Ted Nuttall Supply List and Workshop Preparation


A. Introduction – The workshop will begin with a welcome and brief overview of Ted’s class format. Ted will give a brief introduction of his backgroundand his philosophy regarding painting and his work. You will be invited to introduce yourself and express your painting experience, as well as what you specifically  want to achieve during the workshop.

B. Daily Slide Presentation – These presentations will depict Ted’s philosophical approach to his work and will serve as an overview of the elements Ted considers as he approaches and works his way through a painting. They will include subjects such as expression, emotion, light, color and composition.

C. Daily Painting Demonstration – Using a previously completed drawing, Ted will discuss what his thinking process was as he rendered the drawing, and the purpose of a contour drawing as a foundation for the painting. As he moves forward with the demonstration he will continue to verbalize his thought processes and approach to the work, as well as discuss his painting methods and techniques. The demonstration will occupy approximately one to two hours of the workshop each day.

D. Class Painting – For the balance of the day, following the slide presentation and painting demo, Ted will interact with the class participants – observing your progress, and assisting you one on one as you work through your painting. Ted will attempt to get around to each class member as many times as possible during the day to answer your questions and help you with suggestions speci c to your work.

This is the basic daily format for Ted Nuttall’s workshops, regardless of the number of class days. Ted’s goal is to create, in an atmosphere that’s both creative and supportive, an enjoyable, hands-on learning experience providing specifc and memorable information you can take home and use in your work.
Cameras and smart phones are welcome in class, to be used with discretion. Participants may photograph the progress of Ted’s demo painting – but please, no audio or video recording.


Following is a list of suggested supplies for Ted’s watercolor workshops and classes. Please read the list carefully to assure that you are prepared with the necessary materials.

Paper – Ted works exclusively on Arches 300lb. (640 gsm) hot press. While it is a little pricey, it is very functional and problem free in terms of resistance to buckling etc. For the purposes of the workshop, Ted strongly suggests you work with this paper.

Paint – Ted’s palette includes the following: Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Vermillion (Holbein), Scarlet Lake, Brilliant Orange (Holbein), Winsor Yellow Deep, Aureolin, Quinacridrone Gold, Quinacridrone Burnt Orange (Daniel Smith), Burnt Umber, Hookers Green, Mineral Violet (Holbein), Indigo, French Ultramarine Blue, Antwerp Blue, Winsor Blue Red Shade, and Peacock Blue (Holbein). Unless indicated, colors are Winsor Newton brand. Ted recommends you use tubes instead of dry cakes and avoid student grade paints.

Palette – Ted uses a custom made metal palette, which he finds especially functional for the wayhe works. There are many brands and variations of metal as well as plastic palettes available at art supply stores and catalog outlets. Any palette that will accommodate at least 16 colors and you find comfortable will work. If you prefer a folding enameled metal palette, Holbein carries one (model no. HK1130-250, 3 1/4” x 7 7/8”) with approximately 16 divided pans for holding color, 3 mixing wells, a large mixing tray and a thumbhole. Ted has worked with this model and found it adequate.

Drawing Board – Ted uses a very lightweight wood drawing board to mount his paper on. These can be found in most art supply stores or online. (Search for “Helix Metal Edged Drawing Board” as an example). They are a lightweight, durable surface to work on and are available in a variety of sizes. Many students use gator board as an option and nd it quite functional.

Clamps / Pushpins – Spring clamps or pushpins for holding paper in place on the board. Ted uses 5/8” pushpins, which work very well on the wood board in place of clamps.

Brushes – Ideally, Ted would like you to use rounds for your brushes in the workshop. He works with a series 8404 #16 Raphael Kolinsky sable round which he feels is exceptional. Pure sables are wonderful but if you are on a budget there are good substitutes made with a combination of natural and synthetic hairs. As a less expensive alternative to the Raphael sable, Cheap Joe’s offers a Legend Sable Round brush that is very nice(size 12 or 14 is comparable to Ted’s #16 Raphael). Ted suggests working with a larger size to aid you in staying loose and free with your painting.

Easel – Ted does all of his painting with the paper surface nearly perpendicular to the floor rather than at or slightly angled. While many painters are unaccustomed to painting this way, Ted would like everyone to try it. Therefore an easel is an essential to your supplies. Most any stable, sturdy easel (either table or floor model) that allows you to work at an angle will be adequate.

Towels – A good absorbent cloth towel or roll of paper towels will work well. Ted uses our sack dishtowels as they are durable, absorbent and (most importantly) reusable.

About Your Reference Photo and Drawing

Although Ted will spend time in the workshop discussing drawing and the value and essentials of a good drawing, the focus will be on painting. In order to maximize painting time, please select a reference photograph and have a completed contour drawing ready for class. Bring both your reference photo and drawing to class. Also, please read the following information carefully as it will aid you in your preparation.

About your Reference Photograph

1. Ted recommends that you not paint someone you know for your first painting. The added pressure of trying to get a likeness of someone you know can be confining and frustrating.

2. Do not use a photograph taken with a flash. Loss of critical tonal values and distorted light created by the ash make this an inadequate source from which to draw and paint.

3. Try to enlarge your photo reference so that it is close to the size of your painting. This will aid you in capturing the details you would like for your painting.

4. Avoid the use of magazine advertising or copyrighted photographs for your reference.

5. Ted suggests that you convert your color reference image to black and white for reasons that will become clear throughout the course of the workshop.

About your Contour Drawing

1. Ted suggests starting with a quarter-sheet size (11” x 15”) or, at the largest, half-sheet size (15” x 22”) depending on your comfort level. A full sheet can be challenging if you’re new to painting the figure in watercolor.

2. Do your drawing with enough detail to indicate all of the information you will need to do the painting. Take your time. Note: A contour drawing is essentially an outline; the French word contour meaning, “outline”. The focus is on the outlined shapes that make up the subject and involves little to no shading or value sketching. 

3. Don’t get too involved with complicated or busy backgrounds. Focus primarily on the figure. Whether you do a full gure, partial gure or portrait – make the figure the dominant element in the painting.

4. Transfer your drawing onto the watercolor paper in preparation for painting in the workshop. The method by which you transfer the image to is not critical – many students trace and transfer with graphite paper, some project, others draw freehand directly onto the paper.

5. Finally, be sure to invest sufficient time for your drawing. A good drawing will be a vital contribution to your making a good painting, as well as allowing you the freedom to paint more loosely.

Note: Ted places a great deal of emphasis on working slowly and thoughtfully. If you can’t resist working fast – or if you simply want to have a second or third choice – it may be advisable for you to prepare more than one drawing.