Please understand that while I recommend the products I use, I do so only because they work well for me. I do not guarantee nor endorse them or have any business or financial relationship with any manufacturers of them.

I have my favorite materials just as you do. I pick and choose from several different brands to suit my needs. I do not have a degree in paint chemistry or the way art supplies are manufactured, but I have taken the trouble over the years to learn enough chemistry and other information, including the developmental history of artist's materials, to understand how my materials behave. I know how I should use them to not only maximize permanence but to get the most out of my colors. What I give you here is what has worked best for me over the years.

For my brushes, I now use Rosemary & Co Brushes exclusively. Rosemary offers a Richard Schmid bundle (my most frequently used brushes).

PO Box 372, Keighley
West Yorkshire, BD20 6WZ England
Tel: (01535) 600090

My palette knives are Italian made (bought many years ago), and are very thin and flexible. There are many brands on the market today. Look for the ones called painting knives. They have the delicacy and flexibility necessary for precise painting.

PAPER TOWELS (one of my most frequently asked questions)
Viva Paper Towels (not Viva Vantage)

I apply a finishing varnish to a painting when it is sufficiently dry. I allow three months for more heavily painted artworks. I no longer use the varnish I have referred to in my books and prior websites because of a recent problem in their application.

Today I use a conservator varnish, which is completely stable. It not only protects my artworks, but brings out all of my colors and values, and I can adjust the varnish for any degree of gloss I wish. The varnishes I use are:
Conservator's Product Company UV Stable Finishing Varnish
Conservator's Product Company UV Stable Matte Varnish (Supplier information below).

Rectified Turpentine Pure Spirits
Gamblin Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits
Cold Pressed Linseed Oil
Stand Oil
Lacquer Thinner
Denatured Alcohol

PO Box 372, Keighley
West Yorkshire, BD20 6WZ England
Tel: (01535) 600090

PO Box 601
Flanders, New Jersey 07836

Richard Schmid

My studio palette is a 21" x 31"piece of 1/4" plate glass. Below the glass, I have an illustration board with a warm gray paper surface. This gray value allows me to accurately judge my light and dark value mixtures.

I have always preferred a glass palette for studio work as well as for my landscape painting because it is so easy to clean with a razor paint scraper and alcohol. For a landscape palette, I use a smaller, lighter weight window glass, glued to a very thin piece of gray-painted plywood.


Here is a list of colors on my basic palette as well as additional colors I use as needed or just for fun. Today I buy many of my oil paints from Gamblin, except for a few colors they do not carry.

Cadmium Lemon
Cadmium Yellow Light
Cadmium Yellow Deep
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red
Permanent Alizarin Crimson (Winsor & Newton)
Alizarin Permanent (Gamblin)
Terra Rosa
Yellow Ochre Pale
Transparent Oxide Red
Transparent Oxide Brown
Phthalo Green
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue Deep
Titanium White (LeFranc extra fine)
Cadmium Orange Deep
Cadmium Scarlet
Venetian Red
Cobalt Violet Light
balt Violet Deep

Detailed descriptions on how I use these materials can be found in my book ALLA PRIMA II, and in Katie Swatland's book Alla Prima II COMPANION. Both are available from Stove Prairie Press. Visit the Books section to order.

palette knife