Oil painting lessons and techniques: Materials
It remains to speak of those tools which are not essentials, but conveniences, to painting. Even as conveniences, however, they are of importance enough to have an influence on your work. You can paint without them, but you will work more easily for the having of them; and something of the sort, although not necessarily of the same kind, you must have. You may improvise something, in other words, to take the place of these, but you would be wiser to get those which are made for the purpose.
The Box.—First, the box for oil paints. You must keep your things together somehow, and it would be as well that you keep them in a box which is portable and suited to the purpose. When you sketch you must have a proper box, and why not have one which is equally serviceable in the house? Those most commonly sold to amateurs are of tin, and they are various in size and construction, and not too expensive. The only thing against them is the difficulty of adapting them to service different from that they were designed for; that is, if you want to put in a different sort of panel, or if you want to fix it in the cover for convenience, or anything like that, you cannot readily do it, because you cannot use tacks in them. This counts for more than would seem on a sketching trip. But the tin box is light, and is not easily broken, and while it is in shape is practical.
The box for oil paints to be most recommended is the wooden one. It costs more than the tin one,—about twice as much; but you can always arrange it for an emergency very readily, and if it gets broken you can fix it yourself, or get any carpenter to do it for you, while you may be a good many miles from a tinner, who would be necessary to mend your tin box.
You had better not get too large a box. Get one long enough for the brushes; but if you are going to use it out-of-doors much, get a narrow one with a folding palette, so as to save weight. In this way you will get a larger palette than you could get in a smaller and wider box, which is an important consideration.
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