oil painting supplies: beautiful oil paintings are the standard of fine art

The old masters used oil painting supplies for their classic paintings.

Get your supplies ready before you start painting. Good supplies don't make an artist, but they sure make painting easier and more fun.

Select your paint, the colors, the surface you will paint on, the brushes to use and items for cleanup.

Get oil painting supplies for creating beautiful paintings.Oil painting of "Harvest"

questions about oil painting supplies?

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what are the best oil paints?

Winsor & Newton paints have been the classic standard of oil painting supplies since 1830.

Winsor (a chemist) partnered with Newton (an artist) to produce high quality paints that are chemically sound and beautiful, as well.

They are easy to use right out of the tube. They do not require the addition of any other mediums or thinners.

Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Paint introductory set of 21ml tubes of 10 colors

Water-mixable oil paints

Water-mixable oil paints are popular today for environmentally conscience people.

The paints are thinned with water, instead of solvents like turpentine or mineral spirits. After painting, it is easy to clean up with soap and water.

Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oils paint set, 21ml tubes, 10 colors

what is the best paint for students?

Student paints contain less color pigment than artists paints. That brings their cost down.

'Winton' paints made by Winsor & Newton are considered the best student paint available. They have the highest pigment load of all student paints.

They certainly are a good buy for learning and practice.

Winsor & Newton Winton Oil Color Paint, intro set, 6 colors in 21ml tubes

what are alkyd paints?

Alkyd paint is made with the color pigments combined with an oil modified alkyd resin.

The paint is workable for 4-8 hours and it dries in 18-24 hours.

"Beauty and Joy" a beautiful butterfly painting by Carol May done with oil painting materialsAlkyd Painting "Beauty and Joy"

Alkyds look like and handle just like oil paints. They may be used for underpainting or for an entire painting.

Griffin Alkyds by Winsor & Newton have been my "oil paint" since the 1980s, instead of the traditional slow drying oil paints.

They don't have a set, but click the link below and select your colors. See the next section on this page for my recommended colors.

Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Paint, 37ml tubes

what colors do i need to start 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 want in your paintings.

  • Red - Cadmium Red Light and Alizarin Crimson
  • Yellow - Cadmium Yellow Light and Yellow Ochre
  • Blue - Ultramarine Blue and Thalo Blue

You will also need to add a large tube of white to your oil painting art supplies. Titanium White is the recommended white for mixing and general painting.

A paper palette is very handy. When you are finished painting, just roll it up and dispose it.

Strathmore Palette Paper Pad, 9x12 inches, 40 Sheets

what do I paint on?

It makes good sense to use the traditional oil painting supplies.

Paintings on either canvas or hardboard panels will last for years.

stretched canvas

Canvas has a wonderful give and feel when you are painting on it.

The canvas is primed with gesso and ready for painting.

Gallery-wrap canvas is popular. You paint the edges of the canvas that wrap around the stretcher bars. Then the painting may be displayed without a frame.

Stretched Canvas, 100% cotton, 8x10 Inch/10 value Pack, 5/8" profile gallery wrapped

hardboard panels

Hardboard panels don't take up as much space in storage. Ampersand Gessobord panels have been archivally prepared and are ready to paint on.

Their smooth surface is suitable for fine details and glazing. Yet they are sturdy enough for palette knife work and heavy paint applications.

Click on the link below and you may select different panel sizes.

Ampersand Gessobord Panel: 6x6", 1/8" profile, pack of 4

canvas boards and paper

Canvas panels are inexpensive and good for practice and student work.

Some panels 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 with gesso to keep the paint from soaking into the paper.

Canvas Panel Assortment, multi-pack 6-Ea of 5x7, 8x10, 9x12, 11x14 inch, 24 total panels

what brushes are best for oil painting?

hog hair brushes

Oil painting supplies should include the traditional hog hair brushes. They are sturdy enough to move the oil paint around.

They are good for expressive paintings where you want the brush strokes to show.

Premium Hog Bristle Brushes, 10 brushes with a carrying case 

soft brushes

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

Their soft brush strokes don't leave ridges that show and they make blending easy. You normally will have to thin the paint to use with soft brushes.

Taklon is noted as a good synthetic brush. Princeton Real Value, Gold Taklon brush set of 4

brushes used with water

Water-mixable oils and acrylic paints are used with synthetic brushes. Hog hair brushes will absorb water and become wet and soggy.

Princeton Synthetic White Taklon Real Value brush set of 5 brushes

do i need turpentine for painting?

Turpentine is the traditional solvent used for oil painting. It is used to thin the paint for painting and washing brushes. However modern artists use odorless turpentine or mineral spirits.

Gamsol odorless mineral spirits is considered safest for using in the studio.

Keep the solvent in a covered container when not in use. I use a Stainless Steel Paint Brush Washer

what do we use to clean brushes?

Water-mixable oils and acrylics use dish soap and water to clean the brushes.

Oil and alkyd artists use odorless mineral spirits to clean the brushes.

You may also use a brush cleaner to clean and preserve your brushes.  Personally, I use Master's Brush Cleaner about once a month to thoroughly clean and condition my brushes.

your oil painting checklist

  • Quality paint
  • Something to paint on
  • Brushes
  • Palette
  • Thinner and brush cleaner

Good light and ventilation in your painting area

These oil painting supplies have produced a lot of good paintings for artists over the years.

they will work for you, too!