Materials/Reading Lists


Listed below is my current palette. Not every class requires a full palette so before each class, students will receive a Materials List and Reading List which are specific for that class.

I have divided the palette into two sections-the opaque colors I use and the transparent or semi-transparent colors I use, although there is some cross over (e.g. ivory black and ultramarine are transparent).   I do like to use colors that are specifically formulated as transparent for glazing because they retain their intensity better than opaque colors which are made transparent by diluting with medium. I like Gamblin because they have developed a line of modern mineral based pigments which gives the contemporary  artist a much broader range of colors to work with.

The Vasari Shale is the pigment I use for most of my transparent underpaintings, sometimes mixed with Transparent Earth Yellow (TEY) made by Gamblin. It is also the workhorse dark on my palette. Vasari paints are expensive so you may or may not want to purchase them (but they are excellent quality). A less expensive alternative to Shale  is a mixture of sap green and alizarin crimson, or ultramarine and burnt sienna.

I use Liquin as a medium for general painting as well as glazing. Oleogel by Natural Pigments is another choice. Most any painting medium that helps increase paint flow will work. Turp or Gamsol will not (I use Gamsol- but only for cleaning brushes).  I also use Galkyd Gel when I want to retain brushstrokes and create a glaze impasto.

Brushes are also a very individual thing. For glazing a soft brush works best; bristle brushes do not.  I use sable flat  or wash watercolor brushes for glazing made by Windsor & Newton and sold by Dick Blick called One Stroke. Because of the technique I use to do my under painting (almost like dry brush) I need a brush with some stiffness but not as stiff as bristle. So I use mongoose filberts and flats.  For painting opaquely, I use bristle brights or flats or mongoose. I particularly like the mongoose flats and filberts  made by Rosemary & Co.

Basic Palette

Gamblin Titanium + Zinc White or Flake White Replacement
Gamblin Naples Yellow
Holbein Cadmium yellow pale
Gamblin Indathrone Blue
Gamblin or Utrecht Ivory Black
Rembrandt Red Medium
Vasari Shale
Vasari Bluff
Raw Umber
Williamsburg Neutral Greys #s 2,4,6 and 8

Other Useful Modifiers
Gamblin Warm White & Titanium Buff

Transparent Colors (all Gamblin)=the *** ones are the ones I use the most

Indian Yellow ***
Gamblin Hansa Yellow Light (semi transparent) ***
Sap Green ***
Viridian ***
Olive green ***
Burnt Sienna ***
Transparent Yellow Earth ***
Transparent Red Earth
Transparent Orange Earth
Indanthrone Blue ***
Brown Pink ***
Chromatic Black
Gold Ochre
Terra Verte ***

Transparent Pigments made by Natural Pigments.
Antica Green Earth
Nicosia Green
French Sienna
Italian Green Umber

Other Transparent Pigments
Vasari Transparent brown oxide
Vasari Mesa Verde

Brushes & Tools

Windsor & Newton watercolor brushes- One Stroke in all sizes (sable)
Mongoose flats and filberts-Rosemary & Co.
bristle brights or flats- Utrecht #209 Bristle; Princeton Art & Brush 6300
Palette/painting knives

Cotton rags or Viva paper towels
Galkyd Gel


#359 medium texture Alkyd primed linen (Wind River Arts
#600 or 66J smooth alkyd primed linen (Wind River Arts)

If you do order from Wind River Arts, please let them know that I referred you!

These are the supports I use- you can use whatever you are most comfortable with; however, keep in mind that glazes generally work best on smooth to medium texture surfaces. You’ll also find that linen takes a glaze better than cotton. Using cheap cotton panels or gessoed surfaces will generally not work well.

Drawing Materials

Graphite pencils- 2H to 9B
Vine Charcoal- medium and soft
Charcoal pencils including white charcoal pencils (I use General's)
White conte crayons
Pink Pearl erasers
Kneaded erasers
Sandpaper paddle for sharpening (or just sandpaper will do fine)


Use a good quality drawing paper- the surface does make a difference!

For charcoal- Strathmore makes pads which are a good choice; 
Individual sheets of Strathmore 500 
Handmade papers available from Twinrocker, Ruscombe Mill
Canson Mi-teintes, Somerset

I like to use a toned paper for charcoal- Strathmore Toned Tan is a good economical choice.

Luminous Landscape Reading List


Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting by John Carlson
Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne

Suggested:  Landscape Painting by Birge Harrison

(All of these are available from Amazon, the Birge Harrison book can be downloaded for free from

Other readings about Tonalism or Tonalist Artists:

A History of American Tonalism by David Clevelend
Like Breath on Glass
The Poetic Vision-American Tonalism (Spanierman Galleries)
George Inness-   A Cataloque Raisonne – Michael Quick
The Life and Letters of George Inness
Charles Warren Eaton (monograph)  David Cleveland
George Inness and The Visionary Landscape , Adrienne Bell
George Inness and the Science of Landscape, Rachel Delue
An Ideal Country- Paintings by Dwight William Tryon, Linda Merrill

Reading List for Field Sketching for Landscape Painters

Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting by John Carlson
The Elements of Drawing by John Ruskin

Suggested Readings:
Asher B. Durand, Letters on Landscape
The Painted Sketch-American Impressions from Nature 1830-1880
William Trost Richards-True to Nature
Thomas Moran, The Field Sketches 1856-1923
Sanford Gifford- Hudson River School Visions