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starting out

Hello everyone from far & wide,

I have just begun some of Carders video tutorials & must say I am very impressed & grateful thus far & am seriously thinking of - if my finances permit in paying for the extra videos.

I have painted for some years, my approach for the foreseeable future is a fresh / authentic / traditional foundation & this seems to fit as my painting was becoming a little lost ...

I have a question (or two / 3) - I assume that's permitted here (?)

I am about to start a my first painting with this approach.

First, I have some Windsor & Newton Winton grade paints as i couldn't afford artists quality. After a lot of research (conflicting and quite confusing threads / forums) I'd like to hear if anyone thinks I should bypass them & wait until I have money for artist quality ?

Second, if (which i think i will) stick with them, should i still - considering the lack of pigment in them use the medium / mix & jar approach like recommended ?

Also I can't find a cadminium yellow that quite sticks out like i see used in the videos (I have a winton cad yellow which is very warm / orange / dark and an Art spectrum which is similar - I guess i don't want to wonder why I am not achieving colours like in the "limited" palette approach demonstrated.

Thank you all in advance & my apologies if this is quite too long


  • imbueandrew

    Welcome to you.

    The most important skill Mark tries to teach is color mixing to obtain exact values. This will not be possible with the Winton range. I suggest using these for backgrounds, toning canvases and playing around with your painting knife. Otherwise, sell them or give them away. Slow Dry Medium is too valuable to use with Winton.

    The energy and enthusiasm evident in your post will be eroded by trying to achieve a fresh, authentic and traditional foundation with weak pigment strength paint.

    i notice a few artists, unwanted gifts, and closing art stores selling off artist quality paint at bargain prices.
    eBay and Gumtree are good sources.


  • You can use the slow-dry-medium (SDM) from the supply list with the winton paint. It will just take a little less SDM to get to the proper consistency. The right yellow is Cad yellow Pale in winton. but for $6 more you can upgrade to W&N artist's grade. You can comingle paints of different grades too. Welcome to the forum and good luck.
  • Welcome @imbueandrew. It sounds like you've painted for some time? Were you using a different medium then?

    I had not done any "art" for two decades and just started up last month after I found this site. I had a bunch of small tubes of student grade paints which had been given to me. This was fine for the first few ventures I made (I had never used oils before).

    So it really has a lot to do with first, how much painting do you think you will do? Do you think you will paint maybe three or four smallish paintings in the next year or two, just as a little hobby? Or do you think you will be painting several times a week? do you want to produce many paintings a month, year? If so, then artist grade are the best way to go. I just started to use the artist colors. OIl paints are made with pigment, oil, and filler. Student grade paints have lots of filler and not so much pigment. Artist grade oil paints are pigment, oil, and a very small amount or no filler at all. In other words, you get what you pay for.

    I'll leave it up to those far more experience than I provide you with more sage advice.
  • Welcome, @inbueandrew.

    Use the Winton for monochromes, practice pieces and for backgrounds. When you can, invest in some artist quality paints. If you are into realism you will get much better results with good paints. Brown, white and blue are fairly cheap and are the colours most used. You'll only ever need to use smaller amounts of yellow and red so you can buy smaller tubes of these.
  • Welcome to the forum! I have been using the medium grade W&N paint while learning. I plan to upgrade to artist grade paint or Geneva paints when I'm employed again and after I've gotten 15-20 paintings done. So far I think they are working out okay--I look forward to seeing if there is a demonstrable difference after I switch.
  • Thank you all & excuse the tardy reply

    @tassieguy & @dencal, I have yes decided to use them for the time being for a backing / stain with an alkyd medium by artspectrum which i was playing around with for glazes some time ago - i quite like playing with my backdrop colors pending on the "topic" 

    congratulations @tassieguy on the gallery opportunities i read about briefly in your discussions - let me know if you have a showing

    yes my enthusiasm is high so low quality paint simply doesn't compliment what i am trying to achieve

    I have purchased some Langridge paints (Melbourne based entrepreneurial paint maker - excited to use them & will let you all know) 

    @Renior yes I've painted for some time & always i guess been a conceptual artist & will be painting alot, stick @ it, your portrait is a result of hard work it seems, you can only get better 

