as they're lightweight, unbreakable & wet palettes can easily be stored in a ziplock bag. Somewhat challenging to clean if your oil paint dries in the corners.
    Grey Palette Paper - size 9x12"
    The disposable grey paper provides a neutral background for mixing accurate values. Useful for travel. Cons are that it is flimsy and the paper is discarded after use, creating additional waste.
    These palettes need to have a minimum of one coat of linseed oil applied to the surface before use (unless they are pre-varnished).
    *Note: generally designed to be held in the left hand.  Left-handed artists who wish to hold the palette in their right hand will need to file/sand the thumb-hole bevel in the opposite direction.

    Tempera Palettes
    Aluminum Palette
    *Nice for mixing egg tempera, as it allows you to see the strength & opacity of the white.
    Round or Rectangular plastic palettes.
    Round Porcelain Palette much preferred over plastic.

    9mil thick, black (great for working with lead white) and they come in various sizes for a good fit (not the 3mil thin, baggy gloves you find at most hardware stores).


    The following is a short list of reference materials, from traditional technical manuals to inspirational essays. Ultimately it is not one single holy text, but a library of diverse approaches to art that is of the greatest service to the practicing artist.

    Ceninno Ceninni
    Il Libro Dell’Arte (The Craftsman's Handbook), 1437

    Sir Charles Lock Eastlake

    Methods and Materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters, 1847

    Charles Blanc
    A Grammar of Painting & Engraving, 1889

    Harold Speed
    The Practice & Science of Drawing
    , 1913
    Oil Painting Techniques & Materials, 1924

    Robert Henri
    The Art Spirit, 1923

    Max Doerner
    The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, 1934

    Daniel V. Thompson Jr.
    The Practice of Tempera Painting : Materials & Methods,

    Ralph Mayer
    The Artist's Handbook of Materials & Techniques, 1940

    Salvador Dalî

    5o Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship, 1948

    Burne Hogarth
    Dynamic Anatomy, 1958
    Drawing Dynamic Hands, 1977

    Robert Beverly Hale
    Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters, 1964

    James Elkins
    What Painting Is, 1998

    Juliette Aristides
    Classical Drawing Atelier, 2006
    Classical Painting Atelier, 2008
    Lessons in Classical Drawing, 2011

    Spike Bucklow
    The Alchemy of Paint, 2009

    Tad Spurgeon
    Living Craft, 2015

    Nick Neddo
    The Organic Artist, 2015