First you need the oil and the solvent.
For oil, you can use regular linseed oil or walnut oil.
For solvent, I recommend the odorless, non-toxic kind. I use either ‘Tintorsetto’ (which I get at the Rome art shop) or ‘Shelsol-T’ (which I order from Kremer).
Get three ‘jam jars’ and mix the following mediums:
- Lean Medium: 75% solvent + 25% Linseed Oil
- Medium Medium: 50% solvent + 50% Linseed Oil
- Fat Medium: 25% solvent + 75 % Linseed Oil
When I do this, I use a double-boiler to heat the medium for about 15 minutes. If you don’t have that, don’t worry. Mix the property quantities, then shake thoroughly.
Other Materials: Canvas, Easel, etc.
As we’ll work 1:1 (meaning the scale of the work is the actual size of the head), use a canvas that is 35 x 45 cm. A life- size head (or an A4 print of the head) will comfortably fit within that frame. Make sure it is linen, prepared with a white ground, either universal or oil.
Ideally you’ll have some kind of easel that you can use to place your canvas next to your model (or the print next to the canvas). If not, do what you can.
If you are doing a self-portrait, make sure you can easily turn your head and look in a mirror.
You’ll also need:
- A palette
- Palette knife
- Rags, paper towel, wet wipes