    @movealonghome it's hard to tell @ this stage I honestly think the first paintings are good, there is though a volume of vibrance to 7 that draws me in, perhaps its the cad yellow series 4 (?) "speaking" to me - or just that the hard work & application is paying off - well done!
    & i like the wall of rock (finished (?))
    How did you find the SDM with the Winton just out of sheer need to know - use less with the Winton I am asuming than with the artist quality as @BOB73 stated  (?), it is too as  @dencal mentioned not cheap the SDM, another reason I couldn't justify mixing it with low pigment paint = the pigment packed Langridge will go further across the board & let's hope "pay for itself" with the results / coverage 

    @Bancroft414 let me know if you feel there is a difference, aforesaid the pigment load will be evident & less filler - gr8 portrait!

    am just about to post another thread / question / discussion so until soon and gratefully

  • Good stuff, @imbueandrew. You'll love the Langridge paints and because they are so loaded with pigment and have no fillers they last for ages.  They're quite thick and stiff so you can thin them down with medium without loss of covering power and so they last even longer. Happy painting.

    Rob :)
  • @imbueandrew it would be a contradictory to the suggestions above but I still use student grade paints during my plein air endeavors and I am sure their quality is even lower than Winton's. But I still can mix my colors.
    1. If you are a beginner then go with Winton as you'll be wasting a lot of paint. However, I would tell you to buy an artist quality Titanium White because it will make some difference when you'll try to put the highlights and mix pale colors. Don't worry about pigment concentration right now. After 4-5 paintings start buying artists grade colors. You will notice the difference.
    2. If you can't go with Mark's slow dry medium then buy stand oil, OMS and clove oil and prepare your medium according to the guidelines. Don't put too much medium in the blue paint because it has high oil content and will become like water. You can look at Mark's video on mixing medium. Mix mediums slowly.
    3. Yellow: I am not sure which yellow you are using. But if you are using cad yellow pale and it's warm then you have to go for cad lemon in Winton. It works but may need extra red sometimes for oranges. In an extremely limited color palette like this you will have only the cooler colors to mix both warm and cool colors (surprising?). Cad yellow pale/lemon; alizarin crimson/quinacridone magenta, titanium white are cool. Ultramarine is though of as warm but there is some doubt about it. Only warm color is the burnt umber and this is like a helping hand. Follow Mark's color mixing chart.
    Once you gain some mastery you'll be craving for artist grade colors anyway. Buy good brushes.
  • Rob, @tassieguy thanks & happy painting to you also

    @Kaustav thanks for your feedback & from obvious experience mixing limited with "limited", I have been painting for quite some years, as post mentions, setting some new groundwork, we'll see
    - were the paintings on your most recent post found with student grade & the medium you mentioned (??) i'd like to hear as it would be good to "punch through some practice paintings on the side of my portraits I'm looking at doing, all with DWM pallette appraoch and so forth

    also i havent come across mark's actual mixing medium video, I will take another look

    Enjoy both of your work!
  • lick on Videos& tutorials at top of this page then click on "Supply List" on the left. Supply list has a paragraph about alternative paints to Geneva with a link to the paints and recipe for SDM that page has a link to the video for mixing SDM.
  • @BOB73 Thank you, there is a video on thinning paint with medium & for staining your canvas - I can't seem to locate one that focuses on mixing the medium, & don't want to stuff this up, Marks medium looks quite together/even when he is thinning paints, more so than any mineral spirit / oil combo I have ever come across(??), over more I appreciate further help

  • Hi @imbueandrew, I don't think there is a video on making the actual medium, just a text description of the ratios for making the SDM.

  • Thanks @Boudicca, any experience / recommendations on order / process re mixing the medium then, I assume its not as simple as chucking it together and shaking (?) aforementioned, in Marks vid of thinning his medium looks very together & even unike any mixed medium i have ever come accross. 

    @Kaustav  you also mentioned a video on mixing medium, are @Boudicca & I missing something ?

    Thanks all again & please forgive all the questions, Just not in a position to throw all of this material / time / $ away. Have already seen / heard some stories with 1 or 2 faulty ingredients thus losing entire setups
  • Actually @imbueandrew that's exactly what I did. I just put all the ingredients in the jar and stirred it up. I think kaustav is talking about mixing the medium into the paint in his comment, which Mark does do a video about.
  • Yep, to make the medium just chuck all the ingredients together and give it a shake/stir. Once everything is combined it does not separate, and any bubbles that might appear during mixing soon disappear.
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