Mark Giaimo

Supply List

Students are free to work in the medium of their choice. I’ll be working in oils but the principles are generally the same. 

Bring any supplies you're comfortable using — watercolors, pastels, even an iPad! The following suggested supply list is for anyone who needs help.

DRAWING SUPPLIES (optional for Portrait Painting Class):

HB mechanical or regular pencil 

Soft or Medium Vine Charcoal 

Kneaded Erasure 

Strathmore Drawing pad size 6x8” for portrait class, 16x20”or 18x24” pad for drawing/painting class 

Drawing board

Masking tape

Blending Stumps

Sandpaper block  (can also use the hardware store type)

Knitting needle

Fixative spray



Use artist grade oil paints if possible. I generally use Utrecht, Gamblin or Winsor & Newton. Plaza oils are decent and the least expensive, if a bit runny. Avoid student-grade oils: they may be cheap in price but are even cheaper in quality. 

Water-miscible oils are fine too, but I strongly suggest you get the Winsor & Newton Thinner for the beginning stages — water is only for cleaning and gums up your paint.

Beginner's palette:

If you’re a beginner and money is an issue, just buy a few colors: 

Cad Red Medium

Cad Yellow Medium

Ultramarine Blue

Raw Umber 

Titanium White

Ivory Black

My basic palette:

Titanium White or Flake White Replacement/Hue 

Ivory Black

Raw Umber

Indian Red 

Alizarin Permanent Crimson 

Cadmium Red (light or medium)

Burnt Sienna

Yellow Ochre

Cad Yellow (light or medium)

Ultramarine Blue

Painting Medium:

Galkyd or something similar (Gamblin's Galkyd Gel is good because you don't need a palette cup.  Linseed oil is also fine.

Small covered palette cup


  • Odorless Mineral Spirits like Gamsol or Turpenoid Slow-Dry
  • Container jar with lid for OMS. An old peanut butter jar will do. 
  • Winsor Newton Thinner only for water mixable oil paints. 

Paper Towels or Blue Shop towels

Palette knife  or similar shape.


  • Blick Studio synthetic filberts and/or Robert Simmons bristle filbert (or similar) Two of each size 2, 4 and 6. One size 8.  
  • One synthetic short-handled round or rigger brush size 4 or smaller for details. 


Any canvas or board is fine. Look for a smoother surface. Sizes 11x14" up to 18x24"

If you wish, tone your canvas with a grey acrylic paint.

Michael Harding non-absorbent gesso. Acrylic gesso is very absorbent and more difficult to paint on (oil primed is the best primer but is more expensive). Not essential but highly recommended. Apply one thin coat at least 3 hours before class on acrylic primed surface. Not available locally.

Large palette (16x20”) wood, glass, or disposable

Plumb line or knitting needle

Blue painter tape. 

Small Mirror (or you can use your cell phone)

Using Format