Harden, Maren – Pet Portraits


Paint Supply List 

Please feel free to use items that you already have in your supplies.

Gesso Primed Canvas (TWO) – Please select any size between 8×10 to 16×20.

Stretched canvas, canvas board or hardboard panel are all acceptable to use, as long as your surface is gesso primed and ready to go.


Acrylic (oil may be used for those with prior experience)

You are welcome to have any colors you choose, but at a minimum please have the basic shades listed below:

  • Red: e.g., Cadmium Red Medium or Naphthal Crimson
  • Blue: e.g., Phthalo Blue or “Ultramarine Blue (Green Shade)”
  • Yellow: e.g., Cadmium Yellow Light or Yellow Light Hansa
  • Mars Black (or Ivory Black)
  • Titanium White

My favorite animal fur shades: Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Parchment, and Unbleached Titanium. Light Portrait Pink is a great base for pink noses, ears and pads!

Select brush types for the paint you are using.
For acrylic, I prefer to use a shorter (“bright”), more firm, synthetic bristle, like nylon or Taklon.
For oil, hog bristle is a traditional favorite.

I would love for students to have at least one of each type of brush:

  • Filbert 6-10 (I love 8)
  • Flat ⅜”-¾”
  • Angle ¼”-1” (Or 2-12), I especially like a bright ¼”, ½”, ¾”.
  • Round 1-12
  • Liner 5/0-4
  • Palette of your choice.
    I prefer a flat surface (versus wells) for ease of mixing. Paper plates work!
  • Palette Knife
  • Reference Photo 

Bring a printed photo of your subject enlarged to the size of a full piece of paper.
Subject should be facing the camera, clear and well-lit. See example attachment.

  • I also encourage having your image available on your mobile device or tablet to zoom in for details.

If you choose to use electronics, don’t forget a charger!

  • If your subject has passed, and you don’t have the best photos, please bring what you have along with photo references of similar animals (ie via Google Images).

We will piece together a reference composition!

  • Mounting Board/Cardboard/Clipboard – to hold up your reference photo.
  • Paper Towels or Rags
  • Jar for Water
  • Apron (or other protective clothing)
  • Pencil
  • Brush Cleaner

Acrylic: I like to use a gentle cleanser like Bronner’s Castile or Mrs. Meyers.

I do also recommend having The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver for helping reshape brushes to last the longest. You can get a tiny jar for $3-4 and it will last a long, long time!

Oil: A cleanser like Dove or Dawn, followed by your solvent of choice (ie turpentine, mineral spirits).

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Posted on

June 25, 2019