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Vancouver Island School of Art


302-733 Johnson St, Victoria, BC V8W 3C7 250-380-3500

Supply List - Colour and Expressive Portraiture



Suggested Palette* [feel; free to substitute some or all of these with your own preferred choices]: 

* In all cases, synthetic approximations of colours (ex: Cadmium Red 'hue' rather than Cadmium Red) are acceptable. 

- one White (Titanium) (consider the larger 200 ml size for this)

- a light, bright yellow such as Cadmium Yellow Light, Lemon yellow, or Medium or Hansa Yellow

- a middle red such as Cadmium Red Deep or Middle, or Pyrrole red

- a 'cool' red such as Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Scarlet or Geranium Lake, Rose Madder, etc.

- a 'warm' red, such as Vermillion or Cadmium Red light

- one 'cool' blue, ex: Phthalo, Cyan or Cerulean 

- one 'warm' bluer, ex: Ultramarine blue- one 'cool' green, ex: Viridian Green or Phthalo Green

Optional Extras:

- 1-2 'earth' hues: Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna or Yellow Ochre

- Cobalt Blue

- Permanent or Hooker’s green

- Black such as Ivory Black


Paint Application Tools:

- metal palette knife 

- brushes (synthetic for acrylics; natural bristle for oils)... a variety of sizes and types, such as one each of medium to large filbert/flat and round brushes, plus a small round

- one or more inexpensive house painting brushes in a variety of widths

Mediums for paint (acrylic painters only)

- matte acrylic medium and gloss acrylic medium

- OPTIONAL for acrylics: impasto gel medium and/or modelling paste

Medium for point (oil painters only)

- low-odour solvent (mineral spirits)

- refined Linseed oil

- OPTIONAL for oils:

- in place of linseed oil: a combination of 1/3rd Gum turpentine, 1/3rd damar varnish solution and 1/3rd refined linseed oil mixed in a squeeze bottle 

- impasto gel or cold wax medium



- One primed canvas or canvas board ranging in size from medium to medium-large [ ex: 16 x  20 inches to 30 in x 40 inches] Size can depend on how quickly you typically work; a typical recommended size would be 18 x 24 in. or 24 x 30 in. 


- In place of canvas: a wood panel primed with 3 flat coats of acrylic gesso, 


- pencils and a small

-medium-sized sketchbook for notes and plan sketching

- a few sticks of fine vine (willow) charcoal for drawing on canvas

- a palette and lidded jars for solvents and mixing 


The Vancouver Island School of Art is delighted to have a partnership with Opus Art Supplies so please consider using this link and clicking on your course to purchase supplies from Opus Art Supplies: Partnership Page.


You can also consider an Opus A+ Membership, where students can sign up to save 10% on all orders during their studies: Sign Up For Opus A+ Membership

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