Art supplies in America

My current arsenal.

My current arsenal.

I didn’t bring any materials from Italy to paint with on this trip as everything is cheaper to buy in the U.S. these days. There are also a lot of excellent suppliers to choose from. I am really enjoying the Williamsburg paints which I found on sale. They are the best pre-made tube paints I’ve used for their hues, consistency and tinting strength. Robert Doak’s Florentine lake is a good substitute for my handmade alizarin, and I actually prefer its weaker tinting strength. He also sells my favorite vermilion pigment, though I’m only painting landscapes this trip and I find it less essential to have a specific hue outdoors. The Silver Brush Grand Prix are some of the best bristle brushes I’ve used, very similar to the Cornelissens I normally get in London. Zecchi’s sable brushes are still unbeatable for price and quality.

Luckily I had some of my medium left over in storage from the last trip, but normally I get my Canada balsam and sun-thickened linseed oil from Kremer in New York. Its a great shop, though I’ve always found it annoying that they don’t open until 11AM. Doak also makes a sun-thickened linseed oil, but it is too thick to be usable. New York Central had some good quality turpentine last trip so I’m still using that bottle. I never fly with turpentine so I usually have to buy that immediately upon arrival and I’ll often smellĀ unfamiliarĀ brands to check if they’re cut with mineral spirits (as many are). A shop clerk once thought I was getting high and came shooting across the store to stop me.


  1. I was surprised by the Williamsburg prices on their website, the place I usually buy them from has them at half the price (or even less) of the equivalent Old Holland hue.

    Prices have gone insane on some colors though. We worked it out in the studio recently that it costs less to buy dry pigments and pay someone to grind them for you.

    Some cheaper colors can be a false economy. Because of the fillers, I use much more paint to get my colors and go through the tubes much quicker.

  2. Marc, if you don’t mind me asking, why the two whites? I don’t now much about Flake White other than it’s kind of stiff and dries quickly. This may be a stupid question, but I was just curious.


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