Materials List

Recommended materials for Dennis Perrin Workshops

If you are already painting, and have amassed a collection of paints, brushes, palette, etc., then I suggest you use those materials. 

But I will list below what I now use and you can select from that list those materials that you wish to use. There are many ways to accomplish a satisfying and successful painting. And the proper tools and materials are always crucial in the practice of a craft. But keep in mind the most important tool is how you think about and get inspired by the creative process. Everything else follows that. 

Paints: I have, for over a decade, used Winsor Newton Water Soluble Artisan Paints. I went this route because of the health considerations of eliminating the need for solvents in my studio. I have been exceedingly pleased with the feel, tinting strength, and archival quality of these paints. No one who sees my work has ever said anything about the paint other than ask what I use because they loved the rich quality and purity of color in my work. I have no hesitation in recommending these paints to anyone. We'll discuss in detail about the palette and the paint, and for now I've listed my colors below. I also prefer the large, 200ml tubes when possible.

  • Titanium White
  • Cadmium Yellow Light
  • Cadmium Red Medium
  • Cadmium Red Dark
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Viridian
  • Ivory Black

Brushes: A good, responsive brush is an essential. And the brush should always fit the artist's intention. I like to use a combination of Brights and Filberts. I use the Filbert in the drawing phase, I switch to the Bright for the massing of the value shapes, then back to the filbert for the finishing stage. Here's my list of recommended brushes. Choose liberally between Artisan, Silverwhite, or DaVinci Brands. Currently, I'm using the Rosemary Brush, Shiraz, Short Flats and Filberts. I love them and find they hold up well. They're all equally good, though, and work extremely well with the Water Soluble Paints. Even before I began water soluble, I switched to the nylon bristle brush. I found I liked the feel and the "snap" of the nylon better than natural bristle. And the nylon retains their shape over the long run much better than natural bristle. But that choice remains individual. To make it easy, Rosemary Brushes has put together a Dennis Perrin Brush Collection. You can simply click on this link and order the set: Rosemary Brushes - Dennis Perrin Collection.

Brights: An array of brights from very large, 24, 22, 20, all the way down to 4. Typically an array would be 24, 20, 18, 14, 12, 8, 6, 4 or so in the Artisan numbering. Note that the numbering system for Artisan brushes is different from the others. The largest Artisan is 24, and is equivalent to the 16 in the other systems.

Filberts: Since the blocking of the painting is done mostly with the brights, it's not necessary to have as many filberts. I like an 8, 6, 4, and 2. That way I can accommodate just about any linear or lacey stroke needed with a filbert.

Medium: You will also need a high quality painting medium. If you use the Artisan paints, I recommend the Artisan Painting Medium. It allows the paint to flow easily onto the canvas without influencing the drying time. If you are using conventional oils, I suggest a medium that increases flow without accelerating or decelerating the drying time.

Palette: This is mostly a personal choice. I really prefer a large wooden palette made from hardwood. I use a 16" x 20" piece of birch plywood, sanded on the edges to prevent splinters, and oiled several times to create a non-porous surface. I like to have plenty of room to mix my paint.

Canvas: I recommend small canvases, 8" x 10," for practice. It's important to work small as you're acquiring a grasp of the method. If you'd prefer to work larger, then 12" x 16" or slightly larger will work. 

Palette Knife: Be sure you have a quality palette knife to keep your palette clean and to scrape off any canvas that you need or wish to. The knife is not for painting, only for scraping.

Other materials: You will need rags or paper towels, a container for rinsing brushes, and a quality easel.