Join Jim Krause for an in-depth discussion in this video Gathering the right tools for painting, part of Color for Design and Art.
- A lot of today's designers and illustrators work digitally, so when I suggest that they try using real world paints to expand and solidify their understanding of color, they might find themselves looking around their work area, saying yeah, sounds good, but I don't see too many painting supplies around here. If you're one of those designers, then let me help you out. I have provided a simple list of painting supplies with the resources for this course, just some things to get you started, and without spending a fortune.
So let's talk about the things on this list. Paint wise, I'm going to recommend acrylics. Why? It's because they don't stink, and they don't let off toxic fumes. Acrylics are water soluble when they come out of the tube, and once they dry, they're water resistant, which is why you should never let acrylics dry on a brush. It's almost impossible to get dry acrylics off a paintbrush. Now I'm going to reccomend five specific tubes of acrylic paints. Primary Cyan, Primary Magenta, Primary Yellow, Mars Black, and Zinc White from Golden acrylics.
Why these colors? It's because this cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are very similar in color to the CMYK colors used in printing, and not only are a huge range of colors possible by mixing just these five tubes of paint, every time you use them, you'll be learning lessons about color that can be applied to CMYK print jobs, and that's awesome. Along with these tubes of paint, you may want to pick up some gesso. It's a chalky, white, paint like substance you can apply to papers and cardboards to give them a tough, toothy, paint ready surface.
A container of either gloss, or matte medium can also come in handy. These mediums start out whitish, and then they dry clear. You can add them to your paints and make them more transparent. Next, just get some inexpensive nylon or synthetic brushes. I'd suggest these four sizes, a fine tip triple zero, a good all purpose number six, a half inch shader, and get a three quarter inch flat tip brush for things like large backdrops, and for applying matte or gloss medium over a painting.
While we're on the topic of brushes, here are some quick brush care tips. Don't let your brushes stand on their heads in the water jar, it could damage their tips. Swish and swirl the paint out of them like this, and then lay them flat like so, or like so. You also want a round tipped palate knife for mixing paints, and a cheap plastic or metal palete, or you could go to the second hand store, just get an old muffin tin for a palette. That works fine. Then a pad of nice, thick, watercolor paper. An illustration board works great too.
If these options are too expensive, you could always paint or roll some gesso onto scraps of cardboard, that works just fine. Other basic supplies include a water jar, some expendable rags, and I also like to use a spray bottle to keep my paints from drying on my palate, or on my brushes. And a second hand hair dryer can be handy too, to speed up the drying process. And you know, that's about it, just protect your clothes, and your work table from paints and spills, you should be good to go. Just a good, solid, short, and practical list of painting supplies.
Primarily aimed at designers and illustrators, the course leans heavily toward digital tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, but concludes with some challenges using real-world media (inks and paints!), so members can get a solid understanding of mixing colors and what tools and combinations work best.
- Navigating the color wheel and color vocabulary
- Why a color's value is so important
- RGB vs. CMYK vs. spot
- Finding the perfect color
- Working with grays and browns
- Building a color palette
- Borrowing hues for palettes
- Establishing color hierarchies
- Fixing color problems
- Altering color in photos and illustrations
- Using texture with color
- Painting for learning and fun