oil painting art supplies

what do you use for oil painting?

  • The old masters used oil painting art supplies for their classic paintings.
  • Oil paintings are still considered the standard for fine art paintings.
  • There is nothing like a rich, beautiful oil painting.

answering your questions about oil painting supplies

My first paintings were done with oil paints. It was all so new to me and I had a lot of questions.

What have I have learned over the years?

These are the material I use for my paintings and others from highly reputable companies. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. There is no additional cost to you.

what are the best oil paints?

Gamblin and M. Graham paints are considered the safest paints available today for health conscious people.

Winsor & Newton oil paint from England is my go-to paint for my oil painting art supplies.

Rembrandt, Daler-Rowney, Daniel Smith and Old Holland are more classic quality artist oil paints.

Blick and Utrecht are reasonably priced, good quality paints that can be ordered on line.

Grumbacher paint is what I used when I started out painting. It is reasonably priced and widely available.

Gamblin Oil Paints

grumbacher paint set

what are alkyd paints?

Alkyd paints use the same pigments as oil paints.

Actually I have been using alkyd paints for many years instead of the traditional oil paints.

They handle just like oil paints. They are the paints I have used for all my 'oil' paintings since the 1980s.

Alkyd paints dry completely over night or 24 hours maximum.

They all dry at the same time and have a lovely soft sheen when they are dry.

They may be used for underpainting or the entire painting. I use them for my entire 'oil' paintings.

Beautiful butterfly painting by Carol May done with oil painting art suppliesAlkyd 'oil' Painting by Carol May

I use Griffin Alkyds made in England by Winsor & Newton. They are a bit expensive.

Gamblin, an American company makes a nice set of reasonably priced Alkyd Paints.

what are the basic colors for oil painting?

A good place to start choosing colors is with the three primary colors; red, yellow and blue.

A warm and cool version of the three primary colors will give you mixing capabilities for any color you need in your paintings.

You will also need a large tube of white to mix with your other colors.

  • Red; Cadmium Red Light and Alizarin Crimson
  • Yellow; Cadmium Yellow Light and Yellow Ochre
  • Blue; Ultramarine Blue and Cerulean Blue
  • Titanium White is a great white for mixing and general painting. It is the white I have used for many years.

choosing a surface for oil painting


I use stretched canvas for my oil paintings.

I enjoy the give and action of a stretched canvas.

The last few years I have been using the gallery-wrap canvases.

The gallery-wrapped paintings can be displayed without a frame.


Sometimes I use hardboard panels. Panels don't take up as much room in storage.

Years ago, I used to make my own hardboard panels because it was more cost effective.

Now, I purchase the ready-made Ampersand Claybord Panels.

canvas boards or paper

Canvas board art good for practice and student work. The boards may warp after a period of time.

Paper may be used for sketches and student work. Use a heavy paper like watercolor paper and prime it first with gesso to keep the paint from soaking into the paper.

It makes more sense to me to use the traditional oil painting art supplies. Paintings done on either canvas or boards will last for years. You can hand them down to your children and grandchildren.

what brushes are best for oil painting?

My oil painting art supplies include the traditional hog hair brushes.

They are sturdy enough to move the oil paint around.

They are good for expressive paintings such as landscapes.

I have been using the Winsor Newton Galeria brushes.

They are acrylic brushes, but I enjoy using them for my oil paintings.

They keep a good edge for details.

Soft synthetic brushes or animal hair ones are good for smoother paintings like portraits.

Their brush strokes don't leave ridges.

Royal & Langnickel is a reputable brand.

additional materials for oil painting

I use odorless mineral spirits for cleaning my brushes while I am painting.

I keep the mineral spirits in a covered brush cleaning container.

When the day is done, I use The Master's Brush Cleaner to thoroughly clean my brushes.

Now-a-days I use a disposable paper palettes. I only lay out the paints I will be using for the specific painting. If I have paint left over at the end of the day, I cover it and stick it in the freezer for next time I paint.

Sometimes I use graphite transfer paper to put my drawings onto the painting surface.

oil painting art supplies

These oil painting art supplies have served me very well over the years.

They have produced lots of good paintings.

They will work for you, too!

get ready to paint!

  • A good quality oil paint
  • Stretched canvas or hardboard panels
  • Brushes
  • Palette
  • Drawing paper, pencil, eraser and graphite transfer paper
  • Brush cleaning materials, a container, rags or paper towels

Good light and ventilation in your painting area

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